Building Honest and Respectful Relationships: You and Your Housekeeper

June 18, 2013

So often in life when we are dealing with people we hire to help us in our homes, we just don't take the time to do small things that are kind, or even respectful. In the best case scenario our excuse is haste, but in so many cases it is a lack of sensitivity, a sense of entitlement or arrogance.

All three of these attitudes make me crazy, especially when they relate to how you treat people who have come to help you. Good relationships are built on mutual respect. Given this, no matter who you are interacting with, they are deserving of decent behaviour on your part.

When you hire someone to come into your home to help clean, organize or manage, you expect polite behaviour and an honest effort from them: of course you do…you are paying them to do a job.

But did you ever take the time to reflect on that fact that social graces shared, that taking the time for pleasantries, and showing genuine interest in the person helping you, can have huge benefits for everyone involved.

Now, the cynical among you are saying, "Sure, treat the hired help well and you get more work out of them." I would like to think that building a solid, friendly relationship with the people you hire is motivated by more than 'getting the most for your money'. It is just common decency.

It is these exchanges that set one day apart from the next. It is those opportunities to learn something new about someone, to realize hidden talents or just to have a friendly exchange of words that enrich our lives. The fact that you have the money to hire them and they obviously need the money that you can provide, should make no difference in the respect exchanged.

How many times have you heard or experienced the situation where a person hired to clean in your home has gone above their job description by doing kind 'extras' or helping you in a time of need.

In my life, some of my most treasured and steadfast friends have been people that I hired to give me a hand. And yes, for those among you who strive to get the most for your dollar, I did get excellent work from these employees. It was the silver lining for the respect and friendship that we shared.