By now, your family has sifted through candidates, interviewed many, and hopefully completed a working trial with a few nannies before extending an offer. Hello, Nanny! has helped you find the nanny your family loves and that will want to stay with you long-term. So what is next? How can you make the nanny your family likes will stay long-term?
As of April 2022, there are 214,061 professional nannies employed in the US. Professional nanny services can have a high turnover rate. The more incentives you offer, the more likely your nanny will be to stay long-term. There are many benefits to keeping a nanny long-term.
- The children grow a relationship of safety and security
- There is an understanding between the nanny and family
- There is a bond built between the nanny and family
- The nanny has built trust and security with your family
- Having consistency is vital for children to have
You Are All We Need
The working trial allowed your family to see that you liked this nanny and would like to have them work with you long-term. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Make Them a Part of the Family
- Value their time
- Financial flexibility
- Advancement Opportunities
- Offer Security
- Be a Great Employer
- Be the Parent
- Activity Opportunities
Honest, open communication is vital to any relationship with a spouse, family, or employee/employer. During the working trial, you most likely had many conversations about things such as:
After time, these items could change. Set aside time regularly to have conversations to readdress items such as pay, responsibilities, and expectations. That open communication will help the nanny feel comfortable enough to share anything they need to address.
We Are Family
Make your nanny feel like they are part of your family. How do you do that?
- Ask them how they are doing, and talk to them about what they are going through. Show you care about them.
- If you notice the nanny struggling while caring for your family, ask if there is any way you can help.
- Be respectful and encouraging.
- Invite them to do things with the family, including the parents.
- Make them a part of the vacation.
- Perhaps make their favorite meal sometime. Or celebrate their birthday.
- Make sure they know how important they are to your family.
Their Time Is Important Too.
Whether a live-in or live-out nanny, they also have social lives and families.
- Schedule breaks with them
- Be flexible.
- Allow for family emergencies.
- Please encourage them to have fun in their personal lives.
- If you have noticed they have not taken time off or done anything fun lately, suggest it to them. This will allow the nanny to see that you value their time.
Do not make them feel guilty if they want to take some time off. If the nanny asks for time off when it is inconvenient for you, this is where that communication needs to be used. Have a conversation, communicate your needs, and discuss a compromise.
Not everyone cares about money, but it does make a difference. If the nanny is doing an impeccable job or starts to take on more responsibilities offering a bonus or a raise will show them you see and appreciate their hard work.
Usually, an end-of-year bonus is something families offer. Money is a great incentive to keep someone working, especially if they feel they do a lot. There are many ways to incentivize your nanny.
A written contract of expected duties and compensation will help confirm your expectations. It is essential to discuss this in your regular conversations. If you value them, pay them as if they are priceless and irreplaceable.
Being creative around benefits can help lengthen the term of your nannies employment:
- Full-time employees should have medical and dental benefits – or a stipend. If they have good healthcare, they can maintain a healthier body.
- Vision benefits would be helpful also.
- Consider offering a 401k or retirement fund for their future.
- Paid time off or vacation days is a great idea to show appreciation for their time.
- A certain amount of paid sick days per year.
- If they drive your family around, offer mileage reimbursement.
- Commuter benefits can be extended to negotiate the rate (a deferred tax benefit for the family and nanny).
Encouraging the nanny to grow speaks a lot about you as an employer. Some nannies begin their careers while they are still attending school. Encouraging and offering the time to continue working on their degree would be a great way to keep them working for you.
Perhaps when they came to work with your family, they had limited skills, or your children did not require them to have certain skills. Now the nanny would like to gain new skills, or your children have grown, and you require the nanny to have some new skills or knowledge. Offer to pay for some classes where they can learn that knowledge. Or if they do not know how to do something, offer to teach them or show them how to do it yourself.
It is more challenging for a nanny to stay in a position they feel insecure in. Offer them job security. You will be offering them long-term security by providing a contract with guaranteed hours and a schedule. If you think there may be an opportunity to earn more hours, make sure to state that.
Let them know their time as a nanny is valuable and that you appreciate them. Make sure they can count on you as an employer. Offer them long-term employment then they will want to stay long-term.
Be the Parent
Although the nanny will spend a lot of time with your family, it is essential that you still play the role of parent. The nanny is less likely to want to work for you long-term if you expect them to do everything for you, including discipline your children.
Talk with your children about the following:
- Rules and consequences
- What expectations do you have for them when they are with the nanny
- Their responsibilities
- Be present:
- Talk to the family
- Play games
- Have dinner
- If the nanny is not on duty but with the family, treat them as a member of the family, not an employee.
There is a limit to what can be created at home to entertain children. There are free fun things to do like the park. But what about some fun opportunities for the nanny and children? Invest in passes to:
- Theme parks
- Local events
- Art show
- Farmer’s market
- Kids activities
- Food festivals, such as a strawberry festival
Be a Great Employer
Be the type of employer for whom you would want to work. Be the type of person the nanny can feel comfortable coming to, communicating with, and with whom they are sharing their time. If you are an understanding, caring, and loving individual, your nanny will be willing to open up more and want to stay around.
- Show your respect, appreciation, and recognition.
- Keep them informed
- Let go, and have trust
I See You
Make sure your family is not taking advantage of the nanny but showing appreciation. You would be surprised how far the phrase “I appreciate you” will go.
- Use your words to show your respect, appreciation, and recognition.
- Get them a little gift that says thank you.
- Celebrate something of importance to them
- Offer to take them to see a movie or to eat lunch.
Keep Them Informed
Ambiguity can be detrimental to a working relationship. Make sure you leave the nanny with as much information as possible. Keeping them informed and sharing vital information shows trust. Information such as:
- Emergency phone numbers
- Work phone numbers
- Health problems
- Security codes for things they need to access
- Insurance information
- Emergency plan
Let Go, and Have Trust.
Do you know what it feels like to have someone read the newspaper over your shoulder? Watching the nanny constantly is just as annoying. You have to be willing to let go of control. You liked them well enough to want them long-term, so trust them to do their job. Do not hover.
Life happens when we least expect it. It would be a great idea to discuss the long-term future and the things that could arise.
- The nanny has a baby.
- If you want them long-term, welcome the new baby to the family and discuss how you can make things work for everyone.
- The family moves
- Ensure you want them to go with them if possible.
- There was a change in the parent’s relationship.
- Discuss where the nanny would work or what the nanny would be comfortable doing. Doing this offers job security.
So how do you make a nanny stay long-term? Someone that feels valued, respected, and honored will want to work for an employer long-term than if they do not. Do not be stingy with compliments, bonuses, or growth opportunities. The most important part of keeping complications limited is open, honest communication. A long-term nanny is good for everyone. So make sure they are happy with their job.