Ask HR: Household Employee Management Tips

Oct 11, 2019 | Household Employee Management, Household Employer Policies, Retaining Employees


As a household employer, you don’t have an HR department. Get household employee management tips from an expert to help make sure you’re compliant with labor laws and your employees are engaged and satisfied on the job.

As a household employer, you don’t have a human resources department. But it’s still critically important to make sure you’re compliant with labor laws and your employees are engaged and satisfied on the job.

That’s where GTM Payroll Services comes in. Our household HR advisor can help with any number of tasks or issues like developing an employee handbook and following the law when terminating an employee.

This will be the first in a series of household employee management tips from an expert. If you have a question for us, call (800) 9219-9213. We’ll be happy to help!

How to say thank you without a price tag

When you have a great nanny or other household employees, you’ll want to make sure to keep them. One of the ways to do this is by rewarding them for a job well done. Employees like to be recognized for good work, and you can express your appreciation in meaningful ways that don’t require spending lots of money. For example:

  • Give them a card with a handwritten note, thanking them for a job well done. Add a small gift card to a local coffee shop or café, if you’d like.
  • Add their favorite kind of coffee and snacks to your grocery list. If they are the shopper, ask them to stock up the house for themselves too. Your thoughtfulness will go a long way to making them comfortable and feeling valued in your home.
  • Frame a photo of them with your child and display it in a common area of your home.
  • Ask how you can help! Give a favor – maybe they need to borrow a pick-up truck to move a couch, a ladder to paint a room in their home, or leaving early one day of the week would make their life easier. Listening to your employees and offering ways to help them will display your concern for their welfare and encourage reciprocation.

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Best practices to follow for frank conversations

Your nanny or housekeeper will occasionally misstep, especially as they begin and learn their job. The tone and clarity of conversations about issues create lasting impressions, and these guidelines can help to ensure your communications are clear, expectations are understood, and a continuation of a mutually beneficial relationship.

  • Tackle the issue promptly. If it is several little things that you feel are not conversation-worthy but bug you, write them down and review after a week to see if there is a pattern and if it warrants a discussion.
  • Ask if there is anything going on outside of work that may be distracting them from their duties. It may be an issue you can help with, such as a schedule change or suggestion on an issue you have dealt with in the past.
  • Have an honest conversation and focus on the issue, not their job in general. Provide the examples you have gathered to further clarify the issue for your employee.
  • Confirm their understanding of the job duty/task/responsibility, what mistake was made, and how it must be improved or resolved.
  • Establish a communication strategy with your nanny on day one. Tell them they are expected to bring up any issues they have and vice versa. An honest five-minute conversation at the end of each shift fosters a professional and trusting relationship.\

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Best practices for giving a raise

Employees feel better about a pay increase when they know it is due to their hard work and efforts. Practice these guidelines when giving your nanny or other household employees a raise.

  • Tie the raise to a written performance evaluation. Relating a pay increase to a performance evaluation displays your attention to and appreciation of your employee’s good work. The performance review also gives you a chance to sit down with your employee to go over their performance and formally recognize them, and your employee has the opportunity to provide formal feedback on their job.
  • Give the raise to account for additional duties or responsibilities. A pay increase associated with expanded job duties displays your acknowledgment of both your trust in your employee to successfully handle the added duties and that the added duties deserve a higher wage.
  • If your state requires written notice to employees regarding pay changes, don’t forget to provide your employee with an updated Wage Acknowledgement form.

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GTM can help

Household employment is a business. It’s the smooth and sound operation of your most important organization – your home. It’s also your employee’s livelihood. Neither your household nor your worker’s employment should be taken lightly. It’s not enough to simply hire an employee. To ensure a safe and happy home, you must ensure a safe and happy workplace, which can be accomplished by following and implementing human resource practices in your household.

GTM Payroll Services offers Household HR Services such as employee documents and background checks as well as consultations with a household employment advisor. For employers with household staff, our Household HR Concierge Service will help you and your estate manager retain top personnel, hire the best fits for your positions, and comply with labor laws. Learn more about our Household HR and Concierge Services.

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