Guidelines for Effective Nanny-Employer Relationship

 

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Nanny / Employer Communication is critical to ensure the longevity and happiness of the working relationship. Conflict, resentment and frustration can build up if communication lines are not kept open and issues are not dealt with effectively. Without communication between the two parties, the relationship will fail.

When a new nanny starts with a new family it can take time for both the nanny and the family to get used to each other’s ways of doing things. The settling in period takes some time for both parties, and compromise may be necessary on both sides.

Here are some important guidelines for communication with your nanny to get your relationship off to a good start –

  • Schedule morning and evening debriefing routines.
  • Ask your nanny to maintain a daily diary / log of main activities and happenings – Rockmybaby® has a nanny diary you can purchase which will allow you to keep track of the child’s / children’s day – contact tanya@rockmybaby.ch to order one.
  • Have a daily check-in time via phone or email / whatsapp.
  • Hold a weekly or monthly meeting in a quiet area with no interruptions.
  • On the agenda for these weekly meetings should be children, job tasks, expectations etc – both parties should be open and share their feelings and opinions in a diplomatic way. Both parties should feel comfortable and respected in sharing their feedback with each other. Be as honest and open as you can focusing on positives and areas of improvement in a diplomatic way.
  • It is best to always be open and direct in your communication and don’t expect your nanny to read between the lines.
  • Be supportive and empathetic when discussing more sensitive topics with your nanny like areas of development. Remain calm and do not show anger or be disrespectful in any way. Always keep communication professional.
  • Communicating around serious issues should be dealt with effectively and in a timely matter, so as not to let resentment and frustration build up.
  • Be an active and good listener.
  • Communicate how grateful you are for your nanny and her work and once in a while give her an unexpected bonus, time off or small gift to show your appreciation.
  • Praise her for the work well done – saying something kind or highlighting what she does well will go a long way to building a positive relationship
  • Be prepared to compromise on less important areas and be open to the nanny’s suggestions and ideas.

Remember that you have an employee-employer relationship with your nanny.

As much as your nanny might feel like part of the family, this is an employer / employee relationship at the end of the day. Always make sure your expectations are clear from the outset to make sure there are no misunderstandings, and have respect for her time off, the contract and duties.

The most successful nanny/employer relationships are where there is a mutual respect between both parties. The nanny / employer is unlike any other employer/employee relationship as she becomes part of your family. It is important for nannies to feel valued and for you to feel heard, hence ongoing communication is critical. With the right amount of attention and care, you can nurture your relationship to be one of the most important ones you will have for your family.

For you nanny recruitment needs, please contact Tanya at tanya@rockmybaby.ch – www.rockmybaby.ch

 

 

Key Receipt – Handing over your Keys to your Nanny

Blog Post by Quitt

Key receipt: You and your nanny on the safe side

During a hand-over of keys between you and your nanny, it is smart and foresighted to have a written document that acknowledges the hand-over and states the approach if the key gets lost. This is where a key receipt is of great help to you.

A key receipt can avoid precarious situations and brings clarity regarding several questions that may occur if a key gets lost. Such questions could include: Which house keys did I give to my nanny? What day was it again? Did one of my children lose one of the keys or was it my nanny? Did I lose them? As the key number is written down on the key receipt, it is clear which exact key was handed over and who will cover the costs in case of a loss of the keys. Therefore, it prevents a big source of misunderstandings and unjustified accusations right from the start.

Key receipt – Reliability for both sides
Our key receipt can be downloaded for free and is available in German, English and French.

Key receipt German
Key receipt English
Key receipt French

Using the provided template is a rapid way to prepare an adequate scripture to document the key hand-over while considering the interests of both sides – the employer and the employee. On the key receipt, the employer and nanny have a choice of two different options of agreement about what to do if the key is lost.

First option: The employer has to cover all expenses that occur if the key gets damaged or lost. If there is any case of gross negligence detectable on side of the employee, he could get held liable and needs to bear a part of the expenses (Art. 321e OR).

Generally speaking, the hand-over of a key brings a big portion of responsibility for the nanny. The risk of a housebreaking after the loss or damage of a key depends on what information is visible on the key. Never sign a key with name or address of the employer. Considering this little hint, it is not necessary to exchange all locks and keys if a single key gets lost. High costs can be avoided by this simple procedure. You will find more information on the legal situation here.
Second option: This is the carefree way. In case the employer has taken out a household insurance with quitt.ch, any costs incurred through the loss or damage of the keys are covered by the household insurance. With this insurance, there will be no trouble in case a key disappears. The nanny as well as the employer can solve the problem without big excitement.

Don’t wait too long with filling out the key receipt. We highly recommend filling out the key receipt right after the signature of the employment contract. This provides the best start for the new employment and supports a good cooperation.
By the way, all employees of quitt.ch have signed this exact key receipt as well!

Top 5 Tips To Keep Your Nanny Happy

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It doesn’t matter what your occupation is, if you feel undervalued, overworked and underpaid, you’re going to look for a new job.  And the same goes for your nanny.

A good nanny is hard to find so if you’ve found one, it’s important that you try to establish a good relationship based on mutual respect and consideration.

Here’s my top 5 tips to keep your nanny happy.

Tip One – Show Appreciation

Your nanny isn’t a competitor she’s an asset, so treat her with care.  Let her know you appreciate her, give her an occasional bonus or an unexpected perk.  Respect her free time too because even if she lives under your roof, she’s not on call 24 hours a day.  Make sure the children know that nanny is ‘out of bounds’ on her days off and that mummy/daddy are in charge.  If your nanny feels appreciated then she’ll be happy in her work.

Tip Two – Be Professional

As an employer, you need to be professional.  This means keeping on top of your paperwork obligations and paying your nanny’s salary on time.  It’s also a good idea to have some kind of petty cash system in place so that your nanny doesn’t have to dip into her own funds to pay for your expenses. Nobody likes to talk about money and if your nanny is regularly asking for reimbursements, it may get uncomfortable.  A professional relationship will earn you respect.

Tip Three – Explain Expectations

From the very beginning of your relationship, you should explain your expectations to your nanny.  If you want her to undertake other household duties in addition to caring for the children or have a specific way you would like her to do things , then establish this early on. Quite often we have expectations of our nanny, and when we don’t communicate them, they are not met and then all parties are not happy.

Tip Four – Communication is Key

If communication breaks down between you and your nanny, then this can quickly become a downward spiral.  So, keep communicating about the important things.  Have regular one-to-ones with your nanny – on an informal basis if possible and without the children – to highlight any concerns on both parts.  The longer something is left unsaid, the bigger it becomes.

Tip Five – Know Your Boundaries

It’s important your children know that nanny is in charge when she is working. Let her know you trust and respect her decisions, which will make her feel valued.

As you can see, having a happy relationship with your nanny is so important and it has a ripple effect on your whole household.  So I hope that these top 5 tips have helped you in some way.

If you have any tips for creating and sustaining a healthy relationship with your nanny, we’d love to hear from you.