The Blog - Where Business Collides with Human Nature

3 Steps to Successfully Turn Family Members into Employees

YOURPROMOTEDThere is no denying the potential perks of hiring a member of your family.  With insight into their strengths and weaknesses, an established level of trust and a desire for both of you to succeed, employment within your kin seems like a no-brainer.  But before you start adding your loved ones’ names to your payroll, prepare and protect yourself from these possible pitfalls.

1)  Hire For The Right Reasons

Accusations of nepotism might be a buzz in the workplace if you bring in your kid brother a week after graduation and toss him the title of Vice President.  However, you should have no qualms about hiring your cousin with ten years experience in the industry.  Before you even present a hint of an opportunity to any family member, have a straightforward and honest conversation with yourself as to why you are considering this hire.  Another tip: take the time to post the job ad to the universe and compare other applicants.  If you do make the decision to hire a member of your family, be confident that your offer is coming from a place of value and not just loyalty.  With that type of confident decision, you will have no reason to give inter-office gossip a second thought. 

2)  Save The Drama For Family Reunions

Even though you work with your mom that does not mean you need to discuss your sister’s latest disappointing boyfriend at the morning meeting.  By setting boundaries within the workplace before the two of you ever step through the door you’ll be able to differentiate between your primary and work relationship.  Tackle this with both a professional and personal approach.  As a business leader a great idea is to draft up a Family-Employee clause to add to your company handbook.  This will make the issue real and will allow you both to take things seriously.  Then try agreeing on a non-threatening fun key word either one of you can say should the topics of conversation start to get a little off course.

3)  Burning Out Your Own Blood

It is not necessarily all daisies and roses for the hired heirs.  Because they are in your family, your new employee might feel required to go above and beyond as a way to prove their worth.  This can lead to burnout which is a lose-lose situation for all parties.  Avoid this by laying out a very detailed job description where goals and objective are clearly defined.  Even though you love that your family member is willing to do whatever it takes to see your business succeed, they might need some reassurance on their side.  By laying their duties out in black and white, they will know that unless explicitly asked there is no need for them to transcend beyond their job description just because they’re family. 

About the Author: 

Kelly Gregorio writes about relevant topics that affect small businesses while working at Merchant Resources International, a merchant cash advance provider for over 10,000 small businesses. 

Topics: Team Building Recruiting Human Resources