New Year's resolutions for household employers

Household employers should consider these New Year’s resolutions to help retain their best employees.

The start of a new year is a time when many people think of ways they can improve their lives. It’s no different for household employers who can take steps to not only make their lives — and the lives of their workers — easier and improve their work relationship. If you employ a domestic worker like a nanny or senior caregiver, here are five New Year’s resolutions for you.

Pay your employee legally

If you’re not already paying your employee “on the books,” now is the time to start. You still have time to calculate how much you paid your employee in 2017, determine taxes owed by you and your worker, and provide your employee a W-2 by the end of January. Then, going forward in 2018, start withholding taxes with each paycheck and remit your employer taxes on a quarterly basis.

The Complete Guide to Household Payroll will show you how to pay your employee the right way and comply with all tax, wage, and labor laws.

There are a number of benefits for you and your employee when paying taxes and doing payroll the right way. There are also a number of easy ways to get caught and suffer significant financial consequences.

Revisit or create a work agreement

According to a recent survey of nannies conducted by GTM Payroll Services, 87 percent of nannies say they have a work agreement. If you don’t have one with your employee, it’s time to create one.

A work agreement is an essential part of having a domestic worker. It is a detailed outline of the employment engagement and establishes a clear understanding between you, as the employer, and your employee regarding their duties and responsibilities. A work agreement will help reduce the likelihood of issues and misunderstandings during employment and can set the tone of your working relationships with open and clear communications.

Here are some tips on writing and implementing a work agreement with your employee.

If you have a work agreement in place, review the document and determine if it needs to be updated. Has anything changed with your employee’s schedule, number of hours, job responsibilities, benefits, etc.? If so, make the updates, share and explain them with your employee, and then both you and your employee should sign off on the revised agreement.

Establish better communications with your employee

Communication between employer and employee is critical in any work environment. It’s especially true when you have someone working in your home and possibly caring for your children or an elderly loved one. In GTM’s nanny survey, 28 percent of nannies said they would leave their current job over a lack of communication with their employer. You don’t want to lose a good employee because you failed to open clear lines of communication.

Nannies need to know how your children have been acting or feeling at home so they can anticipate any issues. Let them know as soon as you have your vacation dates so they can plan accordingly. Anything that has changed with your family may impact how your nanny does their job. Talk with your nanny if you feel they aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities. Don’t let your concerns stay silent. At the same time, nannies like to hear about the things they are doing well. Encourage your nanny to voice their concerns and work together to find a resolution.

A satisfied employee leads to happier kids, which we all know means a happier family. It all starts with the proper communication.

Consider benefits for your employee

If you’ve found the right employee for your family, you want to do everything you can to retain their services. Shuffling through nannies or senior caregivers is time consuming, costly, and disruptive for your children or elderly loved ones.

The best way to keep your top employees is to offer benefits. It will separate you from other potential employers when recruiting new workers and retaining your current employees. Health insurance and retirement plans are two great ways to attract and keep top employees.

According to GTM’s recent survey of household employers, only 10 percent of families that have a nanny offer health insurance to their employee. Just two percent offer a way to save for retirement. These types of benefits are a great way to show how much you value the efforts of your employees and to keep them working for your family.

Recognize your employee on important dates

Remembering your employee on their work anniversary, birthday, and at year end will go a long way to retaining your best employees. Just 27 percent of families recognize their nanny on their job anniversary while 81 percent give a gift on their employee’s birthday. Most nannies receive a holiday season or year-end gift. They don’t have to be extravagant gifts. Even a small token to show your appreciation for their work an increase job satisfaction.

GTM can help

Need help with your New Year’s resolutions? Call GTM Payroll Services at (800) 929-9213 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can help with your back taxes and get you set up to pay your employee legally in 2018 and beyond. We also offer health insurance, dental benefits, and a retirement plan for your household employees.

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