Communicating with your Nanny (or other household employee)
You have hired the right person to join your family. Knowing how to communicate with them is critical for the success of this relationship. Many employers forget that this is an employer/employee relationship and effective communication is pivotal for this partnership to work. With nearly three decades of experience helping employers and nannies navigate their relationships, we have compiled a list of our top ten tips for effective communication with your nanny or other household employee.
- Be CLEAR – Many nannies have a first language other than English. Stay away from complex terms and references. Using precise examples and simple terminology will go a long way when communicating with your nanny.
- BE PROACTIVE – Nannies can be intimidated about approaching their employer. They may not want to bother you or stir the pot. It is important to be proactive about encouraging your nanny to share openly, ask questions, and address concerns she may have. Set up regular check-ins and performance reviews.
- Establish a REGULAR COMMUNICATION METHOD. Whether you have face-to-face discussions, make phone calls or send text messages, make sure your nanny knows your preferred method of communication for different types of situation. Not all conversations should happen over text. For example, constructive criticism is always better received in person.
- KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL – While communication is important, your nanny is not your friend. Don’t overshare personal details like marital or financial issues.
- COLLABORATION IS KEY – Be open to your nanny’s suggestions and recommendations. Remember, you have hired an experienced professional who has a lot to offer. Empower her to share her expertise to make positive changes.
- SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION – It is easy to forget to recognize your nanny when things are going well. Make sure you are communicating about more than just problems. Tell her about the positive impact she has had on your family and that you value her contribution on a regular basis. A little recognition goes a long way.
- TACKLE PROBLEMS EARLY – Addressing your concerns when they first happen instead of letting them fester will make the conversation easier. Discuss your concerns early and privately with her – NOT in front of the children, guests or via her co-workers.
- POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT – Start difficult conversations with positive feedback. Initiate with commending her for something she/he has done really well and then address the concern/challenge you are facing. Follow this up with another positive example. Sandwiching the tough stuff makes it easier to deliver and receive the critique.
- LISTEN – Effective communication is all about hearing what the other person is trying to say. Be open-minded and empathetic and try to see things from her perspective.
- READ BETWEEN THE LINES. Many nannies will avoid telling you the truth to spare your feelings. Let them know it is OK to be honest, even if it is something they think might upset you. You would rather know the truth and be able to work together and come up with an appropriate solution.
Need help ? Clients of Diamond have access to our skilled placement consultants as part of you Diamond Package. Call us today to learn more! 1-888-886-8209