To work with a high quality London nanny agency is to largely eliminate the likelihood of facing problems further down the line. Such agencies exist for the sole purpose of helping families find the best possible nannies available, in accordance with their own specific requirements.
Nevertheless, this isn’t to say that families taking on nannies do not have to invest any effort at all in the process, in order to keep things on the straight and narrow. There will always be rare instances where things do not quite pan out as originally expected, in which case it pays to know how to handle the situation.
Where many families struggle is in knowing how and where to draw the line between professional and personal. The nanny is, after all, your employee, but at the same time they need to act as an integral member of the family in order to get their job done properly. Most families will have an entirely different opinion when it comes to exactly where this line should be drawn, though there are certain universal guidelines that should be acknowledged and followed in all instances.
Establish Clear Expectations
For example, one of the biggest mistakes any family can make is to simply take on a nanny that appears to be ideally suited to the job without first coming up with a job description. The simple fact of the matter is that if you were to take any two professional nannies from two different families, chances are they would give you entirely different accounts of their responsibilities and primary duties. You cannot expect a nanny to read your mind and provide exactly the kind of services you require, if you do not first establish in your own mind what it is you expect and communicate it to them in full. This is precisely why written job descriptions are of the utmost importance and must be fully understood and signed by both parties. Verbal agreements, by contrast, really must be avoided at all costs.
Handling Issues in a Timely Manner
More often than not, the ‘mistakes’ made by nannies that annoy parents tend to be relatively minor in nature. They didn’t exactly go to town with cleaning the kitchen, they allowed the children to stay out a little later than they were supposed to or they prepared a meal that wasn’t directly in line with instructions. None of these represent the kinds of things that are grounds for dismissal, but they can certainly add up and become a point of contention for parents.
As far as the experts are concerned, one of the most important responsibilities on the part of the parents is to make sure that these minor issues are dealt with in a timely manner. Rather than simply overlooking them and secretly becoming more and more infuriated, it makes much more sense to point them out to the nanny at the time they occur. Some choose to keep written accounts of successes and shortcomings, which are then presented to the nanny at weekly or two-weekly family meetings. Nevertheless, it is always more effective to point them out at the time they occur.
Offering Real Motivation
Cliché as it may be, it really couldn’t be truer to say that a happy nanny is often the best kind of nanny. Treat them like robotic workers or objects and there is absolutely no way they will get the job done as well as a nanny who absolutely adores every second of their working lives. This means doing your best to motivate the nanny in every way possible. From being flexible when it comes to working hours to recognising a job well done to giving them plenty of freedom/authority and so on, motivation plays a pivotal and important role in keeping everything running smoothly.
Handling Repeat Offenders
Last but not least, if you find yourself in a situation where any given nanny seems to be continually going against your instructions or not performing up to par, the time has come for a frank meeting. In many instances, there may be a reason for their sudden performance decline – they may have personal problems or may simply have burned themselves out. Nevertheless, you have to remember that if prior to now they were performing their duties well, getting things back on track with this nanny may be considerably easier than attempting to hire a new nanny from scratch.
It may prove inevitable that hiring a new nanny is the only way to go, but it is always worth at least attempting to salvage things before resorting to drastic measures.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)