GET REAL

Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Hiring family may naturally generate challenges.

Addressing someone directly with a concern, or escalating a concern at work is tough enough when co-workers or colleagues are involved, but when your co-worker or colleague is also your manager’s or executive’s family member, a whole new set of challenges kick in.

I’m confident to offer this perspective because of the many times over the years when I’ve personally heard feedback in various business environments relating to family connections within a company. Even in the most mutually respectful work relationships, it’s important to realize that communication will be impacted—whether it be minimally or significantly. If you think about it, whether it’s well-founded or not, it’s pretty natural for employees to feel that someone who is related to someone else in the organization may communicate a concern among family that may break confidences or worse, cause nepotism or unwanted repercussions.

Interestingly, I’ve not seen this same concern when owners of a company are related. Although clearly a familial business partnership offers its own unique set of challenges and strengths.

Many of us have already hired or will hire family members, and in some cases it works out beautifully. Trust among family members, for example, is sure to be a plus. Yet, I offer this post because I believe it’s a good idea to keep ourselves aware of the natural challenges that may occur when we hire family even under the best of circumstances.

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1 Comment»

  Sandy Nucelli wrote @

We could write a book after 32 yrs of a sibling partnership and hiring multiple family members. Surprisingly, the blood relatives worked it out, but the inlaws had their challenges.


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