Bonding at work

By on December 4, 2013

Living with family members, and working with them, are two different situations. In an era where the influence of the younger generation is relevant, family-run businesses should be aiming to set an example. 

Each family member has their strengths. By establishing boundaries from the very beginning; defining roles, responsibilities and authority; it can quickly determine whether a family business will succeed or fail. Having order at the work place is a key factor.

Personal matters should remain at home. Knowing your family member’s personality and thought process is considered as crossing the professional line, especially when corporate decisions are being made. Lashing out at a co-worker, when he or she is a family member, is more likely to happen. Things are said which would usually be said behind closed doors at home. It is important to remember that family members are your co-workers when at the office.

Trends are constantly changing, and with that so do the building momentum of the business. Each generation has a different way in which they would like a company to be run. However, have different age groups on-board will ensure that the business process is kept current. Yes, there will be challenges – conflict of interests included – but a balance to satisfy clients must be found.

Employees, who are not family, but working in a family business, may leave the business due to limited growth opportunities. Sometimes, too much family conflict is evident too. Most employees want to progress, but the gap for advancement is small. As a family business owner, it is important to recognise that every business needs a range of people to assist in its growth.

As leaders of the business, the employees are impacted depending on how the family members address the forward movement of the business. Leading by example does not only optimise the betterment of the company, but secures confidence in those employed and the affiliated clients.

Essentially, before embarking on a professional journey with your family members, make sure that you are all on the same page, and know what your long term intentions are with the family business. If you do not have the same goals, making plans or coming to an agreement on certain decisions will be difficult.

A family-run business is one of two – successful or unsuccessful. There is no grey area. It is up to the family to decide on whether taking the risk is worth a try or not.

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