Every workplace and business situation is different and unique, but many small businesses often have challenges with hiring family members in their businesses. I am often asked by my small business coaching clients to provide some help when dealing with issues regarding hiring family members to work in their business.

Think about it. There are many successfully run family businesses in all shapes and sizes. However, hiring family members can be very challenging. Dealing with issues such as favoritism, discipline, promotions, confrontation, the right roles or taking advantage of them are real life issues that family run businesses can face each day. How you deal with those challenges will determine your success.

Here are some guidelines on hiring family members in your business:

1. Be open and aware of the perception of giving special treatment to family members. That can be OK as long as the other employees are aware of some of the special privileges that go with the territory of owning a family business.

2. Be aware of  morale issues regarding promotions. Some employees might feel it is a lost cause to get promoted since all of the top positions are held by family members.
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3. Be clear on family roles at work. What do you call family members who work in your business? Dad, Mom or Boss!

4. Hire the best person for the role. Don’t hire family members who would be in the wrong role. Example: A family member who doesn’t enjoy speaking to people and serving others should not be a front line employee.

5. Be realistic.  Before hiring a family member, consider the worst case scenario. In other words, if you hire a family member and it doesn’t work out how will it affect the family dynamics, feelings and emotions with that person and the rest of the family?

Having family members working in the same business can be very successful and rewarding. Many of these family members go out of their way, are more serious, dedicated and passionate about having a successful business. Just make sure you think about these guidelines and provide constant communication and feedback with your family members before it can become a challenging situation. If not, it could affect your business and more importantly the customer experience. Having a successful family run business is always Magical!