When Sheryl Sandberg was asked what she looks for in an employee, she shared, “Someone who takes feedback well. Because people who can take feedback well are people who can learn and grow quickly.”
Providing open and honest feedback is important, as it is impossible for others to read your mind. When there isn’t an open exchange of expectations and constructive criticism, animosity can build. Unfortunately, we have witnessed the all-too-common scenario of a nanny who is unaware of the areas in which she can improve, or is unaware of the reason a working relationship is coming to an end—all because her employers avoid providing honest feedback. This makes it difficult for nannies to grow as professionals, and for us to support them in that venture.
Many parents are not accustomed to being an employer in a home setting, or are unsure how to structure a formal employer-employee relationship with a nanny while maintaining the compassion that such a personal relationship entails. We understand the challenge of drawing clear boundaries. Giving feedback is often seen as an uncomfortable obligation, and is therefore avoided altogether.
Receiving feedback can be equally difficult. Sometimes we view feedback as a personal attack, especially when given in less than ideal ways. Nannies, you must try your hardest to avoid viewing it that way! Go into the conversation with the positive view that feedback gives you an opportunity to grow. Understand that this might also be difficult for your employer, and give them the benefit of the doubt that their intentions are not malicious.
A good first step in providing AND receiving feedback is to acknowledge that there is a common goal, which is to provide the best care for the children as a collaborative team. While we typically envision feedback as coming from an employer and being directed toward a nanny, remember that the family’s home is the nanny’s workplace. It is important for her to feel comfortable so that she can focus her energy on what she does best—caring for the children! The concept of reviews and constructive criticism is universal, and can be used by nannies to give employers feedback as well.
Hopefully you started off on the right foot by scheduling “check-ins” early and often, and that this has become old hat! If not, here are some helpful suggestions:
In conclusion, a healthy feedback exchange will not only strengthen your working relationship, but it also allows for individual, personal, and professional growth. To learn more about communicating effectively, consider attending our next Nanny Up session with Lora Brawley. For more information and to register, click here.
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"I would rate Stanford Park Nannies very highly! They provide a great flow of very qualified candidates, who are all prepared to pay taxes. They have a great vetting process and did not waste our time with those that weren’t a fit. In addition to our full-time search, they had the ability to quickly identify relevant interim/temp nannies as well!"
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"SPN provides you with a current understanding of what should be expected of nannies and employers and they empower you by coaching you through it all. When I started to interview with families, they gave me great feedback—it felt like I had my own personal interviewing cheerleaders!"