Monday, December 24, 2007

Your Nanny and Their Holiday Bonus

Do you value your nanny and all that they do for you and your family throughout the year? Thinking about that holiday bonus but don’t know exactly how much? Or perhaps you don’t want to give cash and you want to give a gift?

There are truly no standards when it comes to giving your nanny a holiday bonus. In fact, there is quite a range when it comes to families rewarding their nanny for their hard work and dedication over the past year. I have seen everything from restaurant gift cards to 2 week all inclusive paid holiday vacations to the Caribbean for the nanny and her family with use of the family’s private jet and crew! Just like many other aspects of your relationship with your nanny, you need to find what fits for your family, both financially and in a practical sense. Traditionally, the year-end bonus is a cash bonus equivalent to two weeks pay. Some families may opt for a full month’s salary for a holiday bonus. This option is usually reserved for nannies who have been in your employ for at least 2-5 years. Ultimately it is up to you to determine what you are most comfortable giving as a bonus.

Our nanny’s annual hire date is in December, do we need to give them an annual raise and a bonus?
Well, as always a bonus is up to your discretion, however, it is customary to give a holiday bonus of some kind. That said, the annual raise and the holiday bonus should be two separate issues and one should not be substituted for the other.

What do I do if we just hired our new nanny a month ago?
In these cases, I have commonly seen families pay their new nannies for 1 days pay for each month that they have been employed. For example, if your nanny starts at the beginning of November, you would provide him/her with a bonus equivalent to two days pay.

Should my children give our nanny a gift?
Yes. Not only do you model the spirit of giving for your child, but you allow your child to think about how much they value their nanny. This gift should be what the child wants to give the nanny. If they are too young, you may want to provide a framed photo of the nanny with your child, or if they are old enough, your child may want to create a picture. Regardless, it should be meaningful and unique to your child and nanny. Making this gift personalized and special will improve the quality of your relationship with your nanny. They will feel more connected to your family and this will trickle down to feeling more connected to your child.

What if we have had difficulty with our nanny recently? Do we still need to giver her a bonus?
Well, yes and no, it depends on your situation. When thinking about the holiday bonus, you want to review the entire year with your nanny, and become aware of a “recency effect” - where you decide on a bonus based on recent job performance. Also, I would urge you if you had not done so to take this time to review his/her performance and really gather an understanding of what their perception of their job performance has been. This models good communication and also helps refocus both you and your nanny for the New Year!

This year, finances are a little tough. What can we do if we do not want to offend our nanny and want to show her we value her, but we can’t afford to pay 2 weeks salary as a bonus?

Gifts such as restaurant gift cards allow your nanny to spend a nice meal with her family. Some families opt to either pay for or at least subsidize their nannies plane ticket back to their country of origin to see their family. Nannies just like moms like to be pampered and a spa gift card can be just what the doctor ordered. To make a spa gift card go even further, in addition to giving the gift card, you can allow them to go on a day they would normally be working for you. In the case, that you can not afford to pay a bonus or give a gift, you may always give them paid days off during this time.

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