Cadbury the Butler Q&A

What to Expect

Dear Cadbury,
One question, what is the average number of hours a Butler works per day?
Thanks, Halston

Dear Halston,
The number of hours a Butler works is somewhat related to salary. The high-end butlers, paid, lets say, upwards of 65k tend to view the job as more of a “way of life” and allocate their time to meet the needs that the job calls for. Lesser-paid Butlers may be more cognizant / concerned about their hours and wish to formalize duty time more specifically. From the employer’s perspective, long term staffing involves mutual respect, so the Butler’s hours should be balanced to allow the Butler a life. Having said this, a 10-hour day, five days a week is a good core workweek with longer hours more irregularly as needed along with being available 24 / 7.

Dear Cadbury,
After reading a great many employee profiles for domestic staff on various web sites, I have to ask, why such a large turnover rate? It seems that no one stays put very long. Are employees poorly treated? Are the employers difficult? What are the common/big complaints?

Dear MB,
The short answer to your question is that persons who are posted are not currently employed, so the “silent majority” of private service employees who may be tempted to move to another position are not posted.

Great private service relationships are based on mutual respect. The brilliant employer recognizes the value of his employee and shows appreciation not just monetarily, but also with appropriate kind words and consideration for the needs of the employee to have a life too. The employee in this situation recognizes the excellent employment he /she has and does not seek to change.

Other reasons for turnover rate is that employers financial conditions change, an example of this would be the stock market crash of 2-3 years ago. Sometimes when employers change spouses the new spouse is not comfortable with the entrenched staff. Sometimes employees come to a different point in their lives and seek situations that allow them more money, or more time to themselves or a preferable climate or locale. There are many reasons for change.

Among the biggest complaints from employees is that the job they signed up for does not match the expectations of the job in reality. The biggest complaint from employers is that the employee does not demonstrate the competency, initiative and self -sacrifice that they expected.

Dear Cadbury,
Some private service professionals seem to move from job to job after one or two years while others stay in place for many years. What do you think are the reasons why persons stay with the same employers for many years?
Sarah Anthony

Dear Ms. Anthony,
Many factors are involved which affect a decision to stay in service with the same employer or to move on. The single most powerful influence in keeping an employee in place is appreciation. Appreciation is shown in fair wages and conditions and most importantly with spoken words of “thank you” and acknowledgment for personal service well done. It seems like a simple formula, but so often in the busy lives of the employer, appreciation is seldom or never expressed.

Staff retention is a two way dynamic. There are persons in private service that are never happy because they expect constant praise and stroking. There are employers who make staff crazy and drive them away. When solid professionals work for solid employers in an atmosphere of mutual respect, the pieces are in place for a long-term relationship.
– Cadbury