• Help! My Yaya Posted Photos of My Child on Her Social Media Account
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  • We ask Christine Araneta-Ferreira, a management consultant and facilitator who conducts workshops on managing household staff, to answer concerns we have with yayas when it comes to social media, work performance, salary increases and more. 

    Q: Help! My maid posted photos of my child on her social media account. How do I talk to her about it and make sure she never does it again?

    A: I always say my children are off-limits, especially on social media. I suggest you explain to your household staff that it's okay for them to have their own social media accounts, but photos of the family and of the home are off limits. 

    I include the house photos as off limits because you wouldn't want to see the contents of your home.

    Q: Our maid can't seem to follow instructions. She usually does only 80% of what I tell her to do. How can I help her perform better? Can I give her a checklist of things to do that I can evaluate regularly?

    A: A checklist is always good, especially at the beginning of her employment. This way, she will clearly know what she is expected to do. When she does not do 20 percent of her job, you can always refer back to the checklist and remind her of her duties and responsibilities.

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    Q: When and how often should I give my helpers a raise?

    A: The Kasambahay Law does not mention any provisionfor salary increases. I base my increases on the annual performance of my staff. If they performed exceptionally well in the past year, they can get a 5%increase in January. If their performance was average, they get a 3% increase, and if they had very poor performance, I ask them to show me that they can do better in the next three to six months before I give them a raise, which will not exceed 3 percent per annum. 

    For some employers, they keep the salary increases at 3 to 5 percent every two years but increase the benefits like food allowance or vacation days. It all depends on your resources and how far you want to go for your staff.

    Q: My maid hangs out with other helpers in our village. I am worried she shares information about our family. How can I discourage her from doing so?

    A: When I interview a potential maid before employing her, I make her sign an agreement that lists the rules and regulations of our household. One of them is that she is not allowed to mingle and socialize with the other household help in the neighborhood. I explain that this is for security reasons and that she will be busy doing her chores during the day. She can do her socializing on her day off. I also explain that even when she goes on her day off, she should not talk to her family or friends about our family (where the children go to school, where we work, when we will be out of town or abroad, etc.)

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    Q: Our new maid seems a bit secretive. Naturally, I'd like to know a bit more about her so we can develop a good working relationship. How do I encourage her to open up without crossing professional boundaries?

    A: Some maids can be secretive, that's why pertinent questions should be asked during her interview before employment.

    A bio-data form is always a good reference to ask about her personal life (family, siblings, who to contact in case of an emergency, etc.) When she feels confident enough to trust you, she will open up. You can always break the ice by talking a bit about yourself and then asking, "What about you?" 

     

    This Q&A series originally appeared in 2016 issues of Good Housekeeping Philippines magazine. 

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