Tips for employers on providing and receiving feedback from domestic helpers

Open, regular and honest communication is key in order to achieve a healthy and long-lasting working relationship.  But communication can be difficult, especially when there are both language barriers and cultural differences involved.

The importance of providing constructive feedback to domestic helpers

Providing regular and constructive feedback is one of the most important manager duties. Feedback is the most effective management tool to improve a domestic helper’s performance and ensure that the employer’s expectations are met. 

As an employer, you need to regularly provide constructive feedback on the domestic helper’s job performance. At the same time, you also want to make sure to receive feedback from the helper in order for you to improve your management skills. 


Practical tips for employers on providing constructive feedback to domestic helpers

Below we list some practical tips for employers on successful communication when providing feedback to domestic helpers.


Explain the ‘why’

Make sure that the domestic helper understands the reason for and benefits of receiving and providing honest feedback. 


Provide specific feedback

Make sure to be clear and specific with your feedback. Provide a recent example, explain what the issue is, and provide context about its wider consequences. 


Ask for the helper’s perspective

Make sure to create a space where the helper feels comfortable sharing their perspective on the issue. It is important for you to understand the domestic helper’s reasoning as well as their challenges and needs. 


Be clear about next steps

Avoid vague words such as ‘more’ or ‘less’ to describe expected changes and improvements. Instead, provide the domestic helper with clear instructions and measurable ways to improve, as well as a timeline for improvement and follow-up.


Check for understanding

Ensure that the domestic helper understands the issue at hand, the expected improvements, and their role in making these improvements happen. Ask the helper to walk you through their takeaways from the conversation rather than asking a close-ended “do you understand?” question.


Encourage giving feedback

Make sure to encourage and open up for feedback from the domestic helper. Keep in mind that most helpers will not feel comfortable speaking up due to cultural differences. Remember that two-way-communication requires building trust over time. Build trust by encouraging questions and reacting positively to feedback.


Provide positive feedback

Don’t forget to provide positive feedback too as this is key in order to reinforce good performance. Keep in mind that recognising and appreciating effort and performance are important to motivate and build trust.

Last updated on September 11th, 2023

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Fair Employment Agency is a nonprofit agency. We put a lot of work into producing high quality, accurate and updated information resources because when employers and domestic helpers are informed, they are empowered to make good choices. If you found this article helpful, please consider donating to support us through Fair Employment Foundation, a registered section 88 charity in Hong Kong, which builds social businesses (like us!) to make migrant recruitment fair to workers & fair to employers.

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