When you hire a nanny, you’re not just their employer; you’re also effectively the human resource department for your household. Just as traditional employers do, you should be regularly evaluating your nanny and give them an annual performance review, which should be held at the one-year mark of their employment and every year thereafter.
The purpose of the review is twofold. First, there is the performance evaluation, where you will be evaluating your nanny in terms of her job skills, and talk about whether your expectations were met. Second, there’s a wage review, where you will set the compensation level for the coming year. It may sound like a lot, but we’ll explain everything you need to know to help the review process go smoothly.
The performance review
The performance aspect of the review gives you the chance in evaluating your nanny. Think of it as a conversation where you get to praise your nanny for what is being done well, and inform them of potential areas where you would like to see improvement. As it is a conversation, your nanny should also have an opportunity to voice any concerns and offer suggestions.
Here are some areas to consider:
- General Performance Issues: This is where you can talk about your nanny’s general performance and go over topics such as attendance, tardiness, cleanliness, and safety.
- Initiative: If you expect your nanny to show initiative (this may not be important to some), talk about whether they are being appropriately proactive. This can apply to researching things like play dates, outings, or children’s parties.
- Job Responsibilities: There are two aspects to this subject. First, discuss whether your nanny has met responsibilities during the last year. Then talk about any new responsibilities that will come with your child’s developmental changes in the coming year. This may involve things like potty training, bottle weaning, and anything else you might anticipate.
- Discipline: Are you and your nanny on the same page regarding discipline style? This is an important topic and one to explore in-depth. Your nanny needs to understand your expectations when it comes to disciplining your child, and be aware of anticipated issues that may arise during the next year. For example, if your child throws tantrums, your nanny should know how you would like this behavior to be handled.
- Communication: This is the time to assess whether your communication system is working. You may prefer to keep an electronic record of things like feeding and nap times, while others may use a written list or a daily conversation. There’s no right or wrong way, provided it facilitates good communication.
- Life Changes: Family life is always changing. Whether you’re anticipating the arrival of a new baby, planning on moving to a larger house, looking forward to getting a pet, or sending your child off to preschool for part of the day, changes in your life and your routine are a given. Go over expected changes with your nanny so you can both prepare and make plans.
- Developmental Issues: Your nanny spends a lot of time with your child. Let your nanny know you value observations and opinions, and encourage them to talk to you if they have any concerns about your child’s behavior. Compare notes and have your child evaluated if necessary.
Salary increases: What you need to know
Along with the performance review, the annual review is also the time to set a salary for the coming year. Discussing a raise and any other change in compensation will be part of their contract renewal.
Computing for the right salary increase may seem overwhelming, but the task is more manageable when broken down into two factors: the merit increase and the cost of living increase.
The merit increase is based on your evaluation of your nanny’s performance since the last evaluation, or since employment started. The common amount of the merit increase is between 0% and 5% of the nanny’s base salary. A nanny who provides the bare minimum (in which case it may be time to consider whether you want to keep this nanny on) will be given 0%, while the nanny who regularly surpasses your expectations, performing tasks not included in the job description gets 5%.
Other considerations as to whether your nanny deserves a larger raise include changed circumstances such as a new child added to the family. Other situations that require your nanny to regularly go above and beyond the call of duty must also be considered. This increase should be in addition to the raise mentioned above.
Cost of living increases
Along with the merit increase comes another pay raise: the cost of living increase. This raise, which is around 2% of the nanny’s annual salary, covers inflation as well as the increase in nannies’ salaries in your area.
Delivering the evaluation
Now that you know which factors to include in your evaluation, we’ll explain how to go about the task of evaluating your nanny. If you follow these helpful tips, it will go a long way toward making your performance evaluation a success.
Planning the evaluation
Plan to meet with your nanny privately. Once you’ve established the date and time of the meeting, let your nanny know a few days in advance. A copy of a self-evaluation form should be given to your nanny, and ask for it to be returned completed a day before the meeting. Prior to the meeting, review both your own written evaluation and your nanny’s self-evaluation.
Plan your discussion in advance. Topics should include:
- The fundamental duties spelled out on the performance evaluation
- Performance goals and standards
- Recognizing strengths and accomplishments
- Determining how to improve areas needing improvement
- Finding where new skills may be needed and how to develop them
During the evaluation
Finally, here’s how to put it all together during the evaluation:
- When you meet, review the self-evaluation. Talk about areas of agreement and any differences of opinion.
- Discuss your performance evaluation, starting with the nanny’s strengths.
- Review areas that need improvement. Ask how performance can be improved and give any suggestions you might have.
- Show genuine interest in your nanny’s progress.
- You should close the evaluation when all topics have been covered and the nanny has given their feedback.
- Ask your nanny to sign the evaluation form.
If you follow our suggestions in evaluating you nanny, chances are you’ll be able to create a harmonious work situation for them. In the end, communication is the most important component to creating a good relationship and keeping your household running smoothly.