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Family Workplace Challenges: 3 Best Practices to Implement Into a Family Business

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Working for a family business can have its share of family workplace challenges. While it may be successful and maintain a solid reputation on the outside, it may not have the traditional structure, policies or work environment as other corporations on the inside. As a result, it can be especially challenging to maintain HR compliance for family businesses.

Changing a corporation’s ways since the father or grandfather founded the business more than 40 years ago will not happen overnight. Still, it’s not entirely impossible – especially if it will benefit the company in the long term and resonates successfully with the corporate family members or board.

Here are three essential best practices to suggest if you land an HR management role at a family-run business and must maintain HR compliance while overcoming family workplace challenges.

1. Set a Professional Foundation for HR Compliance

According to JobStreet, certain family members – such as a son, daughter, or sister – may feel entitled to a more senior position within the company. In addition, some owners may expect that family members work twice as hard as regular employees. Both situations can potentially be unfavorable and harm exit plans, so you need to ensure a structured platform of professionalism. It would be best if you also tried to prevent unprofessional behavior, tardiness or even favoritism, all of which are common. The result could be positive without any distinction between family members and non-family members, resulting in more objective and sound decision-making. 

2. Implement Training Sessions

JobStreet also suggests that you implement succession planning, talent management, and regular training among employees to grow and ensure the company successfully moves forward. After all, it’s not uncommon for many family members to “grow up” within the family business and have long-term, loyal employees. While they may be knowledgeable of operations, the industry and company structure, it’s vital for any company to change with trends and consistently implement best business practices.

3. Increase Retention Practices 

Walking into a family business may sometimes seem like stepping back in time. Its company policies may be redundant, and expectations from employees may be old school. For instance, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), it’s not uncommon for company leaders of a family business to expect employees to work as hard and as long as they did earlier in their careers. So, it’s essential to make them realize that employees’ expectations have changed. Millennials and even Generation Xers, now seek a better work-life balance, comfortable work environments, career development, plus rewards and recognition for their work. Implementing benefits, holiday hours, vacation time, and bonus structures, to name a few incentives, will not only increase morale but attract better talent and increase overall retention.

Countless family businesses are successful. While some have different policies and structures than other corporations, these are just a few of the best practices HR managers should implement or strengthen to ensure company growth and a strong future.

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