It is a challenge for any employer to find and keep a good maid. Frequent changes are both costly and inconvenient, as you would have to start retraining the new maids. For very young children, it can be traumatic to keep readjusting to a new face each time. Their stress will be compounded if the changes occur frequently and within a short period. The following suggestions may not guarantee a trouble-free employer-maid relationship but they could minimise the conflicts between the two parties.
Find out under what circumstances your maid learns best. Is she the type who learn by example, or does she have to be hand-held all the way? Does she learn better with negative reinforcement (scolding and nagging over things done wrong) or positive reinforcement (praise and encouragement with things done right)?
A maid needs companionship. Talk to her instead of just giving instructions all the time. Let her ease into your family culture slowly. It is important to respect her beliefs and religion, if they are different from yours.
Show your care and concern by being observant about her moods and feelings. If she is suddenly quieter than usual, dropping a plate too many or seems sullen all day, ask if there is anything wrong. She may need
someone to talk to or could be troubled by something in her home or her children.
Do not belittle your maid in front of the children or guests. Teach your children to respect and address her
in a polite manner.
Given a load of instructions at the start, your maid may not be able to remember or understand the seriousness of not following certain instructions. Tell her clearly and write down on paper what is not tolerated and the consequences of such actions. These would include sleeping or reading on the job, excessive fraternizing with other maids or strangers, and bringing friends into the home when she should be working. Be firm about carrying out the punishment when rules are broken but remember to reward your maid if she performs well consistently.
Have your maid’s welfare at heart. Make sure she has sufficient rest, eats right and is happy with what she is doing. Many employers will not have the time to ensure that the maid is happy in the household. But those who do have found that it is time well spent. Efforts at understanding what makes your maid tick might well keep unhappy incidents at bay. It could also help prevent your maid from seeking a listening ear elsewhere and makes the home a safe retreat for you to return to after work.