What ways can people be better employers to a nanny or caregiver?
As an employer, we always have expectations of our employees, for example: be punctual, be hard-working, and be reliable; but what about the other way around? In what ways can people be better employers? Ensuring a harmonious relationship with your caregiver does not fall solely into the caregiver’s hands. A positive employer-employee relationship involves give and take. In order to promote a mutually beneficial relationship, here are a few tips to make your employee feel valued:
1) Offer a fair wage: For live-in caregivers, the wage has already been determined according to government standards. However, for live-out caregivers, the wage is negotiable. When offering your caregiver a wage, truly ask yourself, “What is required from this individual and what is a reasonable wage”? How many children do you have? Is there housework involved? Driving the children? Meal preparation? Your wage should fairly compensate your caregiver for the job’s requirements.
2) Treat her like a professional: If you are confident in your caregiver’s childcare abilities, you should trust her judgement. If you have any concerns, these should be addressed in private and not in front of the children; doing so will only undermine her authority. Try to respect her childcare approach and be polite in making suggestions. We all have different ways of doing things and there may even be a cultural element to your caregiver’s approach.
3) Respect her privacy: You should respect your caregiver’s personal space, especially a live-in caregiver. Even though they live in your home, this does not mean your caregiver is available all the time. When the work day is done, your caregiver is free to enjoy their time off; whether that is in the comfort of their private room, or out with friends, be respectful of their personal space.
4) Establish rules and respect them: Your caregiver’s job description has been clearly detailed in the employment contract. If you require duties beyond what has been described in the contract, please consult with your caregiver first. Furthermore, if your work day finishes at 5, try and be home at that time so your caregiver’s workday may end. If it is necessary for them to work longer, be sure to compensate fairly.
5) Show your appreciation: Positive feedback goes a long way in fostering a harmonious relationship. If you are pleased with your caregiver’s performance – let them know!
6) Be flexible: Life doesn’t always go according to plan – maybe your nanny needs a day off and can only provide short notice. Or perhaps, you need your nanny to work on a weekend and it’s a last minute request. As much as we all like to plan ahead, sometimes you need to bend a bit.
7) Be welcoming: While arriving in a foreign country is an exciting experience, it can also be terrifying. Take the time to show your caregiver around the house and explain how everything works. At the same time, you may also want to point out bus stops, grocery stores, banks, cell-phone stores, etc. Your caregiver will appreciate the gesture and your assistance will help build their confidence.
If you would like to find a caregiver or nanny for your family, simply fill out this family application for a nanny or caregiver.