Our lovely helper started with us about three months ago — how do we make her feel appreciated this Christmas?
Typically what we do is buy a nice gift for Christmas. Something they like but wouldn’t buy for themselves, for example a nice handbag, a day pass for Universal Studios or even martial arts lessons! Basically, something that feels like a treat for them.
We then give about one month bonus (this is relatively high compared to most employers) at Chinese New Year, which is a traditional time to give a monetary bonus in Asia.
An airfare home may be appreciated as a Christmas present, but this is perhaps excessive if she has worked for you only three months.
Also, bear in mind that many helpers don’t want to go home for the holidays, since they have to pay for literally everything once they get to their family. If you’re considering sending her home for the holidays, check with her first to see if she would really appreciate this.
Andreas Rosboch was born and raised in Sweden by an Italian father and a Swedish mother. He has been an expat for more than ten years and plans to keep it that way. He has spent most of his career in the information technology field, handling everything from brand management to customer support. He is the author of one of our most-recommended books Hiring & Managing Domestic Help – an absolute must-have for Singapore mamas (psst – you can buy it here). He lives in Hong Kong with his wife, two children and dog.