Beverly Hills Nannies: Season 1 Finale: Showing Your Nanny Appreciation
While the employers of the nannies on ABC Family’s reality docu-series Beverly Hills Nannies have definitely done some questionable things throughout season one (Marika asking just for a foot rub and Cindy smashing cake over a shirtless Scott, to name a few), tonight a few of them actually came through, set the bar and did something right.
They showed their nannies their appreciation.
On the show’s season finale, Marika presented Amanda with a beautiful pair of jade earrings, as a thank you gift, Tricia gave Lucy some children’s instruments, symbolically welcoming her into their family band and Cindy included Kristin and Scott in the family’s annual photo shoot, cementing their place in her family.
Why do these gestures mean so much?
One of the biggest complaints nannies have is that they don’t get enough feedback. They wonder if their employer is satisfied with their performance, if there are things they need to differently or if there are things that they are doing really well. Unlike in a corporate setting or office job, the nanny employer fills the role of operations manager, human resources manager, chief financial officer and CEO. There is no one to give the nanny feedback on her performance, both good and bad, except her employers. Whether it’s a handwritten thank you note, a dozen homemade cookies or a large cash gift, if parents think that their nanny is doing a good job they should make a conscious effort to let her know that they appreciate her.
Nannies too wear many hats. They serve as a child’s trusted companion, disciplinarian, chef, naptime monitor, chauffer, coach and more. The nature of the job requires always being “on” and constantly going above and beyond the call of duty. A good nanny can’t do the minimum to get by. It’s not really possible to only do what has to get done. Like in Laura Numeroff’s children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie; a nanny’s duties never stop with simply meeting the immediate need. Something always comes next. The needs of the children and family can change minute to minute and most nannies, successful ones anyways, are adept at adapting to accommodate those needs. But going above and beyond without it being acknowledged can make even the best nannies question why they bother.
Nannies who feel appreciated appreciate their work families. They enjoy going to work, they want to give a 110% percent and they feel good about the work they do. It may not be that they don’t enjoy doing these things anyways, but when you know that you are appreciated by your employer, it makes doing them a whole lot easier. Nannies are caretakers. They take care of the kids, but they also take care of the parents. They meet the children’s needs so the parents can meet their own. Showing your nanny appreciation confirms that the nanny’s work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Some employers may feel that a weekly paycheck is acknowledgement of appreciation and nothing else is required. A weekly paycheck is payment for services rendered, but nannies do more than provide services. Good nannies create a loving and nurturing environment for their employer’s children. They support the children’s emotional, physical, social and intellectual development. They build emotional bonds. They partner with parents in raising their children. They do whatever it takes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children in their care. Most parents would agree, a good nanny should be an appreciated one.
So how can nanny employers show their nannies appreciation?
1. They can pay a fair hourly wage. Nanny employers should be sure to be paying their nanny a fair wage based on the area she works, her education, her experience and any special skills or talents she has. Duties and responsibilities can also affect a nanny’s rate of pay.
2. They can comply with labor and tax laws. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act nannies must be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked and live-out nannies, and live-in nannies in some states, must be paid overtime at the rate of 1.5 times their hourly base rate for all hours over 40 in a 7-day-period. Nannies are also employees of the families for whom they work and not independent contractors. As such, nanny employer should be sure to withhold and pay the appropriate taxes and insurances.
3. They can say thank you. A simple word of thanks goes a long way in establishing an attitude of gratitude with nannies. When nanny employers notice that their nanny has gone above and beyond, they should be sure to express their appreciation and thanks.
4. They can give sentimental gifts, like a picture drawn by the child. Expressions of appreciation don’t have to cost money. Simple gestures like baked goods, handmade cards or pieces of art, or even inviting the nanny over for a home cooked dinner are ways employers can show appreciation.
5. They can give monetary gifts, like a cash bonus or gift card. For parents who wish to “tip” their nanny for outstanding service, cash bonuses or cash gifts are most always well received.
It’s been a lot of fun watching Beverly Hills Nannies, chatting with the cast and recapping highlights from each episode. While the show is a reality show, and heavily edited, I’m sure, it provides an opportunity to talk about the nanny industry, to address misconceptions and to reinforce who and what a true nanny is.