Written by Brooke Strickland for Nannies Plus

Hiring a nanny or family assistant to work in your home with your children is a personal decision that requires careful consideration.

This is a professional relationship, but the dynamic of domestic employment means there are some personal details of your home and your life that your nanny or family assistant will learn about your family. That’s why establishing trust and maintaining great communication from the very beginning is important.

Here are some tips on how to best do that.

#1: Remember respect – always.

As you and your children start bonding with your nanny or family assistant, remember that respect is a two-way street. Don’t expect your employee to share things about their personal life, and don’t put them in a position that makes them feel obligated or uncomfortable to do that. In the same way, remember that you should share information about yourself or your kids that is necessary for your employee to do their job, but significant personal details are not necessary right away.

#2: Be clear about job duties.

From the beginning, your nanny or family assistant should have a clear idea of what they should be doing every day. If you expect them to help with the children’s laundry or assist with meal preparation, make sure they know that. If there are misinterpreted signs or uncommunicated expectations, this can create stress, distrust, and frustration between you and your employee. This is easily avoided by having a written work agreement that outlines job duties, wages and benefits, and other important details about the job.

#3: Avoid micromanaging.

If there are concerns that you need to discuss, do that respectfully. However, keep in mind that criticizing or quibbling over little things can be draining and unproductive. This can make your nanny or family assistant feel controlled, or like they need to walk on eggshells in your home. Over time, this could lead to unhappiness on the job, and that could cause a decrease in performance or even result in your employee unexpectedly quitting.

#4: Show gratitude regularly.

When you notice your nanny or family assistant doing a good job, thank them. Childcare work can be tiring, and expressing gratitude with regular thank you notes and consistent bonuses goes a long way in making your household employee feel seen and valued.

Building solid communication with your employee is critical to establishing a bond with them. If you are considering hiring a new professional nanny or family assistant in Sonoma County, San Francisco, East Bay, or Marin, call us today to start the search. We look forward to helping you find the perfect person to join your family team!