domestic staff

Your Employees and Domestic Staff Are Human Beings Too

Hey there!

How’s May coming for you?

Pleasantly, I hope.

I’ve had a handful of people (mostly young folks) work for me at some point. I usually opt for females because I am a female-conscious person (I didn’t say feminist, please). However, I’ve had males work for me for brief periods.

During each onboarding interview, some of the first few questions I ask are, “do you have a vocational skill?” or “is there something you know how to do?”

If I get a yes, I tell them to bring their materials along and practice whenever time permits. One girl could braid wigs, and another could make the local cap worn in this part of the world. Well, some didn’t have any skill, and there was nothing I could do about that at the time.

Those who had skills brought their materials, finished their products, and sold them (after we struck an agreement that they won’t get distracted whenever it was time to face what they were employed for). And upon telling me of their sales, I made sure to hype them and let them know how proud I was of their achievement.

You can trust me to always ask them what they intend to do with their lives as well. I bought personal development books for some, shared links to some non-membership meetings in my inner circle, and encouraged their academic (and family) pursuits financially and otherwise. Some other time (not quite often, though), I’d give them some handsome tips to ‘enjoy the weekend.’

And I didn’t write all that to show how good a person I am. In fact, please note that I can be strict with policies, and as such, I mete out the consequences of defaulting on any of my policies –without a smile on my face.

I wrote all the above to remind you that your domestic staff and employees are human beings too. Some of us complain bitterly about our bosses at work and how they are terribly inconsiderate. But we still go home a few hours later to treat our maids and caregivers in an even worse manner.

Honestly, I watch some women (I’m sorry, ladies, but we’re most guilty of this) and how they treat their domestic staff. A girl of 13 would clean an entire duplex and all its bathrooms, cook the meals, run errands outside the home, and still babysit 3 hyperactive children. A boy of 10 would wash three cars, do the laundry, scrub the entire house, and still run the business all day wearing rags.


They are not robots!

I know I’m shouting, but you go to the office and sit for 8 hours. Upon returning home, you’d be completely exhausted, unable to even take off your shoes. Yet, you expect another human being (possibly younger than you are) to stay on her feet all day doing house cleaning services and still wait on you without a break when you return?

What happened to kindness?

Or didn’t Colossians 4:1 clearly say,

Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying your domestic staff or employees should just sit back and have you do their jobs. And just for the records, this post is mainly for people who have domestic staff (cooks, caregivers, nannies, and maids). I understand that the business environment may not allow for some kinds of flexibility.

I’m saying, can we begin to look at these people as human beings and appreciate them for being a gift of help to us?

Invest In Their Minds

If your children spend most of their day with household staff like caregivers and nannies, you’ll be shocked to know that they’re literally the ones raising your children. So, you’ll even benefit in the long run if you’d just help these people develop their minds.

If you have someone still within the school-age bracket, can you enroll them in school? Even if it is a public school that allows them to get home earlier than you and your kids. Sign them up for brief coaching, or teach them yourself, if you have the time.

Invest In Their Spirituality

As a believer in Christ, it should be taboo if your domestic staff lives with you and remains unsaved. But unfortunately, a lot of Christian families don’t care. Provided the nanny doesn’t kill their children, and the maid keeps the home clean, they’re good. But this shouldn’t be.

Make it your responsibility to lead your domestic staff to Christ, help them grow and sustain their faith, and treat them as your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Have a Good Rapport with Them

There’s this woman I admire so much. My admiration for her multiplied exponentially when I found out that a particular girl who lives with her is actually her housekeeper. I happened to recruit the girl for a small project, and each time we worked, she’d say, “mummy and I discussed this and that,” “mummy told me about that.”

Honestly, I was blown away because you wouldn’t even know – it took me sleeping over in the woman’s house and watching the girl perform her housekeeping duty to know who she was to the woman. The best part? This girl even runs her own business from home and supplies dozens of other businesses!

Could you please learn to have conversations with your cook that aren’t about too much salt in the food?

Be Interested In their Future

This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but it wouldn’t hurt if you paid more attention to the future of these youngsters. You’ll not go bankrupt if you part with a small token to have them learn a skill as they serve you.

You’ll certainly feel more fulfilled when you contribute to what your domestic staff becomes when they leave your home. Don’t just tie down their entire existence to house cleaning services alone except you’re hiring trained professionals. Please.

Mete Out Discipline with Some Humanity

Honestly, I’m not sure we’re ready to have the conversation about discipline on domestic staff. I’ve read stories of women starving their caregivers to death, and I didn’t even know how to feel about them.

As a tip to keep violence and brutality out of your relationship with your domestic staff, please never raise your hands on them. If you do it once, you may never stop. There are a dozen healthy ways to correct them. Plus, you’ll have fewer reasons to correct their work or get upset when you clearly state their job descriptions and place them on a schedule (a reasonable one).

Let’s hear what you’d start to do differently with those who work for you!

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10 thoughts on “Your Employees and Domestic Staff Are Human Beings Too”

  1. Ifepe nnennia

    Majority of women find it diffcult to take care of other kids who are not theirs and it baffles me

  2. Adeshina Emmanuel

    This is one of the balanced articles I’ve read this year. I hope we’ll come to see every individual first as human and be humanely disposed towards them as we ought. Thank you ma for this piece.

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