How to keep a good Nanny

You’ve hired a lovely Nanny, surely that’s the hard part done then?

So, you’ve gone through the interview process, you’ve deliberated over who to hire, you’ve introduce your children to the short listed candidates, a favourite has been chosen and she has accepted the job. Now, you can sit back and relax safe in the knowledge that everything is fine and the hard work is over, right? Wrong!

Keeping a good Nanny takes as much, if not more effort than finding her in the first place. When it comes to our children, we want to give them the very best we can afford in terms of childcare and furthermore we want those providing the care to be committed to the job and to ensure that your children feel safe and secure in the knowledge that their favourite Mary Poppins is in it for the long haul.

Take care when you initially advertise your job, be sure that you are prepared to deliver on all of the promises you’ve made at the interview and be ready to provide all of the benefits you’ve offered as part of the package. Some families have to budget carefully to ensure that they can meet the costs of hiring a Nanny while others have more financial freedom meaning that they can effectively offer a good Nanny an offer they can’t refuse.

What can we do to make sure that we don’t lose our new Nanny to another family?

Although the two biggest draw cards a new family can offer your Nanny are more money and better working conditions, you don’t need to have pots of money to be competitive. Be open and honest about what you can afford to pay, the benefits you can offer such as the use of a car for on/off duty and if you require a live-in Nanny, discuss what you could do to make her living accommodation as homely and attractive as possible so that she feels included in your family from the start.

It’s often the smaller gestures that can make the biggest impact on your Nanny. An unexpected day or half day off if you’re home early, a nice treat on a birthday, special occasion or a token of your appreciation at times when she has gone over and above her job description, can mean that she’ll really understand how much she is valued as part of your family, making it less likely that she’ll be wanting to move to a family who would value her more.

Another key element in ensuring any successful employer-employee relationship is communication. If your Nanny believes that you are approachable and won’t dismiss her concerns or react negatively to her wish to discuss her concerns, you’ll be high up on the ideal boss list!

Your Nanny may occasionally face issues relating to your child’s behaviour, discipline concerns or perhaps she has a personal problem that she would like to discuss with you. If you can take an objective view and support her where necessary, offering alternatives or other options if you’re not in agreement with what she has suggested, then she will feel like a valued member of your family and again, more likely to stick around if she feels that any issues she has can be resolved.

How can we build a good, open relationship with our Nanny?

You may also wish to schedule ‘catch-up’ meetings with your Nanny during the year. These could take the form of a performance review whereby you may wish to raise issues of concern or equally, if your Nanny has been an outstanding employee, it provides an opportunity for you to praise her for her good work, something she will certainly appreciate. You may wish to offer financial incentives each year such as a salary review or annual bonus for each year she stays with you.

You may have a great relationship with your Nanny but it is also worth noting that your children should offer her the same level of respect, after all she is your partner in their care. Talk to your children regularly about how they feel about their Nanny. If you feel that they are not listening to her or are treating her unfairly in your absence, it is important that you address this issue and make it known to your Nanny that you have spoken the children.

Treating your Nanny as part of the family is just as important as remembering that she is also a Professional. Her job is being part of your family, her work place is in your home. She should treat your home with respect and she should be afforded the same in return for dedicating her career to looking after your children.

Above all, trust is the most important element to a good Nanny-employer relationship. If she believes that you trust her and you demonstrate that by your actions and words, she will feel that she is acknowledged and appreciated for
being trustworthy. She has charge of your most precious accomplishments, don’t assume there is a reason not to trust her unless there is a valid motive.

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