While setting aside time each week to meet with your nanny may seem like overkill, it actually can be quite beneficial to your working relationship. Here are 10 reasons why doing so is important to maintaining a healthy nanny and employer relationship.
1. Weekly meetings help to keep the lines of communication open. The key to a successful nanny and employer relationship is open communication. Having a time set aside each week to discuss your nanny’s job, her performance, or any concerns either of you may have helps take the pressure off busy parents and nannies who find it hard to say more than two words to each other during the often hectic hello and goodbye routines.
2. Weekly meetings provide an opportunity to discuss non-pressing, but important issues. Sometimes something comes up that you want to discuss with your nanny, but you don’t want to start the conversation off the cuff. Knowing that you have time scheduled to meet with your nanny can elevate concerns of when and how to broach a discussion.
3. Weekly meetings create accountability. Most nannies work alone and unsupervised. When this is the case, nannies and employers rarely care for the kids at the same time. In addition to providing incentive for your nanny to do her best since she knows you’ll be evaluating her performance, weekly meetings help to ensure that everyone is keeping their commitments when it comes to childcare issues, like taking a pacifier away or potty training.
4. Weekly meetings open the door to air grievances. Often times the anger and resentment that builds over an issue is worse than the issue itself. Perhaps your nanny doesn’t load the dishwasher to your standards or she shrunk a chenille blanket in the wash. Knowing that you’ll have a forum to discuss non-pressing and non-safety related issues can help keep the negative emotions in check.
5. Weekly meetings give everyone the opportunity to regroup. Behind every busy nanny employer is a busy nanny. With crazy schedules and out of sync routines, it can be easy for parents and nannies to stray in different directions. Meeting weekly provides an opportunity to regroup, reaffirm goals, and regain strength as a team.
6. Weekly meetings allow for uninterrupted, private conversation. Finding unscheduled time to speak with your nanny sans kids can feel like a mission impossible. However having uninterrupted time to speak to your nanny is essential, especially when the topics aren’t appropriate for little ears to hear.
7. Weekly meetings provide a chance to talk about what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps you’ve started your baby on solid foods or you’ve transitioned to one nap a day. Having a weekly meeting allows you the opportunity to evaluate and reevaluate your schedule, routine, and decisions.
8. Weekly meetings establish an opportunity to discuss scheduling changes. Flexibility is required in most nanny posts. Providing your nanny with information about any scheduling changes, conflicts, or upcoming appointments is essential to ensuring everyone is where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be.
9. Weekly meetings help avoid tension build up. In the nanny and employer relationship, addressing issues as they come up is essential. When safety issues arise, it is vital to discuss them on the spot. However, when other issues come up, however minor they may be, meeting once a week guarantees you have the opportunity to discuss them before they become bigger.
10. Weekly meetings lend themselves to an annual review. If you’ve established a pattern of meeting with your nanny regularly, you’ll naturally want to end the year with an annual performance review. In addition to discussing your nanny’s performance, during an annual review you are able to examine and amend your job description, your nannies duties and responsibilities, adjust the schedule if needed, and reward your nanny for a job well done with a bonus, along with an updated and executed work agreement.
While meeting once per week is ideal, each family and nanny will need to determine a meeting schedule that works for them. And while some meetings may be longer than others, most parents and nannies find that 20 to 30 minutes of discussion time is sufficient. Working the meeting into your nanny’s working hours is essential, as she should be compensated for her time during this important work related activity. Some nannies and families prefer to meet by phone, once the children are asleep. If this is the case, be sure to compensate the nanny for her time.
P.S. This post was proposed to me for publication by Sarah Tucker. I'm therefore publishing it by her invitation and under her permission. See also the link below fore more information: