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“What are the qualities of a good maid?”. I get asked this question sometimes and I kind of sense that naturally, people want to hear the “thou shall not steal”, “thou shall not lie” kind of qualities like the ten commandments. But the truth is some of these things like stealing and lying are caused by environmental factors and can wear out with time, depending on how it is handled. For example, if a maid is scared of her boss, she would find it difficult to tell her the truth because of the fear of consequences that might befall her. This same maid might not lie in another environment where she feels more comfortable.
This list of qualities however do not mean that if you do not find all seven in a potential maid, you shouldn’t hire. Many times, you may find just one or two and carry on with the relationship hoping that they grow into the others with time. As a trainer, these ares some of the qualities I focus training on, and can also help you highlight areas you should focus your training on as an employer. The truth is, when some of these qualities are in place, they would naturally displace some of the minor things we often fuss about.
For people who are thinking of venturing into the housekeeping business for personal reasons, this list should guide you on the most important qualities your employer expects of you.
So here we go.

  1. RESPECTFUL: She respects the individuals in the home, respects her employer, respects rules, respects privacy and so on. Age should never be a determining factor on whether respect should be given or not. She respects because it is the right thing to do.
  2. TEACHABLE : This describes the willingness and ability to learn. Someone who is coming to work for another person, and both being adults with fully formed minds on how things should be done, if one person doesn’t give way to another’s way of doing things, there will certainly be a clash. An ego war. Once you find someone who is willing to lay down everything she knows and is willing to pick up genuinely how you want things done in your home, she is a keeper. Someone who is teachable will ask questions. Even though she is willing to learn and take in a lot, she is not a dummy. She will chip in her ideas once in a while but will still be fine if you decide to stick with yours.
  3. LOYAL : A loyal maid will show firm and constant support to you and your home, She understands her duty to protect your interest in whatever she does. This sense of responsibility will make her shut out any voice that wants her to do otherwise. She would not take advantage of personal information that she is privy too. You can also be assured that a loyal person wouldn’t just catch you by surprise by quitting without notice. She will be committed to the contract. Everyone needs a loyal maid.
  4. FLEXIBLE : This is one of the core qualities a good maid should have. The ability to adapt quickly to change and perform well. She might have come to the house when her employer had just one child, but then, twins came along and she’s able to adjust just fine. It may take some time for her to adjust, but she’s willing to. She doesn’t go about lamenting and complaining.
  5. EMPATHETIC : The ability to put herself in your shoes. She can ask herself at any point “would I like this if someone was doing this to me?”.
  6. RESPONSIBLE: She has the sense of obligation to justify her salary by taking ownership of her work. She doesn’t mind taking the blame and praise for something that is under her supervision. This quality is what will make her take initiative. She won’t wait for you to get back to tell her to boil the pepper she ground in the market before she does.
  7.  HARDWORKING : Because housekeeping is hard work. A lot of physical activity is involved. There is no room for lazy or tired. Truthfully, this is a must requirement for every maid. She must have a large capacity for physical work.

Many of us might be excited at the prospect of having a maid who has all these qualities. But in order to attract them and keep them, we also must be employers that are easy to work with. In my next post, I will be writing to employers on creating the kind of environment needed for your maid to flourish. If you put the best of maids in a corrosive environment, she would not do well. Sometimes, the issue is not our maids but an un-enabling environment.

Out of these qualities, I would like to know which you would count as indispensable for a potential maid before you hire her. Drop me a comment below.
Maid Whisperer.
Picture Credit: Getty Images


  1. You made a good point that the capacity to do a lot of physical work would be ideal when hiring a house keeping maid. I thinking about hiring one for my vacation home so that I can make sure that it is clean and maintained well even when my family is not using it. There are a lot of cabinets in there that have to be moved in order to vacuum behind them so I really do need a maid that has a lot of tolerance for physical tasks.

  2. you’re absolutely right by saying they have physical activities, but don’t you think the boss need to show a little appreciation?

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