The Politics of a Family Business

in Business Management
Family Business

Chaos May Reign if You Hire a Relative to Work for You

Hiring a family member is not like hiring anyone else. The normal office politics can get out of control. But there are steps you can take to keep the madness in check.

Office politics is a fact of life in any business organization. Every day it seems like someone is gossiping about she said this and he said that. People argue and make up.

They bring their problems to you, they complain about others not doing their share, or someone got a bigger raise. Someone that got a promotion doesn’t deserve it or someone that should have gotten the promotion got skipped over.

And so the rumor mill keeps churning away. But what happens if the boss of a tightly nit business suddenly brings in a family member to help run the show? What was considered controlled chaos could turn into a madhouse.

Politics in the Office

Politics in the office has a way of escalating when family is hired. Especially if they are put into a position of authority. There are already going to be rivals within your organization that may be trying very hard to earn your recognition.

But when a family member shows up others may feel like their territory is be intruded upon. This can create a very tense atmosphere and an uncomfortable working environment. Not only for your employees but also for yourself.

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You Are the Boss

You as the boss have to take into consideration the effects that hiring a family member may have on your workforce. They have to know that their voice is still going to be heard by you.

Because family members sometimes stir up trouble unintentionally and sometimes even intentionally. And it can be hard for people to accept that you are trying to be fair and impartial to both sides should a conflict erupt.

Two Sides to the Story

On the one side you will have a family member that expects you to side with them over any trouble they are involved in because you are family. On the other side you have loyal employees that hope you will side with them but think that you won’t. And you are stuck in the middle possibly wishing you could just stick your head in the sand.

Hiring Family after the Company is Successful

Hiring family after a business has become successful is different than if they had been there since the beginning. If they are hired at the start then they will be considered a part of the team.

They helped the company to achieve the levels of success that it has. But hiring family after success has become a reality may plant the idea that the family member is just trying to benefit from everyone else’s hard work. Especially if they are put in a position of authority.

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Some Steps You Can Take

To help avoid such potential problems you need to take a couple of steps first. Bring the family member to work. Let them meet your employees. If you have a small workforce then you will want to see how accepting they will be of someone new.

Hiring family is not like hiring anyone else. And because it is not you need to get some feedback. Let your family member make that all important first impression on your employees. Then you can ask your workers for feedback. Get some input before you thrust someone new in their midst.

Know Who You Are Hiring

In addition you need to make sure of whom you are hiring. You can’t afford to hire a family member that thinks that because they are related to the boss they can do whatever they like. This sort of situation happens often. And if it does happen it can be the quickest way to turning your organization upside down.

You do not want an employee around that thinks they can abuse their position. Having family work for you can be a good thing but you must be extra careful when you hire them.


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