It’s a challenge for any business owner when you have an employee who isn’t quite doing the job that they should or it just seems like this individual just doesn’t seem to fit into performing and meeting the responsibilities of the position. There is a huge added level of challenge in what needs to be done to come up with a solution when the person who doesn’t fit anymore is a family member who has been working in your business.
Jack Mencini and Adam Sonnhalter, coaches to small business owners, and as owners themselves with Maximum Value Partners, www.maximumvp.com, tackle this How Question: How do you deal with a family member who doesn’t quite fit into your business? In this week’s June 14 episode of Dirty Secrets of Small Business aired at 7:30pm (EST) on WINT Radio 1330 AM and 101.5 FM. The podcast is available on iTunes or http://maximumvp.com/dirty-secrets-small-business-radio-show-podcast/
The show and their business are aimed at an audience who either owns a small business or someone who is thinking of starting their own small business. Jack and Adam help these entrepreneurs on a path to fun and success. They define success as growing sustainable profits.
In discussing this week’s dilemma of a family member who doesn’t quite fit in, Adam offers 2 things not to do and 3 things to do to deal with the situation. First what not to do:
- Keep things as is or in a “status quo” position. This is often referred to as imitating an ostrich with your head in the sand and pretending that the situation isn’t that bad or somehow will miraculously fix itself.
- Let someone else decide for you. As we jokingly tell all of our business owner clients, that is why you get paid the big bucks! To have difficult discussions like this. Don‘t pawn them off on someone else, especially when you‘re the one who can fix this problem..
The 3 things you can do would be to center on removing the person from the work environment (without having to fire them).
- Pay them to stay home and not come to work. As silly as this might sound, it is a proven strategy we have seen work for all kinds of family situations. The business owner has to view this as addition by subtraction and doing what is best for the company. In these situations, there is little doubt that the individual needing to leave has significantly affected the culture and productivity of his/her co-workers. As the owner, are you willing to see your talented employees, who are helping the business be successful, start to leave because they can no longer deal with the relative who is bringing everyone down?
- Make the relative quit. This is a strategic move on the owner’s part to do this in such a way that the decision comes from the relative and does not look punitive. Remember, you may still be passing the turkey platter to this person over Thanksgiving. One way to make this happen is bring someone else in to manage that relative so they no longer report to you.
- Find somewhere else for the person to work by using your professional network or through one of your contacts. This is probably the best of all possible options if this family member has marketable skills in other areas, but just didn’t work out for your business. It becomes a win-win situation for everyone and helps maintain both a professional relationship and family cohesiveness where no one feels like the victim.
Jack and Adam also discuss the topic of how they will always strongly caution new businesses on wanting to bring on family members to fill the positions. It has been their experience that more often than not, working with spouses, siblings, cousins, children, aunts and/or uncles, etc., in a professional setting causes tremendous stress for the family unit. Knowing how to hire good talent is one of the many areas that these business coaches can help small business owners make the right decision to avoid having to fire employees when they realize that person was not a good fit…thus avoiding having to deal with the current how question!
For more info on small business challenges tune into past podcasts of Dirty Secrets of Small Business on iTunes or http://maximumvp.com/dirty-secrets-small-business-radio-show-podcast/ or call Jack or Adam for help with your small business challenges at 877-849-0670.
If you have a success story or a question you would like to share, email or contact Jack and Adam directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-849-0670.
You can also call in during the show each week when you are listening on Wednesdays at prime time 7:30pm (EST) on WINT 1330 AM and 101.5 FM. Or call 440-946-9468 to ask your question to the Maximum Value Partners’ coaches or tweet your question to @MaximumVP.