The way we treat our maid and house-help determines the relationship we have with them.
We have often observed that people, when placed in a position of power over others, treat them with disrespect and in a sub human manner. Even in the most educated and rich homes, when it comes to the domestic staff, they are either ignored or treated as invisible. This is especially true for people who have had a privileged upbringing and been brought up in homes with domestic help. Dubai has a big working force of domestic help and a lot of maids in Dubai have to deal with employers who mistreat them, are disrespectful or lack compassion.
There are few who acknowledge the fact that a house-help or a maid is also a human being and needs to be treated with equal dignity. When in a position of power, we often forget that our domestic helps are also human beings who need to preserve their dignity and pride.
Basic Human Dignity
Whatever profession we may follow, if our dignity and self-respect is constantly eroded by our superiors, we lose our motivation to work and start resenting our employer or superior. Our domestic helps are no different. They cannot function properly if they are not treated with dignity and respect. This is a basic human need to be praised and appreciated. When this is lacking it is natural for us to be dejected and demotivated. Our domestic staff is no different from us. They are also human beings like us, with the same social requirements as us. We need to acknowledge this fact to get the best out of them.
Our Domestic Helps are Humans Too
The sooner we acknowledge that our domestics, maids and servants are humans who need to be treated well, the better it is for us. Our servants are the caretakers of our home and our family when we are not around. You do not want your possessions or your children to be ill-treated when you are away. A resentful employee may be powerless to stand up to an abusive employee for fear of losing her job and probably the only source of income, but the resentment she may have towards you is bound to find an outlet somewhere or the other. Most often the possessions and the children bear the brunt of this resentment and frustration. None of us wants that to happen, hence, we have to treat our house-help with great care. She may be doing your dirty work for you, but that doesn’t mean she is any less of a person than you or your friends. Her circumstances may force her to do menial work, but that shouldn’t determine how she is treated. It is not just one person in the family who matters, on the contrary, the behaviour of the entire family from the adults to the children matters. Love, respect and understanding from every person in the family will help your maid to bond with you and your family.
How To Behave With Your Maid
The question has a very simple and straight forward answer. You should treat your maid or domestic help exactly as you would want to be treated by your employer. Your relationship with your maid is exactly the same as that between you and your boss. The nature of work may differ, but the relationship is essentially the same.
Treat her with Respect: you cannot be disrespectful to the maid and expect her to give you her best. For her to give you the respect you think you deserve, you need to be polite and respectful to her. Use a friendly tone when speaking with her. There is no need to be rude or impolite to her. When you address her, call her by her name. Address her as you would a family member. Just the tone and inflections of your voice are enough to convey to a person exactly how you feel about them. Ensure that everyone in the family does the same. If you catch anyone being rude or impolite, reprimand them and make sure they do not repeat the mistake again. If the maid needs to be reprimanded for something, there are polite ways of dealing with it. There is no need to shout at her or be condescending.
Be kind to her: Kindness goes a long way in creating goodwill between people. Being kind and considerate to your maid and her circumstances will ensure that she stays with you and treats you and yours with equal kindness and consideration. Being kind does not mean that you have to put up with laziness, or shoddy work. If you feel the maid is not doing her work properly, reprimand her by all means, but do not shout or scream or be angry while doing so. Talk to her calmly and firmly, let her know that substandard work is not acceptable.
Ensure the maid is not overworked: Often people pile on too much work on their domestic helps. You hire a maid because you are unable to cope up with all the work that needs to be done at home. The maid not only has to work for you, but she also has to look after her home and family too. If you cannot cope up with all the work in your own home, you cannot expect your maid to do it too. If you overwork her, it is eventually going to affect you. Either she will leave the job or she may fall sick. In either case, you will have to do everything yourself. It is a good idea to divide the work. Either hire more people to help or make sure that the maid only does the most cumbersome or heavy jobs while you deal with the rest. In case you think you need to hire more domestic help, do look at help4u.today. It is a web platform which lists agencies offering domestic help of all kinds including cleaning services in Dubai. You can book an online cleaning service or hire a maid without any hassles through help4u.today. Dividing work will ensure that your maid is not overworked and can work efficiently at the tasks she is entrusted.
Compassion is essential: Being compassionate is essential to forging a strong relationship with your maid. Do not be impervious to her situation. Like all of us, the maids too have problems in life. You need to understand their situation and help her to overcome these problems as best as you can. Maids too fall sick, have accidents or face a misfortune. At such times, your help and support will count a lot. So be aware of her situation and be compassionate and helpful.
Communicate: communication is the key to a good working relation in any profession, including that of a maid. Unless the maid knows what you want her to do and how, she will keep making mistakes. So let her know exactly what you want and give clear and precise instructions. Communication should not be limited to just work. Talk to her like you would any other acquaintance or friend. Find out about her family, financial condition and health etc. This way you will know what is happening in her life and can help her out when she is faced with a difficult situation. Communication will also help to create a healthy relationship between the two of you. Offer advice and help, but do not force it on your maid. Let her choose what she wishes to do with her life.
Trust: There has to be a degree of trust between your maid and you. This does not mean you have blind faith in all that she says or does. It means that you trust her with certain aspects of your home. When she knows she is trusted, she is likely to work hard not to break that trust, especially if you have treated her well.
Appreciate: Appreciation of a job well done, or any initiative shown by the maid acts as an encouragement. The appreciation can be demonstrated through speech, gestures, monetary bonus or gifts. Just giving a day off as a mark of appreciation for her hard work goes a long way in boosting the morale of your domestic help.
Be polite: saying thank you or sorry, using words such as please when addressing the maid is important. This habit should also be instilled in your children so they are not impertinent or impolite to the maid. It imparts the message that the maid is treated at par with other members of the family.
Never Abuse Your Maid: Whether it is a part time maid or a full time live in one, is a serious issue. It is a common practice in Middle East to be abusive to the maid or exploit them. We read of such cases constantly. Maids, especially, are vulnerable to physical abuse or sexual harassment by their employers. Make sure that no one in your family is sexually harassing or abusing your maid. If you feel that there is a problem with either a male family member making an advance towards the maid or the maid trying to do so, fire her immediately. Make sure the decorum of decency is always maintained in the presence of your maid. Have a firm word with the errant male to ensure that the problem is not repeated with the next maid you hire. A good place to search for another maid in Dubai is the website help4u.today.
Respect, compassion and consideration towards your domestic staff will ensure a strong bond of trust and loyalty towards you.