Nanny/Household Staff Contracts and Negotiations – Part 2
One of my favorite subjects and for a lot of nannies/household staff – one of their least favorite. Contracts are very important. They provide a certain amount of protection, they build a foundation for good communication, they lay out roles and responsibilities. But when it comes to negotiation there is often a lot of unnecessary stress. Here are some important ideas to consider when walking through the negotiation process.
A negotiation by definition is a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement (Dictionary.com). In this discussion each side might end up with some give and take. First and foremost, keep that in mind. This is a give and take process and having a great attitude towards your potential employers and your potential employee will go a long way in helping you navigate the process.
Make sure that you are leaning on your ally. Here at Georgia’s Dream Nannies, we are more than happy to support you, give advice and feedback or handle the negotiations for you. We are an important ally as we have developed a relationship with both the family and the nanny. One thing I hear consistently from nannies is they can tell a difference between our agency and other agency’s as we truly want both parties to succeed and build a long and happy working relationship. Because we have taken the time to listen to the needs and wants of both parties in the search process, we can help both sides achieve the ever popular win-win.
The most important thing to know before hammering out any contract is what your absolute bottom line is. This is really important in being able to make sure you stick to the really big important points, but it also gives you a frame of reference for where compromises can be made.
Be realistic. I have two words of caution at this point. Nannies, just because google says what an industry average or standard for pay is, doesn’t mean it is realistic. There are multiple factors that go into rate of pay, additional perks provided, etc. Whether we like it or not, the household staffing industry is largely unregulated. That is one reason that families choose to work with an agency. Part of the service we provide is a semblance of regulation with the nannies that represent us. We have our own internal standards, which provide a level of protection for the family as well as the nanny. Families, be realistic in your expectations of services expected from a nanny and your current budget.
Contracts are great protection, they build a solid foundation for good communication, they can go a long way in reducing unnecessary stress. And the whole reason a contract is being negotiated is because two parties have decided they like each other enough to work together. That in and of itself means both parties are already winning.