The Annual Review for Household Employees
For the past 9 years, I've had the pleasure of helping families and nannies navigate the exciting yet challenging world of childcare. And boy, have I heard it all! One question that comes up repeatedly is, "What should we talk about during our annual review?" Honestly, there's no need to wait an entire year to touch base. I highly recommend scheduling quarterly check-ins with both nannies and families to keep everyone in sync and ensure a smooth sailing experience throughout the year. But when it comes to the big end-of-year review, it's time to buckle down and cover all the essential topics.
Consider it an opportunity to update your parent-nanny contract and discuss any changes that may have arisen over the past year. From compensation and benefits to expectations and responsibilities, we'll leave no stone unturned. So, let's dive in and make sure your annual review covers all the necessary bases!
DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES AND GOALS// To ease any potential nervousness, I always suggest beginning the conversation by discussing the children. As we all know, children can change a lot within a year, so it's an excellent opportunity to talk about their developmental progress and milestones. This can also be an excellent time to address challenging behaviors and establish consistency in managing them between yourself and the nanny. Additionally, if there are any specific goals or needs that the child has, now is the appropriate time to address those matters.
CHANGES IN JOB DESCRIPTION// It's not uncommon for job responsibilities to expand during the first year of a nanny's employment with a family, commonly called "job creep." This is usually not intentional, as families may be realizing the extent of household assistance they require. During the annual review, it's an excellent opportunity to discuss additional duties that can be formally added to the contract or to adjust some of the existing duties. If the nanny feels uncomfortable with the increased workload, they should not hesitate to bring it up in this discussion. It's essential to remember that additional duties require additional compensation for the nanny.
PERFORMANCE DISCUSSION// It is a review, after all! Now is the time to talk to your nanny about what you appreciate about them and what they do well. Positive feedback can go a long way in boosting morale and job satisfaction. If there are areas for improvement, it's important to discuss them constructively, avoiding lecturing and engaging in collaborative conversation instead. For instance, if the nanny is having difficulty with a particular task, it's helpful to discuss why and find ways to problem-solve together. Ultimately, an open and respectful dialogue can help build a stronger and more effective working relationship between the family and the nanny.
RAISES AND BONUSES// To ensure fair compensation for nannies, it is recommended that they receive an annual salary increase and, in some cases, an additional bonus as stated in their contract. When assessing the new hourly rate, factors such as increased job responsibilities, additional children under their care, changes in working hours, and any further education or training completed by the nanny during the past year should be considered.
CONTRACT EDITS// I recommend having a copy of your contract at the review so that it can be redlined for changes. Every section should be examined to ensure its accuracy for the upcoming year. If there have been any changes in the nanny's working hours, those should be reflected in the contract. If the family plans to take the nanny on a family vacation next year, and travel is not already included in the contract, this would be an opportune time to add it. In case a longer, more detailed version of a contract is needed, please don't hesitate to reach out via email, and I'll be happy to provide one.
IMPORTANT VEHICLE INFORMATION// The annual review is an ideal time to confirm that your nanny’s car insurance coverage is up-to-date if they are driving children in their own car, and that the children still fit appropriately in their car seats. This is a great opportunity to discuss if the children are nearing the age or size where they require a new seat or forward-facing position. It's important to note that car seats should be checked regularly and monitored closely for safety. Additionally, it's worth noting that mileage reimbursement rates can change every calendar year, so it's essential to update them in the contract to ensure the nanny is compensated accordingly.
ADDITIONAL TIPS// For two-parent households, it's advisable to review all the details mentioned above together before meeting with the nanny. This ensures that both parents are on the same page and have agreed on what needs to be discussed. It's a good idea for everyone to take notes of what they want to bring up during the review to ensure that everything is covered. Reviews should be conducted without the children present so there are no distractions, and the meeting can be focused on the topic at hand. It's important to set aside enough time for the review, which typically lasts 1-1.5 hours, so everyone can meet comfortably and thoroughly discuss all the necessary details. Finally, conducting the review in person rather than over the phone or via video is recommended to ensure effective communication and build a stronger working relationship between the family and the nanny.
If you haven’t thought about when your nanny’s annual review is, start thinking about it and get that meeting on the calendar! By scheduling it in advance, you and your nanny will have enough time to prepare and list all the topics you want to discuss. Don't worry if you're feeling a little nervous about how to approach certain discussions - I've got you covered! Check out my other blog post, "Navigating Challenging Conversations," https://www.thenannyconsultant.com/post/navigating-challenging-conversations. Remember, this review is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your nanny and ensure everyone is on the same page. So, let's get that meeting scheduled and start preparing for a productive discussion!
The Nanny Consultant