A happy nanny is a loyal nanny!
The most important thing that you can do to keep your nanny happy is to make sure that you are paying a competitive salary. You do not want your nanny to be at a playground and discover in a conversation with other nannies that she is being paid several hundred dollars less than they are! If you are seeking help through a nanny agency, they can surely advise you on what the going rate is . Otherwise, ask friends what the going rate is for an experienced nanny with good references.
Make sure that her schedule is consistent with the going standard on vacations. Usually a two week paid vacation is acceptable. Discuss which national and religious holidays you will offer and pay for. Make sure that she approves of this schedule, and make sure that she considers it to be fair. You don’t want resentment, which may lead to future disagreements
If a nanny or Au pair is living with you her accommodations should be pleasant and comfortable. At the very least, she should have a closet, bureau, window and TV in her room. A private bathroom is desirable but not necessary.
If you want to create an atmosphere of warmth and inclusion, offer to have her share meals with the family or ask if she would prefer her privacy at meal times. Just make sure it is her choice. Offer to include her at family outings.
Discuss what her food preferences are and be sure to buy them when you doing the marketing. Let her know you value her opinion on matters concerning the children. Discuss possible solutions dealing with children’s issues.
If your Au pair is from another country show an interest in her customs. For instance, you could ask if she would like to cook something that she is familiar with from home.
If your Au pair seems lonely, try to find local girls that she might befriend. You could put the word out among friends and neighbors who similarly have a nanny living with them.
Periodically ask your Au pair if she would like to discuss any issues that might improve the daily routine.
If a situation arises where you feel you must reprimand or instruct the nanny about a matter, do it in a sensitive way. Try not to create an adversarial or confrontational situation.
Remind the children that it is important to be polite, cooperative and considerate to the nanny. Explain that you are doing your best to provide for the smooth functioning of the home and you depend on the nanny’s help.
Your peace of mind and happiness depends on the loyalty of the nanny. So make sure she’s happy!