Nannies, part two: Your concerns and questions answered

Client question:

‘I’m having concerns with my Nanny carrying out the duties I’ve given her.  Recently when I get home from work the TV is tuned to a reality show and our nanny is on the sofa. I wonder if she is unhappy or exhausted?’

The Lady says...

When the children are in bed and you have time to discuss her role take the opportunity to create an environment where the Nanny will feel able to speak freely.  Ask her how she feels about the role; is the workload acceptable?  Are there any issues she would like to discuss?  It might be that some personal issues are having an impact on work or that the nanny is not enjoying the role.

It is a good idea to listen to the Nanny’s views of the job before stating your feedback as they maybe aspects you are not aware of.  If all appears to be well it might be the Nanny needs more structured management and daily duties written down or possibly less, in any event the Nanny needs to know what is not acceptable i.e Reality TV shows on in the daytime.

It is important the relationship is harmonious and the onus normally falls on the employer to create that environment but if the chemistry is right from the start it should be easy to iron out any misunderstandings.

Client question:

‘My Nanny is forgetting to do things and it’s worrying us that she may have something bothering her or be unwell, or is staying up too late – how should we approach this?’

The Lady says...

There could be many reasons for a Nanny to behave in this way; she might be working long hours and need more breaks, there might be distracting issues in her personal life there could even be a medical reason and the Nanny is on medication that is causing this problem.  Communication is always key to getting to the bottom of why this could be happening, firstly is the Nanny aware she is forgetful?  Discuss ways to overcome the situation, anything from writing things down to having a set time each day for particular duties.

Client question:

‘I am concerned about the amount of time the nanny is spending on her phone.’

The Lady says...

Phones being used for personal reasons, unless in an emergency, should not be done at work and this should be made clear from the outset of your professional relationship.  An option would be to provide the Nanny with a work phone and state that she should leave the personal phone at home.

Client question:

‘We are very happy with our Nanny, but her boyfriend seems to be in our house rather too much – he’s not impolite, but it’s not ideal! What shall I do?’

The Lady says...

Ground rules should be set from the start about when friends can visit.  Is it interfering with her work or do you not like having another person, a stranger, in your home?  Explain to the Nanny the impact it has on the home, set some ground rules about when and for how long the boyfriend can stay.  If he is there more than a certain amount of time you may wish to ask for him to be DBS checked.

Client question:

‘Maybe I’m a bit particular but I’m not entirely happy with the way in which my Nanny cleans the children’s rooms or tidying away after their supper. How should I approach this without upsetting my Nanny or causing an awkward situation?’

The Lady says...

Does the Nanny know how you would like the room cleaned or tidied?  Ask the Nanny what she thinks is acceptable and if she is reaching this standard, then explain how you like it to be done.  If need be do it together and take photos so she can remember what the goal is.

Client question:

‘My nanny has some personal problems that I suspect are impacting on her performance at work.’

The Lady says...

Your children are paramount in this situation and if the Nanny cannot cope it could be an unsafe environment for them.  Although the Nanny might need some time off to deal with these problems it is important to establish how deep these problems are and if she is able to overcome them.

Talk to your Nanny in the first instance in a neutral environment away from the children and the home, over coffee, so that she feels comfortable. Begin by asking if she is enjoying the job and if there is anything you can help her with as she seems distracted / low.

 

Are you looking for a Nanny or interested in sharing a story with us? Please call our recruitment team on 020 38579945 or click here for more details on how we can help you find your perfect candidate. 

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