Thursday

Polling All Nannies

Received Wednesday, December 10, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN As for everyone, our funds are very limited this year. We have an amazing nanny and are trying to figure out the best form of raise/bonus to give her. Christmas is also her two year anniversary.

Her starting net salary was $600. After 3 months, it went up to $625. At one year anniversary/Christmas 2008, we gave her a bonus of one week's salary and raised her weekly pay to $675.

This year, I am trying to decide the best combination of raise/bonus to give her. I can't really afford either, but she deserves them so I need to find a way.

Should I do:
1. Raise to $725 and one week's bonus
2. Raise to $700 and bonus of 1.5 weeks
3. No Raise, but a bonus of 2 weeks salary

Option 1 will work out to the most money for her over the course of the year, but I don't know if she will be offended at not having an increased bonus.

Any thoughts?

33 comments:

Bloomfield babysitter said...

I vote for option 2. She really can't complain at all. Or just give her a raise and the same bonus and be honest. Then, if things improve you can always throw a little extra her way one day.

How nice of you to consider your nanny when things are tight for you.

Happy holidays!!!

Nanny Sarah said...

Do what you can. You could sit her down and explain- (if you want do more for her)- that she deserves more, but money is tight. She will understand- she will just be thankful for all you can give. You know, a gift from your children (if old enough) is also a great way to show you care. It comes from your heart.

Thank you for considering your nanny- even when things are tight.

Lola said...

Number 2 is the best, because money talks, and everyone needs extra cash during the holidays. Plus, the raise will show that you appreciate her and she'll reap the benefits all year.

chgonanny said...

I vote for either number 1 or 2. PLEASE give her some raise. I think a raise is more important than the bonus. If I had to have one and not the other, I'd take the raise.

emily said...

If you can make option number 1 happen, you should make it happen. It's not difficult for a nanny to understand that bonuses may not go up from year to year, especially in an economy like ours currently is. I'm sure she will appreciate the extra $50 in her paycheck all through the year and she'll understand that you're doing everything you can for her.

dadiswrongonthisone said...

I think whatever you choose, you are really great to give her a bonus at all. Do what you can: everybody is struggling these days and you obviously are a caring, good employer.

bippityboppityboo said...

I think a raise says more than a bonus. But I also understand that that may be more than you can afford. Personally I think number 2 is the best option. Even if you need to cut the bonus more than that to make the raise happen I would be pleased especially if you tell her that money is a little tighter this year but how much you appreciate her and what a good job she is doing. That might sound corny but in a job that is unlike so many other jobs and really involves putting yourself into the job knowing you are appreciated means alot.

Raisesarebetter said...

Option 1. Give her a bonus at her new rate and it will be an increase over the previous year. You are setting a precedent for the future years. Also give her a nice thank you card and a comfort item like chocolates to personally thank her for her efforts.

Gimme Candy! said...

Raises are best.

It's important to remember that a holiday bonus is a GIFT. not a REQUIREMET unless you make it so in a contract. Any gift should be aprreciated. Last year, when my bonus remained the same, my boss handed it to me with an apology. The company had emliminated her bonus completely and her husband's had been cut drastically. She explained she still wanted to make sure I got a good bonus. Her honesty touched me greatly.

cali mom said...

If times are really tight for you, go with #3. Raises and bonuses are not manadtory in ANY job (regardless of what some entitled EMPLOYEES declare loudly and repeatedly is "standard"), and if she takes offense at no raise but a generous bonus, she is not as amazing as you think. If she is entertaining notions of walking off to a new employer because she is dissatisfied with her Christmas gift, keep in mind that many employers are in your same situation and MANY highly skilled people have been finding themselves unemployed for 6 months or more, or taking sizable paycuts just to stay in ANY job, and she will likely encounter the same difficulty.

Yes, that Cristi said...

As a nanny that has worked with several families for multiple years, I would suggest the raise and regular bonus... with an explanation of why you are doing what you are doing... I think the words mean more than anything, honestly it really touched my heart when you said "money is tight, but she deserves it" its so rare to hear that someone really appreciates their nanny that much. Besides, i dont know anyone who is going to snear at a 600-700 gift... that sounds pretty great to me!!!

think about it said...

Cali Mom--can you not contemplate a world where the nanny is as fabulous as the OP says and that more than taking offense at not being given a yearly raise, at least a COL one, she decides that she could shop her skills elsewhere?

Yes, the economy is bad, but really exceptional nannies are still fought over, just like the cream of the crop in any field.

MissMannah said...

The first option sounds best to me. She'll appreciate the bigger raise, especially because I'm sure when you tell her about the raise you'll also tell her she's worth it. Also, I don't know anyone who would get offended over not getting a bigger bonus. That is petty and greedy.

ATL Nanny said...

Personally, I'd definitely prefer option 1. But you should do what you feel comfortable with. And if you are concerned that your nanny will misinterpret whatever option you choose as you thinking she's not worth more, then please speak up! I'd much rather work for a family who genuinely values my service and offers me positive feedback and a raise/bonus that is as generous as they can afford than a family who offers slightly more money but takes me for granted. Smart nannies understand the economy is still rough and don't mind smaller raises/bonuses as long as they know they are appreciated and the money is still competitive. I'm glad you have found such a great nanny. I hope year three is just as great for all of you!

ATL Nanny said...

Sorry to go off topic....

Cali Mom -- is everything okay? I usually really enjoy your posts, but your posts today seem really angry/aggressive. It's not your usual tone, so it caught my eye. I hope all is well and you're just having an off day!

cali mom said...

Hi ATL nanny. I guess my post here does sounds pretty harsh and yeah... I have definitely been feeling extremely bitter about our current unemployment situation. It just seems that literally everyone I know is in the same boat, job hunting unsuccessfully or getting laid off, burning through their savings and scraping by jumping at every little odd job and tiny project they can get for half their usual payrate just to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. I guess any mention of job hunting or salary negotiations or benefits is a sore subject with me right now and maybe I should just not comment on such threads!

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

I would suggest option #1, if you can afford it. If that will stretch your budget, go with #2.

And I would also suggest that you write her a short lettter to tuck into her card when you give her her bonus, explaining to her just how much you value her, giving examples of times when she has gone above and beyond. Personally, I believe getting a genuine "thank you" means a lot at any time of year.

The Original GimmeABreak said...

I would go with number 1, I don't think most people expect a bump in their bonus year after year and with number 1, she will end up getting more in the long run.

Hudson's mommy said...

What about asking your nanny to chose from the three? Maybe she needs cash now and she hasn't told you, maybe she likes to save over the long run. No one knows your nanny better then your nanny! I'd love the chance to chose in that position. Maybe explain it to her that you have your reasonings behind each choice, but you want the choice to reflect what would be best for her.

Btw, I think you're very kind for recognizing hard work and a job well done, even in trying economic times. It's nice to hear.

OP said...

Thanks to everyone for the feedback! I think we will do Option 1 and give her the bigger raise, same bonus. It is actually the best choice for us too because cash flow is tight right now, but we are anticipating an improvement in a few months. So this allows me to save a little in the short term also (even though it's more over the course of the year).

Yes, I will also definitely do a few small gifts from us and the kids, and a card expressing our gratitude for her hard work and kindness. The card will be an easy one to write as our nanny has so many positive attributes!

Andrea said...

You're a great employer. I would love to work for you and I would appreciate anything you could give me. I do think number 2 is best! You are super sweet!

Manhattan Nanny said...

OP,
I was going to suggest #1. Along with the card expressing your appreciation, and small gifts from the children, I think you will have a very happy nanny!

just sayin' said...

OP, I see you have now made a decision, but I just wanted to chime in. It's not so much about the amount you are talking, whether it's 1 or 1.5 weeks bonus, for instance. I think the very effort you are putting into making sure your nanny feels respected and valued shows tremendously good character.

nice said...

If you are open to all options, why not present them all to her and let her choose? That way she will be happy and feel very valued.

DontGiveExcuses said...

OP - I'm glad that's the decision you made, and the one I would have suggested.

Just a thought to those who said you should talk to her about it. As a nanny we're privy to your daily spending habits. We notice new clothes, expensive food, etc. If you're going to tell your nanny how tight money is and that's why you can't give her a bonus/raise, then be sure she'll probably notice every cent you spend on something "extra" or frivolous. Is it your right as an employer to do so, of course, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be hard feelings. I don't think you should discuss finances with the nanny unless absolutely necessary.

nannymd said...

I know this may sound crazy to some, but if you are comfortable with all 3 situations I would sit the nanny down and explain that you would love to do more but can't afford it and let her choose. She may need the extra cash right now and be okay with getting more now and no raise.

When I was a nanny the family I was nannying for was in a similar situation and I told them I understood and took a raise and no usual bonus because it would have been hard for them to come up with that much at once. I got paid very well.

missaustin said...

I think all three options are generous.

Pretty much everyone I know (nanny world, non-nanny world, otherwise) is and has been under a wage freeze for the last couple years, so no raise and they are not getting bonuses this year either. I think the smaller raise and a one week bonus is very nice, considering that money is tight for you as well. I think as long as you talk to her and explain the situation she should be understanding. I'm sure she could use extra cash now to buy her christmas gifts and a small raise is better than none at all, like most are getting.

Buffalo Nanny said...

Option B sounds like the best choice. It's less commitment from you and she still get's a good raise and bonus. She'll be happy with the extra cash. By the way, you are paying her really good as it is. nothing to complain about!

ericsmom said...

My sisters company is making them take a four day "vacation" at the end of the year. Without pay. But of course the big guys still get their raises and bonuses.

NannyinMA said...

I agree with everyone here. You seem like such a caring employer. That's so nice of you to think about her even when your in a tight spot.
I also agree with Dontgiveexcuses. I had an employer once tell me they were having problems with bills and didnt know if they could pay me the paid holiday that was on our contract but 2 days later she came home with a brand new coach bag. I wouldn't give excuses as to why you can't give her a bigger bonus, especially if she's aware of your spending (not saying you spend outrageously)
Just my opinion.

In Case You Need A Back-Up said...

Ummm, here's a suggestion: why don't you hire me as your nanny? Haha, kidding. I've only been given one raise in my 4 years with the family I currently work for and make only $330-450 a week after taxes.

Raises are obviously better in the long run, but if a bonus is more financially feasible for you...go for it! I think all three options are thoughtful and kind.

Helena said...

oh my god you must be the best employer ever.

m said...

I have to say having a caring employer who truly appreciates the work you do beats everything by far.
If a parent is having economic hardship and still tries to give the nanny something, it is usually appreciated. Even if the nanny gets nothing extra- no bonus, but a very sincere card, with genuine feelings, it moves them far more than money does.

What is not appreciated is when an employer uses the 'economy' to justify not giving a proper raise and an appropriate bonus, and then act as if they are the most kind and giving people on the planet.
I believe most nannies are onto their employers- am i right about this nannies, or is it just me.

There is nothing I appreciate more than good old honesty and sincerity, and there is nothing I dislike more than passive aggressiveness, and hypocrisy- the latter I hate more than I can say.
That is why I say don't knock me when I speak, because it is the truth that is coming out.

I wish everyone would make a pact for the new year to stop kissing butts and be more honest for a change- for once, don't care about what others think of you and just show your true self- wow, would that not be amazing!