Finding the right caregiver for your family can take time. Once you’ve found the perfect person for your family, now comes to the work of maintaining a great working relationship. Here are some helpful tips on how to manage a caregiver relationship.
#1: Set clear expectations.
From day one, make sure you and your caregiver are on the same page. Talk about what duties you expect them to complete throughout their day, discuss payment, benefits, and time off in detail before she starts, and be sure this person is clear on any household rules or guidelines that you have. Without clear expectations laid out in the beginning, you could leave the window open for disagreement or confusion down the road, which could be frustrating for everyone involved.
#2: Don’t sweat the small stuff, but speak up about the big stuff.
Communication is key to having a great working relationship with your caregiver. Don’t nitpick or micromanage small things (ie. how she folds the towels or loads the dishwasher), but do speak up about the big stuff (ie. how she’s disciplining your kids or caring for your mom). Don’t stuff your feelings, but instead offer constructive feedback in a respectful way. This not only allows your caregiver to know what your expectations are going forward, but it also gives her the ability to speak freely to you about concerns that she may have as well. Clear, ongoing communication between the two parties is always a good thing.
#3: Establish boundaries.
Creating professional as well as private boundaries is key to keeping your working relationship strong with your caregiver. If these boundaries are set early on, you will reduce your chances of having an awkward conversation later down the road about establishing new boundaries.
#4: Treat your caregiver well.
Employees want to be appreciated and recognized for hard work. So, if your caregiver is doing a great job, acknowledge that. Compliment them often and tell them that you’re glad they’re helping out at your home. Or, if you end up getting home early one day, let them go home early, but pay them for the whole day. Give them holiday bonuses and when it comes time for a review, give them an increase or bonus if they’re doing a great job.
Managing your caregiver relationship is vital if you want to keep that person around for the long term. Generosity and communication play huge roles in how your household employee feels respected and appreciated.