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Family Business that Beyond the Family Unit

A family-business owner needs to commit to the goal of growing the business, of course. However, in order to meet this goal, the owner (or owners) must recognize that there needs to be a further commitment to cultivating a rich mix of talented personnel to help that growth. This addition, will require the ownership to find a pool of talent that goes beyond the family.

Employees that are not members of the family tend to create an everlasting balance because they generate ideas that may go beyond the philosophy of those which a family can create; since the family may tend to think in unison about the operation and strategy of the business. Further, they tend to add a further balance to the organization because they: (1) view the business from an less emotional position, or, (2) if there is emotion, the emotion may be generated from a different point of view which comports with their own needs, wants and wishes.

The failure to recognize the potential positive impact non-family employees, is the failure to recognize an enormous opportunity to have “fresh thinking”. This failure is an enormous mistake and will eventually lead to a slow growth in the business and the creating an environment of stale ideas. The question is whether the family owners can step aside, somewhat, in order to give them the opportunity to participate in both the operation of the business and in the future planning on how to make the company better. A particular strategy might be to put an employee who is not a member of the family in charge of the daily operations, if the daily is I charge of the strategy and business planning.

Finally, there are two main reasons employees who are not part of the family tend to leave. First, they will leave because of the: limited growth opportunities that result. Further, they will leave because of the family conflict, which cannot help but surface if the family influence is not diluted, because of the family emotion which controls central decisions to the business acumen will become overbearing. They will become frustrated because these employees want to advance within a company. Unfortunately, there has been a tradition in many family businesses, which gives limited opportunities for advancement, because family employees tend to occupy the primary leadership positions. Many talented and ambitious employees will just move on in order to find room for their personal gratification and advancement.