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What You Should Do If You Discover that Your Nanny is Looking for a New Job

Your nanny is like a member of your family.  She has been with you for years.  Today, you discovered that she is looking for a new job.  What should you do?

1.      Speak privately and supportively with your nanny about what you have discovered.  Try to determine what is prompting the job search and what, if anything, you can do to retain her.  For example, you may say, “Andrea, I received a reference request call today.  The gentleman told me that you’d applied to nanny for his children.  We love you here; you’re like a member of our family, and we’d hate to lose you, but we want you to be happy.  May I ask what happened that caused you to want to look elsewhere for employment?  Is it something we can fix?”

2.      If you can correct whatever caused your nanny to seek employment elsewhere, it is something that you want to fix?  For example, if your nanny feels that she is not getting paid adequately, you can pay her the amount that she feels is more appropriate relative to the work that she performs, but you may not agree with her that the pay rate she has specified is, indeed, appropriate.  Perhaps you can negotiate a compromise that leaves both parties satisfied.

3.      If you retain your nanny, you should communicate to her that is important that she speaks with you about any future concerns she may have rather than simply beginning a nanny job search.  Emphasize open communication as the foundation of the relationship that you have built with her.

4.      If you cannot or choose not to retain your nanny, wish her well in her job search.  Offer to help her by providing her with a written reference.  Confirm with her that she will conduct herself as if she is not job seeking while she is around your children.  She needs to remain committed to your children as long as she is their nanny.  When she has officially obtained alternate employment, you and your nanny should jointly tell your children that she will be leaving to take a job elsewhere, and you can assure your children that they can keep in touch with her after she has left.  However, do not tell your children about her job search until she has officially accepted employment elsewhere.

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