Hiring Relatives – Energizing or Draining

Creating a life that builds others up is energizing. One has to be careful to do so with healthy boundaries.
One area that can get sticky is when considering hiring family members to work with you in business.
Working with family can be the highest high and the lowest low. Here is a photo of my daughter (Kristin), granddaughter (Jaquelyn) and I at work last week.

My daughter and I love working together but we have also experienced times when it did not work. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Are you starting with a healthy relationship? Dysfunction will only become worse if you’re exposed to each other all day.
  • Are you a good communicator? Setting clear expectations and providing consistent feedback is crucial with any work relationship.
  • Is their behavior and mindset aligned with the culture and goals of your business?
  • Can you leave it at the door? Both parties need to be capable of leaving personal problems at home and limiting business talk at home.

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The key to success if we are to work with family is a high level of respect. Create an atmosphere where all parties involved (including non-family members) respect each other tremendously and choose to build each other up.

As my friend Michael Robison says “working with family is a great idea if they fit your core values and you are willing to fire them if needed.” Build a business where all members are building each other up.

What advice would you give a business owner regarding working with family?

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2 Responses to Hiring Relatives – Energizing or Draining

  1. Dan Bertelson says:

    I have seen a large number of agents work with their spouses. My advice: don’t do it, unless you are very, very good. More often than not, it doesn’t work. Women and men work totally differently, think differently and there is enough tension in the normal marriage that the “work stress” can be the straw that breaks the camels back.
    As for working with kids, I am very curious as to the experiences of others.

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