Regular performance reviews are a staple of the business world but still not a common practice in the nanny world. Many parents feel like there’s no reason to have a review if things are going well. Others feel it’s too formal a process for such an informal and often intimate relationship. And other just don’t want to add one more thing to their already overflowing to do list. But there are lots of great reasons to have an annual review and I promise, reviews aren’t as complicated or painful as many think. So let’s look at why reviews are a great idea.
Why Do a Performance Review?
1. No matter how informal the relationship is, it’s still a job. And it’s important that your nanny know how she’s doing professionally. I’ve never met a quality caregiver who doesn’t take pride in her work and who wouldn’t appreciate knowing that she was meeting your needs and expectations.
2. If there are things you’d like to see your nanny do differently, this is the perfect time to talk with her about those things. Because the purpose of the review is to talk about what’s working and what could be improved on, it doesn’t feel as critical to caregivers when constructive feedback comes during the review. (Let’s be honest, it’s always hard to hear you could be doing a better job but it’s easier to hear when it’s an expected part of the conversation.)
3. A review gives your nanny the chance to do a professional inventory and share her accomplishments of the past year and goals for the next year with you. Most nannies consider themselves childcare professionals. They’re not just showing up each day and winging it. They are intentional about assessment, goal setting, and developing personalized strategies that will help each child to reach those goals. Some nannies will complete a detailed inventory, other nannies will have a more informal process. Either way parents don’t often see this work defined but they definitely see the results in their kids. A review is a great opportunity to see what’s happening behind the scenes.
4. It’s important that you review and update your job description based on what will be happening over the next year. Often there won’t be any substantial changes but it’s always a good idea to check in with each other.
5. And yes, this is also the time for your nanny to give you feedback about how you’re doing as an employer. The nanny / parent relationship is a two-way street and it’s essential that your nanny have a forum to share her concerns and to give you the kudos you deserve.
6. And finally, this is the time when the raise conversation generally happens. By the time you get to this part of the conversation both you and your nanny have had a chance to share lots of really important information and you can make an informed raise decision.
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