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Say No-No to Nepotism

In many circles, the word NEPOTISM is known as a veritable four-letter word.

Nepotism is officially defined as:  The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.

There is nothing wrong with a family-owned and run business.  They are often some of the most tight-knit and well-run businesses.

The problems occur when the family member employees and other employees are treated differently.

One employee worked in a business that employed several members of the same family.  He worked in marketing with the son-in-law of the owners.  They both shared the exact same job title, the same job responsibilities and the same office.

Problem was – they didn’t share the same salary or bonus structure.

The employee inadvertantly saw a pay stub of his office mate and there was a vast difference from his own paycheck.

This caused much frustration and general ticked-offedness with this employee.

He asked for a raise.  He got 25 cents an hour more.  He worked harder.  The son-in-law got rewarded.

The son-in-law’s bonuses were bigger, even though he wasn’t working as hard as the employee.

The employee soon saw that this was an extremely toxic work environment and that nothing would change his circumstance due to the high level of nepotism.

Here are a few tips to say “no-no” to nepotism:

1.  Make Salaries Equal.  This is HUGE.  Salaries must be awarded based on merit, not family.  When handing out raises, make sure they’re based on credentials, not pedigree.  Award raises to those who deserve them most.  Make a list of why someone does or doesn’t deserve a raise and stick with it, even if family is involved.

2.  Keep Personal Life at Home.  When hiring a relative, make sure that person understands that work life is totally separate from home life.  Spell out very clearly that raises, bonuses and other rewards will be awarded for certain milestones and workplace achievements,  and not because they married the bosses daughter.

3.  Spell it Out.  Put everything on paper – expectations, how raises will be awarded, rules of keeping personal lives out of the workplace, and on and on.  If it’s on paper and spelled out in the very beginning, those boundaries will be set in stone and they will be more likely adhered to.

And lastly, don’t promote the family members above others just as or more qualified.  You will lose good employees and give those family members a sense of entitlement that will not do them any favors in the future.