Top job applicants often entertain several lucrative offers before deciding on a position or being lured away from one situation with promises of better opportunities elsewhere. How can families differentiate themselves from the competition to attract and retain the most talented employees?


In today's market, a good salary, two weeks' vacation and holiday bonuses are not enough to lock in experienced potential employees. Going above and beyond the norm is what today's top Butlers and other high quality private staff respect - and families should provide - in order to keep their staff.

Otherwise, families face mediocre recruiting, poor morale, increased absenteeism, low productivity, and high turnover (an expensive option, costing families thousands of dollars per lost employee and much more in aggravation).

What do these private service professionals want? More $$? More days off? Fewer working hours? While certainly welcome, the perk that staff wants most is mutual respect. The Guild has found that the most significant factor in inspiring staff loyalty and commitment is the employer's recognition of the importance of the personal and family life of their private staff.


Here are 3 valuable ideas for showing staff that they and their contributions are valued assets.

1. Encourage regular meetings with certain fixed and certain variable agenda items. Always on the list should be;

How are things going?" from both the employer and employee point of view. Are we within our agreements as to time off and if not, how and when do we get back on track How might we try doing something differently to make our relationship more satisfying" For example, Do we need to schedule a couple of down days next week to get caught up with things?

2. Develop a rewards-and-recognition policy that includes all staff;

An annual personal letter of appreciation works wonders around the holidays especially. Add a bonus and you are King or Queen in the eyes of a devoted staff member. A couple of tickets to a special event with the employer taking the initiative of giving the time off along with the tickets! Encouraging staff to continue to learn with continuing education in the areas of expertise in your private service. (we offer this service!)

3. Support employee wellness.

Encourage staff to provide great service, but not at the risk of inappropriate work habits. Recognize when a staff person is putting in long hours, is acting unhappy, or is sick a bit too often. Loneliness is common in private service. You might say: "I am not paying all this compensation just to baby my staff and be their Personal Assistants". The Guild's recommendation is simply to encourage mutual respect in your own actions and in those of the Butler /head of household if you have a larger staff. What you get in return is a reason for staff to create that genuine attitude of being there for you for many years!