Dealing with Common Maid Problems

Dealing with Common Maid Problems
Dieter Hawlan ©

Dealing with Common Maid Problems

Common Maid Problems & How to Deal with These


Following are some of the common problems employers face with their new maids.  Here are some tips of how deal with it:


The Maid is not doing the Right Things & may be Frustrated

Put it another way, the maid may be doing too many things but not doing the important things first. Sound confusing!

For example, taking care of the elderly, physically challenged and young children are usually on the top of the priority list.  Cleaning, washing and ironing can come later or to leave it the other family members to help later.

In this case, it is the responsibility of the employer to do the following:

  • Set clear guidelines and instructions on how do certain things first and the rest later
  • List which duties and chores are to be done first, second, third, etc.
  • Remind the maid that “quality come before quantity”. Make sure the maid understands this


Do let the maid know that if she is overwhelmed by the important duties and chores, the rest of the work can be deferred or leave it to the rest of the family members to help out.  If the amount of work is too much, time to reconsider taking in another maid or allocating duties to the other members of the family.

Do ensure that the maid do not overwork and take her rest when due.  The maid should also take her day off to recharge and re-energize.


The maid is stubborn & does things her way.

  • It takes time & patience to train the maid.
  • Show by example how effective it is to do it your way (provided it is the better way).
  • Communicate more often. Explain why and how to do the chores correctly.
  • Do break down the chores into small chunks and let her accomplish her tasks one at a time.  Do offer praise when due.


The maid has a bad disposition & table manner, poor personal hygiene

This can be very subjective, sensitive and personal.

Takes time and patience to get the maid to change and unlearn those bad habits.

Show by example how chores are to be done and how things are to be conducted.  This includes mannerism.

  • Everyone in the household should set good examples for the maid to emulate.
  • Be polite & mindful of the tone when speaking to the maid.
  • Be specific, give instructions on one issue at a time. Never give multiple or complex instructions.
  • Show praise when the maid does things right.


The maid is too nosy and tried to be too friendly and chummy

  • Getting the maid to know the family well is good but do keep a distance.
  • Inculcate in the maid to show respect to the employer and the elders.
  • Also, stress that everyone in the household deserve some privacy, indirectly telling the maid not to invade to other people’s private space and lives.


However, do let the maid feel she is recognised and appreciated for her role in the household. If not, the maid will feel isolated, ostracised and may be withdrawn from the rests which is unhealthy psychologically.


The maid is fearful of breaking bad news or admitting that she has done the wrong things

  • Allowing the maid to keep to herself is bad.
  • Not telling & admitting her mistakes will lead to even deeper issues for the maid.  She will never learn and improve.


The maid must be assured that her employer will always have a listening ear to her family & personal problems. The employer will always be there to help the maid to resolve her personal woes. A troubled and unhappy maid is bad for the employer and the household.

Do encourage the maid to admit the mistakes she made or when she breaks things.  Do highlight to the maid the need to update the employer if she fails to complete a given task for whatever reasons.  Be reasonable to the delay in completing her given tasks.

The employer should not feign ignorance or be oblivious of what is happening to the maid.  Letting the maid’s problems be swept under the carpet is bad for all in the long run. Be open to communication and feedback from the maid.


The maid lacks initiative

It may not be the fault or laziness of the maid.

Take the following proactive approach

  • Break the various tasks into small bits
  • Allocate a specific timeframe for each task to be completed
  • List these tasks in the correct order of priority
  • Follow up and check on the correct way of doing each task
  • Offer feedback on how to do it right and timely
  • Offer praise when due.


Repeat this process several times. Some maids take longer time to learn to do things right and timely.

Lastly, do not give fuzzy & vague instructions. Do not expect the maid to read your mind and to do it your way, quickly.  Give one bite-size instruction at a time. Get the maid to record it and repeat to you on her interpretation of your instructions.  Nodding their head is just a polite way of the maid acknowledging your instruction.  It does not necessary mean that the maid fully understands it.

Patience, understanding and being systematic is the key to dealing with this issue.


The maid is constantly on the phone chatting.

This is a common headache for many employers.

Set strict guidelines such as no calls during work unless during her rest time or emergency.

At all times, the maid is not allowed to be on the phone while tending to babies, young children, the elderly and physically handicapped.  Mistakes and accidents may happen.



If you have problem communicating and dealing with your domestic helper, do contact us for guidance and assistance.  Contact us today at +6567383117 or  Our friendly and professional crew at Finesse Living Employment Services will be glad to assist you on such house maid issues.

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