How to Keep Good Help

Once you hire a babysitter, and your children start to develop relationships, you want to do everything possible to keep peace in your home. Creative ways to keep an employee and children satisfied include

  • Establish a business foundation – Understand the pitfalls of being friends with employees. It’s best to maintain a business relationship. Clearly, someone caring for your children will become an extension of your family, but the more “friendly” you get, the harder it is to enforce expectations and to express critiques when necessary.
  • Keep strong communication skills – Maintain an open & honest communication style, and let your nanny know that you hope for the same in return. Model the kind of behavior that you’d like her to emulate.
  • Provide a daily and monthly schedule – Your nanny has a life, too – friends, family, hobbies. Try to plan in advance as much as possible to ensure that your needs are met and to be considerate of her as well.
  • Build flexibility into schedules in a respectful way – As much as you try to schedule, you’ll want to be flexible so that your nanny in turn will be flexible with you.
  • Add a special ringer to your telephone so the babysitter doesn’t have to answer every phone call and can focus attention on the kids. Here, it’s called “IdentaRing” with our phone company. You haven’t hired a secretary – you’ve hired a babysitter, so let her focus on the kids, and get your messages later.
  • Consider creative benefits you can offer beyond sick and vacation days – personal leave, birthday or anniversary days, gift certificates to pamper the person who pampers you daily.
  • Stock the refrigerator with foods your sitter and kids enjoy
  • Plan adventures to give everyone a change of scenery and to give you a chance to observe and instruct in a fun, non-threatening way
  • Conduct regular performance reviews that are constructive and non-intimidating.  Allow the conversation to go in both directions so your babysitter has a chance to express concerns as well.

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