Do you want a helper who keeps a high level of performance working in your home? Do you want her to be motivated in a way that she begins to take initiative in her work and does it cheerfully, no matter how hard the work may be?
I noticed that high performing helpers are those who are given a good dose of affirmation on their work. I have heard and seen it countless times from stories shared in our faith community of Filipino migrant workers; they are genuinely delighted when they hear a word of affirmation and appreciation from their employers. To them it was enough to make their day and even their week it is more than what money could buy for them.
Affirmation helps a worker see if she is doing things well and to the satisfaction of the employer. It adds confidence to the worker on her work and even do better. It makes her happy in way that helps her cope with homesickness. A word of appreciation will keep her from wearing down emotionally.
How do we affirm our helper?
When ever she finishes a job, mention the things that she did right and well. Say it to her like: “I enjoyed the steamed fish tonight.”
Add a word of gratitude like, “thanks for keeping my child safe on your way home.”
When you feel relaxed coming home to a tidy place, say a word of thanks for keeping the house in place.
Reciprocate your helper’s greeting. When she greets you “good morning,” reply back to her with the same words.
Affirmation and appreciation can never be excessive as most people experience affirmation deficit in their lives. It is not true that appreciating your worker will cause them to be mediocre. Mediocrity is often caused by a lack of an affirmative working environment. Many of those who resigned from their jobs earlier than expected, have serious deficit of affirmation. Part of what we do as pastors is to help them regain their sense of dignity and self-respect after being in a diificult work environment.
Do not treat affirmation like a commodity or money. For a word of affirmation to make a good impact, it must be given freely and without noting it down as if a debt is occured. Give it from a sincere heart and you will receive a heartfelt service from the one who works for you.
Learn to live an affirmative lifestyle. See what is good, beautiful, positive and delightful with the people around you. Mention it to them with a sincere heart. I am sure your spouse, your children and your friends will truly find it delightful. An admonition from ancient wisdom goes this way: “encourage one another and build each other up.”