On Facebook we have been discussing holiday gift-giving and end of the year bonuses.
In America, parents thank their nannies for a job well done by giving their in-home childcare provider one-week salary for an end of the year bonus and heartfelt gifts from the kids.
Before Friday, the general consensus from our readers was that the holiday season is about giving, not receiving. Nannies were sharing advice with other caregivers to not expect gifts and financial bonuses so that they are not disappointed if their employers overlook the social norm.
Although it may sound cold, that attitude changed dramatically since Friday. My mailbox is now literally full of emails from nannies hurt that their employers either forgot to pay them a bonus or give them a gift.
I have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal articles, Cash is King and Holiday Bonus: What to Give Nanny that when parents overlook a holiday bonus, or give less than the year before, nannies do notice and they worry their job performance has fallen short. Yet, when parents cannot afford a generous bonus, all the parents need to do is be honest with their nanny. Only a Scrooge would be mad at parents that cannot afford to give generously this holiday season.
It may not be the socially acceptable thing to say, but the reality is, nannies do resent it if their employers don’t give them a small gift and one-week holiday bonus. My full email mailbox is proof of that reality.
For parents who overlooked tipping their nanny or giving their caregiver a gift, there’s still time to correct the error of their ways. If parents value their nanny and want to continue a good working relationship with the nanny, I recommend parents have their kids draw their nanny a picture and slip approximately one-week salary into a thank you card before the new year.
If parents prefer to ignore the typical holiday gift-giving and tipping traditions, without explaining to their nanny why she is not getting a bonus or gift, then they are sending the nanny a clear message that they don’t value the employee’s job performance or relationship.
Which do you think is worse: not getting a gift from the kids or no holiday bonus?