How to Keep your Nanny Happy
A good nanny is like gold dust. Once you’ve found a nanny you love – and your children love – you will want to do all you can to keep her. Keeping your nanny happy is important, and as her employer it falls on your shoulders to make sure she is treated fairly.
Following are some important points to remember as an employer of a nanny.
Trust your nanny
By employing her, allowing her to be with your children unsupervised and maybe even by having her live in your home, you have expressed your trust of her. If you then come home from work and quiz her about the day, question her discipline methods or otherwise act like you’re suspicious of her, she will quickly become frustrated. If you have a problem with the way that she is doing her job, it should be discussed openly and dealt with promptly. It is important for nannies, parents and children to be happy in their working relationship, so she would much rather discuss any issues you have in a professional manner.
Your nanny’s time is her time
If you have a live-in nanny, you must be firm about the boundaries that have been set. If your nanny works, for example, Monday to Friday 8-6, the weekends and evenings are her time. This means that the children shouldn’t be allowed to knock on her door, and she shouldn’t be called upon to work in any kind of capacity. Having said that, your nanny may not mind the children popping in to see her on a Saturday morning, and if she’s not busy she might not have a problem with watching them whilst you pop to the shops quickly, but these boundaries should be set in advance. Again, open and honest discussion from the start is key to a happy working relationship.
Leave the home how you would like it left
Nannies are not usually employed as housekeepers too, but just as a stay-at-home parent would, she will pick up after herself and the children throughout the day, leaving the house in a respectable state for when you arrive home to take over. In return, it is not too much for her to expect the house to be left in the same way for her when she arrives to work in the morning. It is not fair to expect your nanny to arrive to a sink full of dirty dishes and the school uniforms in the laundry basket needing to be ironed.
Make your nanny feel valued
Your nanny is your employee, but she is also a valued member of your family. If she feels unappreciated, she will likely look elsewhere for work. It is not difficult to show your appreciation of her without crossing professional boundaries. Offering a bonus once or twice a year is a great way to make her feel important – this could be a monetary bonus, or some extra paid holiday time. Little things, like remembering her birthday and having the children make cards for her, will really make your nanny feel as though she is a welcome and valued member of your family.
Keeping hold of a good nanny is important, and not just for your own convenience. Having a constant stream of different caregivers is not good for children, who need to form attachments to those who look after them.