We often hear from parents that they want a Nanny who will stay with the family for several years, someone who will become a part of their family and care for the children through all their ages and stages. What many parents don’t realize is that it’s not only who they hire, but also how they communicate, compromise, and work together with the Nanny that determines their longevity.
So, what can parents do to make the Nanny want to stay with their family for years to come? We’ve gathered information from Nannies across the country, and put together a list of their suggestions below.
In any workplace, employees are more likely to report higher job satisfaction and want to stay in their position if they feel that they are respected and given recognition for their work. Being a Nanny is no different — Nannies want to be treated as valued and respected employees.
You can convey your respect for the Nanny by being mindful of their time, upholding their boundaries, speaking to them in a kind and respectful manner, and avoiding taking them for granted. If Nannies don’t feel like they’re getting the respect and recognition they deserve, they may look for work elsewhere!
Open, honest communication is essential to any relationship, and your relationship with the Nanny is no exception. Keep the lines of communication open with face-to-face conversations, texts, emails, and written notes.
We recommend keeping a communication book in the home for both the parents and the Nanny to write in. We also suggest having regular scheduled check-ins with the Nanny, so you can give and receive constructive feedback, talk about any changes or decisions that need to be made, and gain a better sense of how both parties are doing. In addition, if any issues arise, it is always best to address them in a timely manner, so you can work to resolve them together, rather than having frustration or resentment build over time.
Be realistic in your expectations of your Nanny. Remember that there are only so many hours in the day and, aside from naps and school or scheduled activities, they are spending the majority of those hours looking after your children. Nannies are responsible for caring for the children’s basic needs, as well as keeping them entertained and engaged.
When you’re making a list of duties and responsibilities for your Nanny, ask yourself what’s more important: coming home to happy children who are well-cared for, or coming home to a spotless home and a clean pile of laundry? Nannies may be expert multi-taskers, but they’re also human. There are going to be days when they simply can’t do it all.
One of the complaints we hear most frequently from Nannies is that they don’t like to feel like they’re being micromanaged. Nannies are professional childcare providers — you’ve hired the Nanny to care for your children, so you need to trust that they know how to do so. This means letting go of some control and giving the Nanny the space and flexibility to do their job. As long as they have an understanding of your parenting philosophy, and your approach to things such as discipline and rewards, you have to have confidence that they will do what’s in your children’s best interests.
Having personal boundaries is an essential part of any working relationship. It is equally important to establish boundaries with the Nanny and to respect the Nanny’s own personal boundaries. Those boundaries are in place in order to ensure that the Nanny is able to maintain a work/life balance, and to avoid being in a position where they are being taken advantage of, or not having their time or privacy respected.
Upholding boundaries involves ongoing communication and clarification from both parties. It can be challenging to set and maintain boundaries at times, but as long as it is done in a respectful and gracious manner, boundaries can actually help to strengthen the relationship between the Nanny and your family.
A Nanny who feels valued and appreciated is more likely to stay with a family than one who does not. It is important to find ways to show your appreciation and express your gratitude for all the Nanny does for your family. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” to the Nanny, writing them a card, or giving them a bonus on their paycheque. For more ideas on how to show the Nanny your appreciation, see our previous blog post. A little recognition goes a long way!
The work environment
It seems like it should go without saying, but it’s worth mentioning anyway — respect your Nanny’s work environment. Yes, we are referring to your home. We understand that parents are busy, and there will be times when it’s impossible to stay on top of housekeeping, but would you like to consistently come into a cluttered office with dishes piled up in the sink and no clear surfaces? Probably not.
Even if light housekeeping is on the Nanny’s list of duties, it is important to be mindful that this is their work environment too. If you want the Nanny to stay with your family long-term, it helps to make it a comfortable and desirable place for them to work.