Money & Your Household Employee Part II : Pay Increases & Bonuses
Most employers provide their caregivers with a periodical (usually annual) review accompanied by a wage increase. And while some caregivers don't necessarily expect one, most do. So what should you consider when determining whether or how much to increase your caregiver's salary? Here are some general guidelines:
- How Much? Salary increases typically average approximately 5%-7% of a caregiver's salary, and we very often see employers offering a clean $1/hour increase. Offer an amount you can afford and try to leave room in your budget for occasional small bonuses or other perks.
- Tie in Performance. Acknowledge the accomplishments your caregiver has made during the previous period, no matter how small. Anything from helping establish routines to organizing areas of the home to improving her punctuality. Let her know you appreciate her work and dedication and that fairly compensating her is part of your way of showing her that. If there are opportunities for improvement, discuss them, but don't save such issues for this occasion...address them as they arise so they can be resolved promptly rather than building up.
- Discuss upcoming changes. Discuss any planned changes for the upcoming year/period which may impact her job and/or compensation (e.g., e.g., new baby, children starting school, family budget changes, etc.). If compensation will be affected, give them an approximate timeframe for when the salary change will take place. If hours or responsibilities will decrease, decide beforehand whether she can she pick up additional hours some other way (e.g., evening/weekend sitting for you or a friend/relative, nanny-sharing, housekeeper-sharing, etc.).
- Feasibility. The past few of years have significantly impacted many families, possibly including yours. If increasing your caregiver's wages is simply not feasible, talk with her and let her know. If you're concerned she'll worry about her job security, let her know that you're taking the measure to make sure that you CAN continue to employ her (if that's the case). Offer other perks in lieu of an increase, if you're able (e.g., a little time off here and there, small monetary bonuses as your budget allows, etc.). Refrain from making promises of future pay increases until you are confident about what and when you can offer something.
- Bonuses. Many employers offer bonuses at annual review time while others prefer to offer their annual bonuses at Holiday time. Some employers do both. Decide whether and when you will offer a bonus. If your budget won't allow for a salary increases (as discussed above), it may be more feasible to offer a one-time bonus instead. Bonus amounts can be a small token amount (depending on your budget), but are typically 1-2 weeks salary.
If you have questions about any part of this process or are just uncomfortable with it, feel free to call us! We'd be happy to guide you through it!
Your GoNannies.com Team
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