No matter what the reason-your relocation, your career change, or enrolling your child in day care-there will come a time when you need to let your nanny go. If you’ve enjoyed a wonderful experience with your nanny, you will want to make the transition as painless as possible for you both. Here are 5 tips on how to end things as gracefully as possible.
1. Be Honest and Business Like
You owe it to your nanny to explain your action in a professional, thoughtful and complete manner. Make it clear that you want to give him or her plenty of time to find a new job, and you hope that the end of the employment relationship will be just as outstanding as everything before it.
In the course of explaining your reasons for ending your nanny’s employment, be sure to highlight what a great experience you’ve had. You might consider a gift, perhaps something your child made for the nanny.
Your nanny may need time to find a new job and you may need time to make your transition. Accordingly, giving your nanny a period of notice-at least 2 weeks and probably more like 1-2 months-is a must. The period of notice may depend on an employment agreement you entered into at the beginning of the relationship. If you have such an agreement, re-read the section on termination to re-acquaint yourself with the steps you and your nanny agreed to take in such an event.
A complication may arise if your nanny finds an alternative position during the notice period ends and wants to leave sooner than expected. A way to avoid any such complication is to offer your nanny a bonus if he or she stays until the end of the notice period. Doing so will benefit you both.
3. Help Your Nanny Look for a New Job
The end of a good employment relationship won’t be easy, but helping your nanny find a new home may reduce the blow. If you want to be more active in your nanny’s employment search, you can start looking for a new family in need of a nanny even before you notify your nanny of your decision. For example, if you know other families with children, you might contact them to see if they, or any of their friends, are in need of a great nanny.
If, upon notifying your nanny that you’re terminating the relationship, you have an alternative job lined up as a potential for him or her, they will likely be grateful for the gesture of good faith.
If you don’t want to be as active in your nanny’s next step as assisting in his or her search for a new family, at the very least you should offer to act as a positive reference. Drafting a letter recommending your nanny is a great place to start. It looks good for your nanny to show up to job interviews with written recommendations in hand. You should also consider acting as a positive reference that future potential employers can call.
5. Exit Interview
An important step to ending your employment relationship with your nanny is conducting an exit interview. Before his or her end date, ask your nanny to sit down with you to discuss the experience of being your nanny.
From your perspective, your nanny has played an incredibly important role in your child’s development and growth. Your nanny will almost certainly be acquainted with idiosyncrasies of your child’s behavior that you will want to know moving forward. Moreover, you should want to know how to be a better employer.
From your nanny’s perspective, he or she should want to learn how to be a better employee in the future. That means discussing both positive and negative experiences you had with the nanny. You should be sure to highlight the positives and ways the nanny corrected past mistakes so that he or she feels as though they are developing into the employee they want to be.
Remember, you need to act according to what you agreed to in your nanny employment agreement, so reread it if necessary.