Your relationship with your nanny can sometimes feel complicated - technically she's your employee, but in reality she's part of your family and you entrust her with your most precious resource - your children. You want to keep healthy boundaries between you for both your sakes, but you also want to build a strong partnership and make sure she knows how much you appreciate her.
We believe that - as with most things in life - when it comes to this important relationship, what you put in is what you get out of it. With this philosophy in mind, there are a few simple ways to navigate your journey together.
Schedule weekly one-on-one chats
Set 15 minutes aside once a week when you can put the children in front of a show and sit down just the two of you, without distractions. Use the time to get her feedback, set improvements or goals, and give her your feedback. But this isn't an evaluation - keep the tone relaxed and don’t only chat about work - use the time to get to know each other too.
Write her a note
Sometimes the written word is so much more effective than the spoken one. Take a moment to jot down some of the ways in which you’re grateful to your nanny, or the ways she has helped you and your family. Leave the note for her to find, slip it to her with a cup of coffee, or put it inside a book you're lending her. She will be touched.
Get the kids involved
If you’re sitting down with your kids to do some art, encourage them to draw her a picture or write her a letter to show their affection and gratitude for her. Of course, don’t force this if they don’t feel comfortable doing it, but it’s likely that they’ll be happy to draw or write something for her - and it will give you an interesting insight into what it is that they do together and what they appreciate about her.
Say it with something small
Next time you walk past the tulips in the supermarket, pick up a bunch for her, or throw an extra bar of chocolate into the trolley. A thoughtful gift for no reason at all will make her feel loved and appreciated - and you know what they say about gifts: the giver feels just as good as the receiver.
Make birthday and holiday gifts thoughtful and personal
Show your nanny that you know what her interests are when treating her to birthday or holiday gifts. What does she do in her spare time - perhaps she loves camping or is into calligraphy. Maybe she’s a star baker or she finds reading relaxing. Finding out what her hobbies are takes only a few questions over a cup of coffee together, and you’ll have plenty of ideas.
Reevaluate her pay and benefits
As your nanny settles into your family and starts to take on more duties or greater autonomy, consider reevaluating her contract and pay. It doesn’t take a large increase to show your appreciation of the impact she has made, but the gesture will be so appreciated.
Give her a day off for no reason
Who doesn’t love a surprise day off? Taking care of children is the hardest and most important work there is, and it can be repetitive and exhausting. Surprise your nanny a couple of times a year with a “Nanny Day” - a day off for no reason at all. She will be delighted, and will return refreshed and motivated to give her best to your children.
Treat her as part of the family
Giving little gifts and tokens of appreciation is wonderful and will always be well received - but even more important than this is to show your appreciation of your nanny by being respectful and consistent in all your dealings with her - from how you greet her in the mornings to how you introduce her to visitors in your home and include her in conversations when appropriate. She’s a part of your family and should be made to feel that way at all times.
Good People is a domestic staffing agency specialising in introducing high quality household assistance. We provide a simple, fast and professional service to recruit trained and vetted staff who match your family values. To discuss what we can do for you, or to join the Good People Club, get in touch today.