In any career, having a respectful and symbiotic relationship between employee and employer is crucial to the longevity of the arrangement. In a nanny job, this might be even more true. Working in such close quarters with a family is a very special relationship. Together, write a clear working agreement to avoid blurred lines in regards to roles and responsibilities. We’ll go over how to form a good working relationship and avoid job creep.

Job Creep

What is job creep? This is when a new responsibility is expected of an employee that wasn’t originally agreed upon.

I like to think that we all do things just to be helpful and kind from time to time. As a nanny it is so easy to just do a little extra such as grabbing the mail on your way into the house, or cleaning up last night’s dishes because you have an extra minute. So how do we do these things without them creeping up on us as additional “expectations” from the family?

Nanny Job Responsibilities

Most nannies enter into a contract or working agreement with a family at the start of employment. These contracts are meant to outline the role and responsibilities of the nanny as well as the compensational responsibility of the family. Being very clear in your initial contract setup as to which tasks you will and will not be taking on is important. Writing, “kitchen cleanup” is very vague and could lead the family to believe that any mess left in the kitchen will be the nanny’s responsibility. Instead, try wording it as, “Cleaning up the dishes used by the children during work hours.” Such clarifications can help to avoid unwanted nanny job tasks creeping up on you!

Open Communication At Your Nanny Job

In order to avoid your nanny family assuming that you will be responsible for tasks outside of your contract, it can help to make a point of saying things like, “I know you’ve been busy and since I had an extra moment today, I emptied the dishwasher for you.”  This lets the family know that the task isn’t something that you have built into your typical day, but you were happy to help in the moment.

Additional Tasks Don’t Have To Mean Job Creep 

On occasion your family may ask you to pick up an additional task here and there. While you may be okay with it initially, these extra tasks can often add up and turn into job creep. It is important to feel you are being compensated fairly. If you aren’t, it is likely that over time resentment will build. Having a direct, but respectful conversations with your nanny family. Discuss your original nanny job responsibilities and what additional tasks you’re now doing. It can be a challenge to set these boundaries retroactively, so speak up early on. Let your family know that you are happy to help with extra tasks on occasion. However, if the tasks become regular responsibilities, your compensation should increase accordingly. Compensating extra work could be adjusting your hourly rate, or it could be an agreed upon weekly amount based on the additional tasks requested of you.

Remember that open communication is key to avoid nanny job creep. The best relationships between nanny and employer start with respect and a clearly written contract. If you work with Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny our nanny placement team will always be available to answer any employment questions. Fill out an application today!