Of Interest to Private Service Professionals

Top Five Tips for Leadership in Private Service

Top Five Tips for Promoting a Positive Staff Working Environment in a Private Residence.

by Werner Leutert, Home Staffing Network International

Leadership is one of several qualities that a good House Manager or Estate Manager practices in order to successful in the eyes of the employer and other residence staff members. Being in private service is intensely personal. We are working in someone else’s home and on a daily basis we are expected to meet all kinds of expectations, which can and do change frequently. Life for all is so much easier if we can get along and work together as a team and take pride in our jobs. Here are my tips for all staff members that good leadership will continually reinforce.

  1. Positive attitude is infectious. Leave personal problems at home and refrain from discussing politics, religion, gripes about fellow employees and complaints during working hours. Friendly but not familiar applies to the back of the house as well as within the main residence. As the manager, you have the responsibility to instill, encourage and take corrective action when necessary. You must also be the example and will influence other staff by your behavior.
  2. Co-operation involves asking others if you can help them when you have a spare minute. This is especially important when you see a staff member struggling, or when the work day is coming to a close and there is much left undone. You can also encourage staff to seek help by asking for it yourself on occasion.
  3. Communicate openly and frequently. It helps to build cohesion on a team when members of staff share information that they would find useful for their specific jobs. This could be about a skill that improves efficiency, a scheduling request, or a service request made outside of the normal protocol. If your workplace does not have regular staff meetings, create them. It is a great time to talk about recent activity at the residence and upcoming events. It’s also a good time for discussions about staff issues and how everyone could work for mutual benefit of the team.
  4. Share your gratitude regularly. Compliment fellow employees when you have the opportunity. Private Service is often devoid of appreciation from the employers at the time when it really would be nice to hear a good word. It is nice to get a confirmation that you are doing a good job from a knowledgeable source – your fellow employee or manager.
  5. Keep your ego in check. Don’t act very differently in front of the employer than you do in front of your fellow staff. To be genuine, respectful, and pleasant at all times reflects positively upon your professionalism. Someone who has the “Yes M’am “Yes Sir” personality with the employer and a coarse vocabulary and behavior with fellow staff does not impress his or her colleagues in a positive way.