Working as a nanny matchmaker can be an interesting job, we hear all of the amazing things your children do and we also become the designated sounding board for unhappy nannies. Many nannies don't know how to broach the subject and will consider accepting another job to avoid conflict. Don't lose a great nanny behind these easy to fix concerns.
Here are some of the most common complaints we hear from nannies about their job and/or employers.
1. Salary. When a nanny accepts a slightly lower rate because they are ready to get back to work or discover that the other nannies in the area are paid at a higher rate, they feel devalued and unappreciated.
2. Appreciation. Nannies work in a warm and fuzzy industry, where love is the most sort after quality required. When a nanny is never acknowledged or commended for their efforts or relationship with the children, she feels unfulfilled in her purpose.
3. Overtime. Nannies tend to work longer hours, often accommodating an employers commuting + work hours. Most great nannies are flexible about working a bit later here and there but if it becomes a habit or expectation (especially if additional compensation is not provided), this will certainly present a problem over time.
4. Gas and Car Usage. Nannies may agree to use their own car for work purposes, but be clear, they didn't mean they wanted to cover the additional expenses. It doesn't matter how local the driving of the children may be, it is the in/out, car seats, wear/tear, insurance and yes gas that matters most. What is worst is most families expect this and are careless about reimbursement. Most nannies would prefer to drive a family car on the job.
5. Raises for New Baby or Anniversaries. While money isn't everything, it is a pretty good indicator of your appreciation and satisfaction with your current nanny. If you don't offer an annual increase or increase for an additional child that requires care, you will quickly employ a disappointed nanny.
6. Hours. Yes, nannies work unusually long hours but that's not the issue if it was expected when you discussed the job at the onset. The problem develops when the hours change from what was originally expected. If you continually need more hours, or worse yet, cut back the hours without pay, this will quickly cause concerns.
7. Vacation. Nannies (good ones) work hard and pour everything into their job. Vacation gives them a chance to relax and charge back up. When vacation time is limited or cannot be chosen but only used when the family takes it, it is viewed as a lack of compromise. Professional jobs allow vacation time that the employee can put in for and choose. Nannies also expect to be paid when the family is on vacation because like any other professional, they depend on their salary and would usually rather work for it then have the time.
8. Respect. Nannies don't like being treated as merely the 'hired help' but rather like an extended member of the family. When you seek your nanny's opinions and encourage your children to respect her, she will feel like a valued member of the family and will remain loyal for years to come.
9. Trust. Some families want constant contact and want to know every last detail which is understandable but often becomes an indication of distrust for your nanny. If you need to know what the nanny is doing with the children every minute of the day, your nanny will soon feel like she is a mere robot just following a very strict schedule with no room for discernment and nanny 'creativity'. When you make the right hiring decision, loosen the reins a bit and let your nanny do what she does best. No one likes a micro-manager!
10. Frequent Schedule Changes. Your nanny will appreciate a consistent schedule and weekly pay rate. She usually doesn't mind the agreed additional hours for date night etc., but a cut in regular hours presents concerns. If you determine that your mom is coming to town and you won't need your nanny's help, it is common courtesy to pay her for her availability and commitment to your family for her usual agreed hours. She will feel slighted to hear that she isn't need and won't be getting paid. In addition, your nanny may not be available to make up the hours conveniently so this shouldn't be a requirement for payment when regular hours are canceled.
For more information on best nanny hiring techniques and assistance visit More Than a Nanny.