How to Be an Effective Manager When Your Employees Are Your Family Members

A family business is a sweet idea but can turn relationships sour with wrong management. Many of the most successful small businesses started with a couple of siblings or parents who pass on the business to their children. The more a business grows, the more room there is to hire cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family. By the time you’re asked to become a manager at the business, you may be used to working alongside the same people you see at Thanksgiving dinner. Mixing family issues with business issues is a hard habit to break, but it must be done if you’re going to be an effective manager.

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If you have non-family members on staff make sure the non-family member employees feel just as valued as the family members.

Whenever you hold a staff meeting, make sure it’s during work hours and everyone’s invited. Limit the business discussion outside of work so you don’t show up with new ideas and changes your non-family employees didn’t have a say in. Involve all your employees in the decisions you make, not just the ones you see at dinner-time.

The U.S. Small Business Administration claims 90 percent of American businesses are family-owned. You’re clearly far from the only one who has to deal with working with family members, but it might feel like more of an issue at your business if it’s small and there are few non-family members on staff. You can manage a thriving small business and keep family members happy with clear boundaries and a little more confidence in your decisions.

 Are you in a family business? How do you manage your family members? Comment below or tweet us @mscareergirl


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.