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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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