"We’ve had challenges keeping a nanny long term with our family. What are we doing wrong?"
The nanny employment relationship is very unique. For one thing it is very personal and intimate. This makes for a great foundation for caring for children and working with parents in a partnership. It also increases sensitivity about the daily issues that can come up and can make dealing with concerns challenging for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
MUTUAL RESPECT: This is huge. Respecting each other is critical from day one. Being cognizant that your nanny is a professional and her expertise can really be an asset to your family. Great nanny and family relationships rely on respecting each other.
WORK AGREEMENT: Establish a work agreement with details about the position that everyone is clear about and then follow through with what you’ve agreed to. If things aren’t working for whatever reason address them directly and specifically. Don’t wait until frustrations set in before talking together. Nannies from the Heartland client families receive a fill-in-the blank work agreement document to use as is or as a springboard for creating their own.
UNDERSTANDING THE NANNY: Nannies are nurturers. This is ideal for a profession centering on children and families. Their position with your family is very personal to them. It’s a very different environment than working in the corporate world. So a different approach is needed when discussing job related issues with the nanny. Put yourself in her shoes and see things from her viewpoint.
APPRECIATION: Everyone needs to know they are appreciated – in your job, with your family and friends. Appreciation builds a relationship and fosters loyalty. Letting your nanny know that you appreciate the care she is providing for your children and family goes a long way. A daily “thank you” is simple and effective. A thoughtful personal gift on their birthday or at a holiday will show that you not only appreciate them but have taken the time to know who they are.
COMPENSATION: Appropriate compensation which reflects your nanny’s experience, background and education will help ensure a long term working relationship. This includes paying accurately and on time. If you are uncertain about the current market, contact us at Nannies from the Heartland, we’d be happy to assist you. The compensation package should also include how vacations, holidays or other benefits are handled. Following through on your work agreement in these areas is important to the nanny. Period performance and compensation reviews should be done to keep everything up-to-date. Nannies from the Heartland supplies a performance review document that is provided to both the nannies and families working with us.
GREAT PARTNERSHIPS = Long Term Positions: We have many stories of amazing nanny and family relationships which have lasted for years and years. The one common theme is the time they took to develop their relationship and really work as a team. Great nannies who are happy in their work truly value their job, the children and their employers. Great employer families support their nanny; treating them with respect and care. While not every nanny and family relationship is always long term, many are. Nannies from the Heartland are experts in helping both nannies and families find the best possible fit to build strong partnerships.