What makes a nanny want to work for certain employers and reject or resign from others?   Two words: effective leadership.   In our work with thousands of nannies and families, and our research, we discovered the same characteristics of leadership  were identified repeatedly, whether by respondents in our survey’s, participants in focus groups, or one-on-one interviews.

Here is our list of  ten (10) characteristics that nannies have identified with being a nanny “employer of choice”.
  • They’re doers:  These parents take charge and are proactive.  They don’t wait for things to happen.  A nanny is energized by their enthusiasm evident by their own commitment and dedication to their children.   They never ask their nanny to do anything they would never do themselves and stand side-by-side with their nanny working toward a common goal. 
  • They’re confident:   They exhibit calm effortless control.   These parents will make mistakes and miss the mark – but they don’t fall to pieces and fold into anxiety or ineffective or destructive communication patterns with their nanny.
  • They lead, they don’t push:  These parents don’t force anyone to follow them; they make others want to follow them.  They don’t abuse their authority for ego gratification,  they don’t bark orders, flaunt their superiority and they certainly don’t talk down to their employees.
  • They care:  These parent make their nanny feel important and cared for.   They are sensitive to their needs and desires. While they do expect their nanny to respond to their families needs, they are also in tune and sensitive to the needs of the nanny.
  • They empower:    These nanny employers bring out the best in their nanny with consistent support and encouragement. They encourage her success –  and provide the incentive to strive for it.
  • They show appreciation:  They give praise and credit freely.  They are not stingy with accolades, and do not steal her thunder.
  • They trust:  They know when and whom to trust; and what to do with that trust. They understand that it is human nature to like those who like us, trust those who trust us, and respect those who respect us.
  • They show true personal character:  True leadership is not acquired by authority, but by influence.  Such influence is obtained by trust in the fundamental character of the parents.
  • They are honest:  They are ethical and believe that honesty, effort, and reliability form the foundation of success. They embody these values so clearly that no employee doubts their integrity for a minute.  They share information openly and honestly – particularly when it effects the children or nanny.
  •  They communicate:  Someone who communicates clearly, concisely, and often, and by doing so motivates their nanny to give their best all the time. They challenge their employee by setting high but attainable standards and expectations, and then giving them the support, tools, training, and latitude to pursue those goals and become the best employees they can possibly be
Cambridge Nanny Group
Chicago, IL