Why Performance Reviews? As an employee, it is important to be reviewed and evaluated on your work. This will not only help you grow as a professional, but it will also increase your communication with your current family and help to keep the relationship strong. It is also an essential first step if you are asking for a pay increase or additional benefits. Lastly, it is protection for the future. If the relationship turns sour, you will have a written record of your dedication and hard work, even if you do not have written reference. Sadly, sometimes even the best of relationships may fall into a he said/she said situation and regular performance reviews lay out the history of your work with a family.
Planning the Meeting If it is not specified in your contract, or you have no contract, you should decide when it is a good time for a review and request it if a family does initiate one. You can begin by simply asking to set up a time for a meeting and an evaluation. Let the family know you have a form and give them a copy of the evaluation at least two weeks before the meeting. It may be that your family needs even longer lead time, so be flexible. The meeting needs to be kid free, so you may need to suggest an early morning one day or be willing to stay late if you are able. Leave a few gentle notes as reminders as the date approaches if needed.
Evaluation You may choose to do a self-evaluation in addition to asking for an evaluation from your employer. This is good practice to see how well expectations are being met on both sides of the fence, so to speak. If so, let the family know you made two copies, and each of you will fill them out and exchange them to discuss. Be open to feedback. This is not easy for many of us, but it is how we grow as professionals. Take in what is said, and if you start to feel upset or emotional, you can ask for some time to digest the information and come back to discuss it at another time. Go thru the evaluation and the attached checklist to be sure you use the opportunity to address any issues from your employers or yourself. Better to discuss now than to let things build up. Soak in the praise and feel good about the high marks on your evaluation.
Wrapping Up After you finish the evaluation, take a few minutes to conduct a team review making changes to the job description and contract if needed. Then make sure all parties sign and date a paper copy of the evaluation and updated paperwork. It may seem formal, but it is an important step. Be sure to set a date for your next review so that everyone knows timeline of any modifications and improvements that have been discussed.
A Word about Raises Often nannies are unsure of when or how to ask for a raise. Evaluation time is the perfect time to address this with a family. Be sure to do your homework and know the going rates in your area and the tax implications of any pay raise. Be open to additional perks as a part of an increase in wages. Employer compensation for health insurance, retirement contributions and other non-cash benefits can sometimes be even more beneficial to your bottom line as they save taxes for you and your family.
For help with your next performance evaluation, check out our Nanny Evaluation Kit. This handy six page package comes with a two page nanny evaluation, a family meeting checklist and suggestions for both nannies and parents regarding nanny evaluations. Evaluations are wonderful tools to help improve communication, job performance and also strengthen your relationship. Done yearly, they can help nannies grow and develop as professionals and also are a great help to determine compensation increases.