The holidays are such an exciting and hectic time of year, and it’s easy to overlook saying ‘thank you’ to the nanny working with your family in the midst of all the hubbub!
Whether the nanny is your only household employee or one of many, there’s no doubt they have been hard at work coordinating school gift exchanges, playdates during the winter school breaks, navigating the changing landscape around COVID-19, and of course, gluing cotton balls onto snowman holiday cards with your kids!
The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of your family, and as the person who works tirelessly behind the scenes supporting your family’s goals and dynamic, your nanny would no doubt appreciate a bit of recognition as the magical person who treads that line between employee and family member.
Many families ask us what a ‘typical’ holiday bonus is to give their nanny – but there are as many ways to reward your nanny as there are families! Here are some general guidelines, as well as a few of our favorite non-cash bonuses.
General Guidelines For The Holiday Bonus
A holiday bonus, which about 70% of families give their nannies, is typically equal to one or two weeks’ pay. Some families offer a larger bonus based on the number of years their nanny has been employed. Considering the current staffing climate where many employees are being offered higher pay and/or more benefits at other roles, it may be wise to consider offering a generous holiday/retention bonus at the end of the year.
Our friends at HomeWork Solutions say “For newer staff members, many families calculate one day’s pay for each month of employment, up to the maximum they would consider. All bonus payments are ALWAYS at the discretion of the employer, and the nanny’s length of employment, overall performance, and the means of the employer are all factors in this decision. Bonuses generally reflect the family’s appreciation for continuity of care for their child(ren) and recognition for a job well done. A bonus is not a substitute for an annual pay review. Occasionally, families will make a contribution to a nanny’s retirement account or a tax-free contribution to a 529 educational savings plan for the nanny’s dependent child. We recommend you discuss this with your nanny before making the commitment – some nannies find this as paternalistic on the part of the employer. Other nannies are thrilled.”
While every nanny appreciates money for the holidays, there are many other gifts that can be just as meaningful. Here are some examples of great holiday bonuses from years past:
- Giving your nanny a ‘gift certificate’ to take a long weekend vacation with friends to one of your additional properties
- A membership to a gym, museum, or a monthly massage (note: this should definitely be classified as a ‘gift’ and not an activity they’re expected to take their charges to!)
- Tickets to an upcoming concert or sporting event you know your nanny loves
- Paying your nanny’s airfare and travel home for the holidays, or for a trip during their vacation time
- Frequent flier miles
- Leasing a car for the nanny’s personal use
No Bonus This Year?
Families experience many levels of economic success and downturns throughout the year. If you don’t feel able to give your nanny a bonus that is similar to the bonus they received last year, we strongly recommend bringing it up during one of your weekly check-ins. If a nanny received a bonus in years past and does not receive one, it can leave them wondering if they did something wrong, are about to be terminated, or have disappointed your family somehow.
Regardless of your ability to give your Nanny a bonus or gift during this time of year, be sure to let them know how appreciated they are. Write them a card, have the kids make them a gift, anything to tell them you care.
Nannies who feel appreciated and valued by the families they work with stay in their positions for longer and consistently over-perform nannies who do not feel appreciated or valued. Take the opportunity of a holiday bonus to consider all the ways that your nanny goes above and beyond, and let them know that you recognize their contributions to your household!
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