5 Traits that Turn Nannies Off
Every nanny has a different definition of a “good employer” that is dependent on the nanny’s personality, style and needs. However, there are certain traits or actions that drive just about every nanny crazy. Here’s a look at the top 5 things you want to avoid if you’re a nanny employer.
Coming home late. Your nanny puts in long hours, and by the end of the day she’s ready to get off work and relax. Of course, she understands that the nature of the job means late nights once in a while are to be expected. But if you regularly come home late without asking your nanny if she’s able and willing to work late, you’re being disrespectful of your nanny’s time and personal obligations. Just like you expect her to show up on time in the morning, she expects you to show up on time in the evening.
Trying to micromanage everything. Your nanny wants to do a great job for you. She welcomes ideas on how she can do things better. She wants to know if she’s not doing something she should be doing or if you’d like something done differently. But there’s a difference between offering helpful feedback and instructions and nit picking. If you try to control the details of your child’s day by micromanaging every decision your nanny makes and every action she takes, it will only create an atmosphere of distrust and frustration. There are countless choices your caregiver must make throughout the day. She needs to feel confident and comfortable doing what she feels is best without worrying if she’s doing it “right” according to your expectations. That ongoing stress interferes with her ability to be a great caregiver and causes big problems in your employment relationship. No one wants to feel that their employer doesn’t trust their ability or judgment. Naturally, you have the right to have significant input into your child’s daily environment. But at some point you have to trust your nanny to do her job well.
Forgetting to leave your nanny’s check out on payday. When Friday arrives, it’s easy to get caught up in the weekend chaos. You’re trying to wrap up your workweek and shift into weekend mode. You’re trying to get all of those last minute details taken care of so you can actually slow down and enjoy your two days off. But if your nanny has to ask you to write her a check so she can leave, you’ve forgotten to do something that should be at the top of your list. Your nanny works hard for you all week. She takes her job seriously and expects you to treat her as a professional. Paying her in full and on time is one of the basic ways to do that. If figuring your nanny’s wages is something that you struggle with, consider using a tax service. They can figure out your nanny’s wages, withhold all the needed taxes and pay your nanny through direct deposit. It’s an easy way to make sure your nanny never has to ask you for what’s due again. And it gets you out of doing all the tax paperwork too.
Failing to back up your nanny in a discipline decision. Being on the same page around discipline issues is always the best course of action for your child. But it’s also the best course of action for your nanny/parent relationship. It’s important to your nanny that she feels like you have her back when she makes a decision, implements a new rule or enforces a consequence. If you back her up in words but not her actions, you’re sending the wrong message to your child and to your nanny. You’re telling your child that what his nanny says and does doesn’t carry much weight. And you’re telling your nanny that you don’t support her authority with your child. That’s a combination that results in more challenging behaviors and fewer effective solutions.
Expecting her to do things outside her job description. Every employer asks their nanny for a favor now and then. And most of the time, nannies are more than willing to pitch in and help however they can. But if you’re asking your nanny to regularly do things that are outside her job description, you’re breaking your original agreement with her. Make sure you only expect your nanny to do the tasks outlined in your contract. If you do need her to take on additional tasks, sit down and have an honest conversation about your updated job description.