Tired of looking for good, reliable childcare that fits your medical lifestyle?

You’re not alone. Many dual-income medical families find it near impossible.

Some medical families have both couples with inconsistent, odd hours. That means daycares don’t work because they are only open during the day. Many babysitters aren’t available during the weekends or holidays.

There doesn’t seem to be many other options.

Where can you find this perfect person who can work with your crazy lifestyle?

Nannies are the best answer.

If you have a good nanny, she is a gem. Your extension. A part of your family. You never want to lose her.

There is a problem: everybody wants your nanny.

Losing your nanny because another family offered her a job is shocking and painful. That is called nanny poaching. It happens more often than you think. It can be a fierce game in some circles.

What can you do about nanny poaching?

While you can’t completely prevent nanny poaching from happening, there are ways to make it less likely.

The best way to retain an employee is to make sure she feels completely disinterested in working for another family in the first place.

It boils down to this:

Treat your nanny so well that she will be so loyal to you and your kids, she wouldn’t want to entertain working elsewhere.

Ask yourself, “Would you want to work for ‘you'”?

I’ll share 5 tips to help your nanny stay loyal to your family.

1. Set her up to do a great job

If she has to do meal prep, get groceries beforehand. Keep the counters uncluttered. Empty the trash can.

If there are rules for no screen time, have art materials, books, and toys ready.

Make your instructions super easy to understand. Write out lists instead of verbal ones. And make commands clear, don’t make suggestions so there’s no resentment if she really thought it was just optional.

2. Prevent burnout

If she goes above and beyond her expectations out of the kindness of her heart like mopping the floor — don’t “reward” her by asking her to do it regularly. She will feel burnout if her workload just gets heavier and heavier.

Try to stick to a consistent schedule and not change it often. If you have to, give her as much notice as possible.

Also, make sure you are reading the situation by asking her feedback regularly.

3. Have a strong relationship with her

Building a strong relationship is about the little things that add up. Think leaky faucet and little drops.

Here are some ways:

  • Look at her in the eye and thank her at the end of every single day.
  • Praise her if she did something great. It helps her to read the day-to-day situations, too.
  • Pay attention to her favorites and give her gifts that (not just what you like) but what she likes.
  • Remember her birthday and do a celebration for her.
  • Pay attention to issues in her life and be helpful if you can.

Also respect the boss/employee boundaries by not arguing with your DrSpouse in front of her or talking about how tight your budget is. #awkward

4. Make her feel at home

Because she works so close with your family, treat her as if she’s a part of it.

Stock the refrigerator with foods and drinks she likes. Have an open policy where she can help herself.

With too many rules, she will feel like an outsider.

5. Pay her well

Paying top dollar is hard for many families. But if it comes down between cable or giving your nanny a raise, choose the latter.

Reimburse her expenses that she may have paid out of pocket for your kids like tickets to the indoor playground and gas to go pick them up.

If your employer pays for your vacation and holidays, you should extend those benefits to her and pay for hers, too. Making her feel happy when she’s off-duty goes a long way for her to feel happy when she’s back on-duty.

The same idea goes for PTO (paid time off) when she’s sick or needs to go to appointments. If you reward her by paying PTO, she is going to feel much more motivated to be punctual and reliable.

At the end of the year, give her a gift card or (even better) a cash bonus of one weeks’ pay. Skip the fruit cake.

Let’s review

  1. Help her succeed.
  2. Prevent burnout.
  3. Have a strong relationship with her.
  4. Make her feel at home.
  5. Pay her well.

In summary

Good nannies are gems so you need to prevent them from getting poached.

It boils down to this: treat your nanny as you would want to be treated.

Would you want to work for “you”?