How to keep your nanny – 10 ways
A while ago we posted a tongue in cheek post ‘How to lose your nanny in 10 days‘. Hopefully you’ve avoided making most of these mistakes and have a happy, settled relationship with your nanny. As the festive season looms (to be followed by that horrid January slump) we thought now might be a good time to look at ways you can keep your nanny happy.
- Remember that one-off gestures are all well and good but the best way to keep your relationship (be it with your nanny or anyone else in fact) is constantly paying attention to the little things. Respecting your nanny will go a long way to ensuring their happiness and if you don’t have time to click on the link RESPECT stands for Rights, Earnings, Space, Professionalism, Expenses, Choices and Time. It’s worth just repeating that last one – your nanny’s finish time is the time they should be walking out the door, not the time you walk in. If you find yourself being persistently late then consider extending your nanny’s hours and paying for that time.
- Make allowances, because your nanny is a person too, for the occasional late start (whether it’s a public transport mishap or a sleepy alarm clock) or off day. Allowing them to go early on occasion will make them a lot more tolerant of your occasional lateness (be it public transport or a meeting that overruns). An unscheduled early finish rates pretty highly among the various perks nannies get, by the way! In the same vein appreciate the restrictions your nanny has on their time and let them run personal errands during work hours occasionally.
- Get them a takeaway when they babysit, and if you have a netflix account or similar encourage them to use it. Or if they prefer to cook for themselves leave a bit of extra cash so they can pick up some special ingredients and have a nice meal.
- Don’t skimp on sick pay if you can afford it. The odd bug happens to everyone and it’s doubly unfair for a nanny to have an unpaid sick day because they’re throwing up as a result of your little darlings’ generosity with their germs.
- Let them use the stuff in your house. If you have a Kenwood Chef or a KitchenAid stand mixer and an enthusiastic baker for a nanny who’s planning to make her best friend’s birthday cake with a hand held beater from Tesco then let her use your kitchen one day. If their washing machine breaks down then instead of letting them trek to the launderette put your washing machine temporarily at their disposal. It might bump up your bills a bit but it’ll bump up goodwill even more.
- Invite your nanny as a guest to significant events for the children like birthdays and christenings, unless you want them to work in which case pay them overtime. Chances are they won’t come but most nannies will appreciate that you think of them as part of the family.
- Remember them on their birthday and at Christmas (or equivalent major religious festival that you or they celebrate). You don’t need to give an extravagant gift or a month’s salary as a bonus to show your appreciate them and all the work they do. Something small and personal with a voucher for their favourite store will probably go down well. Photographs of your children in expensive frames, while lovely to look at, aren’t a winner unless it’s a leaving gift.
- Review their performance and their pay once a year. If you can’t afford a pay rise then try and show them you appreciate their work in another way, or give them some extra holiday as a reward for staying with the family. The very least you can do is point out what a great job they’ve done through the year and all the times you’ve noticed and appreciated them going the extra mile.
- Recommend them if they want extra babysitting and you know someone who wants a sitter. If your nanny doesn’t want to babysit then point your friend in the direction of our free babysitting section!
- Finally…. Say thank you. Every day. Without fail.