What do people think about hiring family?
I need some help with marketing, social media and managing trunk shows. My sister is a stay-at-home mom and has been wanting to pick up some part time work. I think this could be a great arrangement, but I am nervous about hiring a family member. If it doesn't work out, I don't want it to impact our relationship. Does anyone have thoughts on whether this is a good idea and if so, how to avoid potential pitfalls?
If it would have negative impact maybe wasn't so close at the beginning. Whatever happens if it's family will be good afterall so go for it!
Begin by setting strict ground rules and boundaries and relax these once you have confidence in the arrangement. Discuss your concerns upfront and ensure that you hear and listen to your sister's concerns and wishes. Ensure that quality work standards are agreed to and track these as you would with any other member of your work team. Good-luck
I believe it depends on personalities. If the environment can be kept professional on work issues, then it might work. (i.e. clear boundaries between the family relationship and work relationship). A written agreement with expected duties, job description would assist to seal the professionalism expected.
One caution: if a hired relative doesn't benefit the business, you will have to fire them. Are you and she able to deal with this, should it arise?
It depends on your ability to manage. Clear instruction and expectations. The ability to fire if you have too. It also depends on her skills to carry out the job. If she can't or you can't don't start. Remember, if you do hire her and she is failing at the job, she probably wants out as much as you want to get her out. The rewards if it works are worth it.
This is an excerpt from my article on LinkedIn of the 5 common mistakes small business owners make. Number 2 is about hiring family members.
2. Treating Family Employees like Family
Many small business owners not only have a dream of owning a business but the dream of creating a family business where their nearest and dearest can share in the joy of working for everyone’s good. Or else they just want cheap labor with partners and children expected to fit the bill.
This is all well and fine as long as family employees are treated like any other employee. Which means they are expected to work under the same conditions, get paid the same as non family employees, have the same expectations placed on them and given the same responsibilities.
Here are a few of the things that are bad business practice with family employees:
Under or over paying. Under pay your relatives and they will resent you. Overpay them and they will happily drain your profits while getting unrealistic expectations what their work is really worth while creating resentment in other employees who know they are being paid less for doing the same job. This is also going to hurt if you ever want to get rid of them…as employees, not family members.
Expecting more work from family than anyone else in the business. Again, they will resent you and wonder why you treat them so unfairly. On the other hand, if they work less for the same pay, your other employees are going to resent you and mutter about family and the boss. Resentment in the work place results in poor employee behavior that can harm a small business in a variety of ways. All of which affect your profit margins.
Treating your family employees at work like you do at home. Keep home problems at home and deal with them there, not on the shop floor. When problems arise, remember you are dealing with a work problem, not a family problem. Use all the issue resolution techniques businesses use with employees. Make sure you don’t humiliate or berate your family in the middle of the business. It won’t endear your customers to you. It won’t bring you the respect of your other employees. And it certainly won’t help your partner or child learn how to deal effectively with work issues (I doubt it will help with home issues either). Remember you hired them and as their employer you have an obligation to treat them fairly…just like any other employee.
Imbalances in how people are treated, especially if you are related, cause frictions, unhappiness, resentment, lost productivity and poor employee behavior that will affect all levels of your business. You won’t get the best out of anyone, family or non family. In the end, your bottom line will suffer even if your family life doesn't.
As others have said having clear defined roles, expectations, payment, etc in writing is key. Without it, you'll be setting yourself and your sister up for disappointment and disagreements, neither of which you want for your business, but more importantly for your family.
Oops I wouldnt hire a family member to my business because you cannot talk to them like you do to your employees. Sometimes you may feel frustrated to tell them their mistake. But if you really want to help her you should maintain a clear cut policy. I.e. talk to her about the kind of situations that she would face with. Make her aware about the work place problems if she hasn't got any work experience.
Start with a first run. People are always different in private and work life. So pick a project, which is not crucial for you and work together. If you do not want to carry on the relationship, be very clear and specific about what was not working. This will save your personal relationship and help her to improve her working skills.
If I get a large project, which I can't realize by myself due to lack of resources, I hire other specialists - to the complete satisfaction of the customer.
It doesn't matter who you are hiring, there always pros and cons in any situation.
Usually I will look at the skill sets requirements of the organization as a whole. From there I will do a fitting process on my family (in this case), if in the even it turns out to be good, just hire her.
Please consider her Pros and Cons + can you handle the emotion portion of the issue. The greatest asset we can get from family is the utmost support physically and morally. The nightmare actually come from the greatest pros - utmost support turns to obsessed support acting wrongly at different roles.
Working with family is ok - even preferable. And I also don't believe you need to emphasise the separation between work and out of work. As family, you have the advantage of knowing more about each other and this greater knowledge enables you to form a stronger working relationship. You should look at this working relationship positively and see it as a wonderful way to spend time with a family member on a pursuit that benefits you both.
Remember to celebrate the good things.
Remember to communicate.
And if things do go pear shaped - just remember that happens anywhere ...not just at work.Use the strength of your family relationship to work it out.
I think it is a myth about not being a good idea to work with family.
Go for it.
This situation can be tricky because let's face it, who wants to fire their mom. Having family members work for you and forgetting they are working for you can be the biggest problem. The most common thing I hear is "business partner" when I see one person carrying the business while their family member is literally tearing down what you built before you realize it. Having a family member forget that in employment situation you are the boss can be a sticky situation.
If you're hiring your family member:
1. Clearly define roles and responsibilities.
2. Make sure you are both clear of what you expect from each other.
3. Have an open and candid conversation about worst-case scenarios.
4. Capture the above in writing.
Before you hire a family member, ask yourself two questions:
-Would you be able to fire them?
-If you put the job out to competitive tender, would they be the winning candidate?
If you've done 1-4 and answer the affirmative to the above questions, you'll avoid most pitfalls.
If she can commit to the work (even it's a part time) then go for it. But first make a clear work plan, time table and goals. Family business is GREAT if you can nail it. Good luck :)
While it is often thought a mistake to hire family, many businesses happily recruit friends of acquaintances of their staff. I don't see a big difference myself. I would recommend you do as many of the following as possible:
- If you have a business partner, delegate all decisions concerning the hiring and management of your sister to them.
- if there is no-one in your business who can take on this role, find a mentor or other professional external person to do so, or at least arbitrate decisions concerning your sister. Get their opinion on the likelihood that this can work early on.
- Agree to actively work together to build a professional relationship. Call each other out when being "sisterly" conflicts with being businesslike.
- Map out as much of the relationship in writing beforehand - no surprises. For example, if you are worried that she might too much time off for family reasons, create a clause such as " you are automatically fired if you are absent from work three times over any 30-day period for any reason whatsoever". or: "If your non-work commitments ever result in a loss of cash or business for me, you are automatically fired"
- Some people can separate business and professional roles, make sure you two can do so right up front. Ask other people for their opinions on this.
Hope this helps
It is a good question,I suggest you three steps solution:
1-Educate her about business and your business,
2- Give her some small task initially,
3-If she prove good then continue her otherwise show result of second point told her please work on first point.