Striking the balance between professional and personal relationships in the workplace can be somewhat challenging at times; managing this when a nanny is working in a family home can be even harder. How do people separate the personal and the professional? How do nannies maintain a work-life balance? Is it possible for an employer to welcome a nanny into their family home whilst sustaining a professional relationship? There are various things that both parties can do to ensure that they are building a positive working relationship that lasts.
At the beginning of employment, providing a contract that outlines the exact roles and responsibilities of a nanny and employer is vital. As an employer, it allows you to stipulate your expectations within your household and what you will do in return. For nannies, this is not only protection for your job role but also something that will guide you in your everyday responsibilities. Whilst there will obviously need to be flexibility of tasks, there will be little room for either party to push the boundaries if things are written down clearly and concisely. Discussing this contract in detail should take place before a nanny begins her first shift. Paying a nanny on time and allocating holiday is a must!
Ongoing open and honest discussions will be imperative for the longevity of this arrangement. It is crucial that both the employer and employee make time to sit down and talk about the children, responsibilities and other events that have happened during the week. This open channel of dialogue will allow the family and nanny to iron out any issues or questions that may arise and deal with them quickly and efficiently. Remember, this open communication must remain professional. For a nanny to maintain any kind of private life, she must protect it and not overshare – once a person has said too much, it is difficult to go back.
Whilst an employer trusts a nanny with their pride and joy, a nanny trusts an employer with regards to her career, development and welfare. Trust is not something that appears overnight and instead, it develops over time. Sticking to the contract and respecting one another will help to build this trust and will result in a positive working relationship.
Although this job role is extremely demanding and can be all consuming at times, it is imperative that a nanny builds her own private life away from work. Hobbies, friends and social events should not be forgotten. By sticking to the contractual hours and giving adequate notice where possible of overtime, an employer is demonstrating respect and understanding of this. It is important to remember that whilst a personal life is private, it should be contained to a nanny’s free time and not spill over into the working environment – respect goes both ways.
Look after your working relationship – it is crucial in order to maintain stability and success!