How to Be a Good Employer to Your Nanny

After a thorough candidate search, you’ve welcomed the right nanny into your family. Congrats! Your work isn’t over yet, though. To build a healthy and lasting relationship with your new nanny, there are a few things you should know about having a household employee. 

The employer-employee relationship

Inviting a nanny into your home is a personal, vulnerable thing. It may also feel unnatural if you’re not used to the employer role. But you’re an employer now, which means you’ll need to find out what the means for you (and your nanny). 

The basics of being a good employer include handling paperwork promptly, paying your employee on time, staying organized, and being open to communication. Of course, because your employee is a nanny and he or she is working in your home, it’s OK to have a somewhat warmer relationship — in fact, we encourage it. Just be sure that you’re taking your professional duties seriously at the same time.

Communicate often

Part of being a good boss is communicating often. Don’t assume anything. Small preferences details may seem like second nature to you (like putting forks in the dishwasher prongs up or prongs down!), but your nanny won’t know them. She will in time, but you must communicate everything so she can do her job well — and so you don’t wonder to yourself, “Why doesn’t she know this?”, which is a surefire way for animosity to develop. Explain what you expect and let your nanny ask questions. Show your appreciation with praise and, if she could be doing a task better, let her know tactfully. 

Check in daily

Frequent communication is essential, but it’s also a good idea to check in with your nanny at regular intervals. Do not leave a “check in” for times when things aren’t going the way you want. An easy way to manage this: carve out some time to chat with your nanny every day. 10 to 15 minute chats before you leave and when you come home from work will usually suffice. Check-ins can include:

  • What’s on the agenda for the day
  • How the kids are feeling
  • Anything that happened the night/morning before
  • What the kids did during the day
  • If there were any problems or big wins for the day
  • Progress on homework, meals, chores, etc.

This way, everyone is on the same page and you can answer your nanny’s questions before any issues get worse. It’ll also show your nanny how much you value her input and open communication.

Schedule regular performance reviews

Regular, scheduled performance reviews are vital to maintaining a positive relationship with your nanny. If you’ve never conducted them before, plan to schedule performance reviews at the 90 day, 6 month, and 1 year marks of your nanny’s employment. Schedule 1 hour for the review in a location where you won’t be interrupted (which is usually not the house when your children are home).

Before the day of your scheduled review, take some notes on your nanny’s performance so you’ll be prepared to talk about them. Also ask your nanny to write down anything she’d like to discuss during the review. 

You might discuss:

  • How she interacts with the child or children. This might include discipline style, daily routines, boundary setting, appropriate education or play activities, and general decision making.
  • General workplace behavior. Consider her reliability, punctuality, absences, flexibility, ability to follow instructions, initiative, cooperation, communication, etc.
  • Household duties. This is a good time to reevaluate meal preparation and snacks, general housekeeping, laundry, errands, etc.

As a good employer, you should ask your nanny to share feedback with you. Be prepared to listen and discuss, and be open to suggestions. Take notes for yourself so you can improve, as well, and treat these performance reviews as a time to grow, not just a time to resolve conflicts. 

Work as a team

Finally, remember to work together as a team. Your kids need to see that your nanny is an equally authoritative figure in the family. If you need to give her feedback or constructive criticism, do it when the children aren’t present. Parents and nanny should be seen as a united front. Parents, spouses, and even co-parents should also get on the same page with the nanny, and to resolve issues amongst themselves in a professional manner.

Get more tips from Stanford Park Nannies

New to this household employer role? Need more advice? Stanford Park Nannies has over 20 years of experience matching families with nannies and other professionals. We understand the relationship between nanny and parents. With our expertise and personalized support, we can find the best candidate for you, and help you build a strong professional relationship. Contact Stanford Park Nannies now for more information!

Stanford Park Nannies
February 12, 2020
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Stanford Park Nannies
February 12, 2020
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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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