25 Oct Working With Family
Hiring family members at your company has both benefits and drawbacks, and handling that double-edged sword can be a challenge for many family businesses. Building and maintaining professionalism when working with family members is crucial if you want to keep the peace at work and at home.
Start by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities for both home and work tasks. This includes everything from bookkeeping and sales, to cleaning the kitchen and running the kids around. Do you have job descriptions? You should. Everyone must understand their contributions to the business and not just assume that with age comes business acumen. Guess what? Sometimes Mom and Dad aren’t the CEO and COO. Crazy, right? Everyone needs to be open to having a discussion about those family dynamics, and how they are different than their actual jobs.
To maintain a harmonious work environment, make a conscious effort to keep personal matters separate from business. Establish boundaries by scheduling regular family meetings to discuss both personal and work-related issues. It’s also essential to respect each other’s opinions and perspectives, and approach conflicts with an open mind. Pro tip! Set clear working hours and stick to them. Avoid discussing work-related matters during family gatherings or personal time as much as possible, and vice versa. Celebrate each other’s achievements and milestones, both professionally and personally, to reinforce the sense of togetherness.
Address any conflicts promptly and professionally. By keeping personal matters separate from work-related issues, you can foster a healthier working relationship. Of course, if you believe that a family member is exploiting their family relationship and shirking their duties, or minimally contributing to the work while still getting their full paycheck, it’s essential to have a candid conversation immediately. Express your concerns honestly and respectfully. Discussing the clearly defined work expectations, metrics, and goals will help in preventing any potential misunderstandings.
Working with family can be both rewarding and challenging. With open communication, clearly defined boundaries, and a focus on maintaining work-life balance, you can have a successful business and a happy family.
Remember that every family is unique, so adapt these strategies to your specific needs. If you have any specific questions or concerns about working with family, please feel free to reach out, and I’ll be happy to provide more tailored advice.