Key Components of a Nanny’s Annual Review
August 27, 2012 | in Nannies
For nannies and their employers, an annual review can be a nerve-wracking experience. While private, in-home childcare providers who have been with their employers for an extended period of time may be less nervous when the time for the review rolls around, it’s almost impossible for either party to feel completely comfortable with the process. Parents that are approaching their first-ever annual review with their very first nanny may find that they’re even more anxious than their employee due to inexperience with the process and a less-than-clear understanding of what an annual nanny review should entail. In the interest of making your first (or fifteenth) nanny review as simple and painless as possible, here are the key components that you should focus on.
- Wage Reviews – The first thing on your nanny’s mind, especially if she’s performed exceptionally well and she’s aware of it, is likely to be whether or not she’s receiving a higher wage in return for her excellent service. Just as professionals in the business world that consistently meet and exceed employer demands are compensated for their level of dedication and determination, your nanny should be as well. While this subject tends to come up at the very end of the review, it’s important for employers to realize that it’s almost always a nanny’s primary concern and should be addressed, even if a wage increase is not in the cards.
- Cost of Living Increases – Cost of living increases should not be confused with a wage increase based on merit; rather, they should be calculated regularly to ensure that your childcare provider is still receiving a fair living wage. This is especially true when your nanny has been with you for several years without a cost of living evaluation, as things can change dramatically over the course of as little as one year.
- Change of Duties – Traditionally, nannies are only responsible for chores directly related to the care of the children in a household; however, some are willing to provide light housekeeping, do some cooking, and run errands, as long as they’re fairly compensated for these additional duties. Arrangements are as unique as each individual family and the nanny who works for them, and can include a restructuring of a work agreement due to a child beginning school or other adjustments within the household; an annual review is a great time to discuss any changes in duty.
- Performance Review – Arguably the most important part of a nanny’s annual review is the honest and fair appraisal of her performance as an employee over the last calendar year. Merit-based wage increases, performance bonuses, and other key aspects of the salary agreement and nanny contract are based upon her performance and fulfillment of duties. It’s best to keep any negative observations on a strictly professional level, as they’re likely to hurt her feelings and may even cause her to become somewhat defensive. Address these concerns frankly, but avoid any language that seems accusatory or mean-spirited.
- Discussing Areas of Improvement – Even the world’s best nanny has areas where she could stand to make some improvements, however small they may be. Take the time to address these observations with your nanny, especially if a problem such as tardiness or absenteeism is becoming a pattern. It’s also a good idea to let your nanny address any concerns she has about her working conditions and your fulfillment of the work agreement. Remember that her concerns are also valid, and accept them as such without becoming defensive yourself.
- Reviewing Nanny Log and Documented Events – Looking over your nanny’s log for the year and the events she’s documented at her annual review is a great way to evaluate the developmental impact she’s had on your children over the course of that year. Discussing any upcoming major changes that could affect your nanny, like a child starting school or a family move, are appropriately discussed prior to closing out the annual review.
At the end of your nanny’s annual review, it’s a good idea to begin the process of negotiating the terms of your next contract and drafting it, if changes will be made. Letting your written work agreement lapse is not advised, as the document is one of the most effective tools that either of you have to prevent confusion that leads to discord and dispute. Use discussion points from your review and the resultant conversation to create an agreement that is suitable to both parties, especially if there will be a change in duties or compensation.← Nanny Alert: Signs You’re Getting Fired | 10 Spanish Phrases Parents Must Learn to Communicate with Their Bilingual Nanny →
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