Some business owners try to help their family out by paying more than the average wage for that employment category, which can impact the total payroll overhead. It is unfair to neglect the rest of the team’s income because you want to give special treatment to a family member. You’ll see resentment and unhappiness build if this is the case. Remember, when morale goes down, productivity goes down.
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 you happen to be an employee in your family member’s business, there are several things you can do to avoid the above issues, including:
—Be dependable. —Pay attention to your work responsibilities; be accountable.
—Follow through. —Be friendly and have fun. —Be encouraging. Use the words “Absolutely!” and “Certainly!” —Be a mentor. —Take an active role in learning about the business; be excited about your industry. —Always speak positively about the owner and the business, both in and out of the office. —Offer advice when asked or ask first before discussing a concern.
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: —Is “whatever is happening” in the best interest of customer care? —Is “whatever is happening” in the best interest of the business as a healthy business?
A successful family business
The key to a successful employee/family relationship is that everyone in the office is treated the same. You need the same level (or higher) of accountability, timeliness and dedication to customer service from all of your employees—especially family members—to be successful. Specifically outlining each employee’s role and keeping personal issues out of the workplace will ensure a positive work environment for you and your family members.
EDITOR’S NOTE: 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. For more information, visit www.MilesGlobal.net or email Rhonda@MilesandAssociates.net.