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Hiring a Helper with Helpwise

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Need guidance on how to have a healthy working relationship with your helper? Try Helpwise!

Hands up if you’ve ever struggled with the decision of hiring a helper once moving to Hong Kong? Mine is way up there with you, Mamas! Some of you may not have thought twice about hiring a helper but are now struggling to maintain a healthy working relationship as you “co-parent” with your helper. Maybe others of you have a had a bad experience and trust has been broken with your helper, and you’re looking to start fresh. Whatever your reason is, we can all admit that having a helper in our families is not always as straightforward or easy as it seems. 

Helpwise, founded by Melanie Leung-Shea, is the very first service of it’s kind in Hong Kong that helps employers navigate the unique working relationship with their helper. Helpwise offers three helpful and practical classes in addition to private consultation and meet ups.


Her three classes include: 

  1. How to Interview & Hire
  2. Helper Management
  3. Parenting with a Helper

Melanie teaches employers management principles, tools and techniques with practical, real-life experience and funny anecdotes from her own home. She also offers insight to cultural awareness and other areas of potential miscommunication. Her goal is for all Helpwise clients – regardless of race, age or helper management experience to feel represented an respected.

I was lucky enough to attend the Parenting with a Helper course and took away many ready-to-implement tips.

Melanie provided opportunities for everyone in the class to share what they wanted to get out of the session, first. We had a chance to also pause for reflections, write down questions or next steps we wanted to take. The main objective of the class was for employers to learn to build trust, assign responsibilities, clarifying authority and managing bonding. For some many of these areas may seem like second nature, but it was extremely helpful to have them laid out, explained, with real life examples from Melanie’s experience and practical tips. 

The class itself lasted three hours and to be honest with you, it literally flew by! Melanie is an excellent speaker, funny and practical. The session was really enjoyable and I was very happy to have some action steps for when I got home. I would highly recommend Helpwise for those of you who are looking to hire a helper or those of you have had a helper in your life for many years. Regardless of your situation, you are guaranteed to take away new strategies to strengthen the working relationship with your helper. 

Some of Melanie’s top tips are:

1. View your helper as an employee, which is a balance of treating them with human dignity while also creating healthy boundaries that can bring clarity to this uniquely complex working relationship.

2. Allow adequate time for training. It may take time for a helper to adjust to your new way of doing things, and to get your family’s schedule down to a science. Trust and familiarity often come with time.

3. Never stop training and managing. As long as you have an employee working for you, you’ll still need to bring guidance and clarity in order to keep the working relationship running smoothly.

There are several workshops coming up this December and you really don’t want to miss out. It is a worthwhile investment of your time! Check out the details below:


Helper Management: Preparing for Potential Challenges 

This workshop is like a “relationship first aid class” for employers, preparing you to handle problems that you may encounter with your helper. We’ll talk about: how to determine if something is minor or major, how to bring up difficult topics with your helper, advice on loans/pregnancy/stealing, and case studies to help you think through how to handle day-to-day challenges. 


When: Saturday, 5 December, 9.30am-12.30pm
Where: Sheung Wan
How much: $300. Register here.

Parenting with a Helper: Navigating the Tricky Triangle

This workshop helps you navigate the “tricky triangle” that exists in the unique parent-child-helper relationship. We’ll address key questions on responsibilities, trust, and bonding, and give practical advice on how to train your helper on your parenting preferences. We’ll provide inspiration and advice to help you make this working relationship a WIN-WIN-WIN for all 3 parties.


When: Wednesday, 9 December, 9.30am-12.30pm
Where: Sheung Wan
How much: $300. Register here.

Free Introductory Chat: Should I Get a Helper? 

If you’re wondering if hiring a helper is the right decision for your household, join us for a complementary, one hour free chat that will demystify the helper topic for you. You’ll learn the basics of the Hong Kong helper scene, and we’ll address the 5 key questions and concerns that often come along with this big decision.


When: Friday, 11 December, 2.30pm-3.30pm
Where: Quarry Bay,
How much: Free. Register here.

Can’t find a date that works for you? Melanie also does personalized consultations, where she can spend individual time understanding your questions and concerns and helping you come up with solutions that suit your household. Click here to tell us a bit about your story and how we can help you. 

For more information, check out Helpwise’s website at

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