Companies of all sizes establish periodic (written) reviews and evaluations of employees. It is a good employment practice for household employers to conduct performance reviews for nannies, because it allows the employer and employee to communicate what the employee has accomplished and areas that may need development. With the reviews, nannies are provided an opportunity to improve, and the employer has a documented history of the nanny’s performance and problems.
While informal employer-employee discussions relating to job performance and goals are encouraged and expected throughout a nanny’s tenure, it is common practice for an employer to perform a formal written performance review at the end of an employee’s introductory period, and then on a scheduled basis. Many employers choose to review nannies on a yearly basis. Some prefer to evaluate employees every six months. The work agreement and the employee handbook should detail expected review times.
When reviewing a nanny’s work performance, employers need to remember to focus on work performance and not on the employee’s personality or characteristics. Employers should:
- be as positive as possible, but very clear about situations—speak frankly and in a straightforward manner;
- offer a review of both strengths and weaknesses;
- cite specific examples of when the employee has exceeded, met, or failed job expectations;
- set reasonable goals for the employee to work toward (and meet) in developing and improving skills;
- schedule a second review to determine the employee’s progress if her or his performance is weak (this could be done in three months or six months—whichever is considered a fair amount of time for the employee to improve and demonstrate better performance); and,
- list in the review any disciplinary actions, including termination, if the employee fails to improve his or her performance.
Employees may thoroughly examine all performance reviews and may provide a written opinion to be placed in the personnel file. Some evaluation forms have a designated area for the employee’s response. It is common practice for both the employer and employee to both sign the review. This documentation helps protect the employer from any false claim made by a current or former nanny.
Performance reviews may or may not be accompanied by a salary increase consideration. Employers should clearly state that salary increases are awarded in light of an employee’s significant performance and at the employer’s discretion—and certainly are not guaranteed. Salary increases are evaluated by the employee’s:
- ability to perform all job tasks and functions;
- attendance and punctuality;
- willingness to work;
- ability to cooperate with other employees and household members; and,
- adherence to all household policies.
For more information, please contact us at (518) 348-0400.