Meeting monthly with your nanny insures long term success. After placing a candidate, we send the family a monthly email, suggesting they sit down and ‘clear the clutter’ and work out anything that’s bothering them. If this doesn’t happen, there can be tension in the home. The parent often doesn’t want to rock the boat, because the nanny is home with the child all day. I’ve had some Moms who are frustrated that the pan of macaroni and cheese is sitting on the counter all day, but she would rather fire the nanny and get another one, rather than confront. Moms may sign up for a nanny without realizing that they’ve signed up to be a manager.
I frequently call to get a reference on a nanny and am told, ‘she’s a great nanny except that she’s five minutes late every day’, or ‘she left the house messy’. My next question is, ‘How did she respond when you brought it up?’ ‘Oh, I never mentioned it because she was so good with my child.’ Is this really fair to the nanny? Now she has this flawed reference and all along she thought that you really didn’t care, plus she’s bringing this bad habit into her next job.
Sometimes parents don’t want to take the time to sit and have a monthly one on one with their employee. But here’s why it pays off. When someone’s given focused time, they feel loved, appreciated. Guess who receives the overflow of that love? Your child, your home. Guess who absorbs the tension in the air if you don’t? Your child, you and your employee.
I recall when my husband and and I were not getting along.We didn’t say a word in front of them, but the kids fought constantly. Once we made up, there was amazing peace and harmony between the kids. They just knew.
It’s not easy to confront employes, but having a regularly scheduled time to go over what’s going right and what’s not makes it easier. They already know there’s something wrong, you can’t hide it. Having this time scheduled also helps avoid the slip into the realm of friendship. You’re friendly, you enjoy each other, but you’re still their employer.
When I interview nanny candidates, I recommend that if those monthly meetings aren’t happening, that they ‘manage-up’. I suggest bringing brownies and saying, “let’s sit down Thursday for a few minutes. I want to find how I can improve.”
It’s hard for the nanny to tell the employer when she’s not happy, because she has a different personality. Her perspective in life is to serve others and we purposely look for candidates with a servant’s heart. But if the employer is coming home 30 minutes late several times a week, and the nanny is receiving the same pay, this isn’t easy to bring up. Give your employee time to voice concerns.
The reason for the monthly one on ones is for the children, for long term, satisfying relationships where both sides feel valued and understood.
For the children’s sake.