“Blood is thicker than water” is a common saying about families and working with family members can be a great idea. Family members can very often be more dedicated to the job as they may have a vested interest in the business, and as you know them well they can be an obvious choice to join the team. But before you employ your uncle Jack or your wife Lucy, ask yourself these 7 questions:
1. Have you defined their role just as you would any other staff member?
2. Do they have an employment contract?
3. Can you leave work at the door rather than talking about it over dinner?
4. Will you be able to spend much more time together without it affecting your relationship negatively?
5. Are they qualified to actually do the role or is there another option?
6. Your son shouldn’t call you dad, what will he call you?
7. Are you able to discipline them without it becoming personal if the need arises?
To avoid favoritism or jealousy within the workplace it is important that a family member is treated just the same as any other employee, and that works both ways. It would be awkward for a non-family team member to ask you to “talk to your wife” about a situation that needs attention just because you work together, so manage it before it arises.
Action: Review the list above and see where you may need to focus some time to make your family or friend staff member a success.