When you consider the many types of Australian families, the different cities and regions we live in, and our unique needs, it’s understandable that finding the right nanny can be challenging. The ideal caregiver for any one family will depend on the family dynamic, the ages of the nanny and your children, and any special requirements you have (like cooking and cleaning, for example).
Communication is the key, and should be clear and concise from the outset. Many of your expectations can be incorporated into your interview. This will ensure your nanny and you are both on the same page as the job commences.
So you’ve found the perfect nanny. What next? Of course you’ll want to make them feel welcome as you all find your ‘groove’ and everyone gets to know each other.
To help streamline the process, we’ve put together our Top 10 ways to keep your nanny happy.
1. Be the employer you always dreamed of. Think about a good boss you’ve had in the past, and how they treated you. While your nanny will hopefully become part of your family, remain mindful that you are also an employer.
2. Your nanny is a professional, so try to be respectful of that. They may offer some insight into an issue you’d overlooked, for example, which will be benefit everyone.
3. Pay them adequately, and give them the tools and support they need to do the job to the best of their ability, and to meet your expectations.
4. Consider incorporating incentives and benefits into the role. Where appropriate these can be outlined in your contract. But additional incentives when they go above and beyond can be very inspiring and make them feel valued. Show appreciation for their work, and your satisfaction, regularly.
5. Respect the ground rules; don’t suddenly expect that your nanny can do the weekly shopping, for example, or cook the evening meal unless those tasks have been discussed and agreed to.
6. Try to be flexible. Bear in mind your nanny is seeking work/life balance also, and remember they may have family, study, sports or other commitments or hobbies outside of their role with you.
7. Have their back. If they are applying agreed rules to the children or situations, don’t undermine them. They are doing what you’ve empowered them to do. This is one of the most common reasons for a nanny to leave a position – a feeling of redundancy.
8. Respect privacy. This is especially important if they live with you. When they are off duty, both you and your children should do your best to respect that. When getting to know your nanny, respect their boundaries and how much of their personal life they are willing to share with you.
9. Earn their trust, and show you trust them. It won’t be immediate, but with time and by applying all of the above principles, your nanny will become as invested as you in your family’s care.
10. Choose your time and place. If you disagree with your nanny about something, gently talk to them about it, privately. It’s a good idea not to discuss issues like these in front of the children.
Keep the lines of communication open
Communication is the most important tool in your box. If you are openly and honestly communicating with your nanny from the beginning, everything else should fall into place around you.
Support them, encourage them, and listen to them. The benefits will follow, and your nanny will feel like they have the best job – and boss! – in the world.