If you’ve ever been in business with a family member, you know there are several advantages, but even the most dedicated, hard working family member can experience or create tension, stress and conflict in the company. Can you really separate your family history, emotions and knowledge you have of a person at a deeper level and also have a great working relationship?
Families have successfully worked together, but there are reasons why it’s worked. What are the qualities that facilitate successful family working relationships? What are the common issues in operations that exist within companies that employ family? If you are in business with or thinking about working with family members, being aware of the following issues can prevent them from becoming problems in your business.
Loyalty leading to micromanagement
One business owner employed his mother. The owner had established his vision and goals, but he had trouble developing a consistent, fair style of leadership. He found the staff management was much harder than actually doing the work. His mother, in her eagerness to help him succeed, was openly voicing her concerns and opinions during business hours and outside the office.
She felt the office staff wasn’t diligent enough in collecting money at the time of service and inconsistent in their processing methods. She felt they weren’t doing a good job and needed more attention to detail. The boss had difficulty enforcing his policies because of the conflicting views between his mother and the other team members. His mother became a micromanager, telling everyone how they should be doing their jobs, in detail. She meant well and only wanted to help the business succeed, but her micromanaging drove the morale of the business down.
Taking work home
Hiring someone you can’t fire
In addition to pay, gender difference or age differences that impact your relationship with your team may feel intensified with your family employees. Recognize that some conflict develops due to these differences and work at learning about better communication and leadership.
What are the traits of a great family team member?
If family employees and your employees just can’t seem to get along, you must resolve the issue. If you don’t, tension will build, morale will go down and the business will suffer. Most don’t like to deal with these issues…it’s easier to brush them under the carpet. Yet talking about these issues is exactly what you’ll need to do in order for your business to have the harmonious atmosphere that clients seek.
If you find your employees don’t get along, you’ll need to facilitate the discussion. There are two questions that you can ask yourself that will help take the emotional side of the problem out of the equation:
A successful family business
Working with Family Members…
IT’S NOT PERSONAL – IT’S JUST BUSINESS!
About the author: Dr. Rhonda Savage is an internationally acclaimed speaker and CEO for a well-known practice management and consulting business. Dr. Savage is a noted motivational speaker on leadership and communication. For more information about her speaking, e-mail Rhonda@MilesandAssociates.net.