Talented employees are the backbone of any great company. Having the right employees can make the difference between survival and success. Like any business, family businesses must grapple with finding the right employees for many of the important functions within the organization. Family members may have ideas about their role in the business, but may not be adequately prepared to take on the responsibilities. Without the right guidelines, family businesses run the risk of making decisions that disregard both family dynamics and sound business principles. Attracting external talent can be just as challenging.
Competition to hire and retain good employees can be fierce. Family businesses must engage in the same competitive “war for talent” that other non-family-owned businesses face, a shortage of qualified workers can feel like an overwhelming obstacle. Family businesses face unique challenges that require balancing the needs of the business with the expectations of the family. By putting emotions aside and developing a workforce strategy that fits your business, you can create an equitable environment where everyone has a chance to thrive.
Just like the family, business doesn’t stand still – it evolves. Family businesses are unique. At their core, there is an important dynamic that connects family and business through ownership, which presents both opportunities and challenges. When decisions are made, the results can impact generations to come.
Every decision you make is accompanied by strong family values and a purpose that will help you navigate the journey ahead. MARKEF‘s advisors understand the dynamics of a successful business and work with you to provide tailored advice – throughout the lifecycle of your business
Proper planning can help family business owners create a framework that can not only solve common business problems, but also prevent disagreements and protect family harmony. With the right policies, practices and strategies, it’s easy to attract the best talent, retain outstanding employees and prepare the next generation of leaders. Consider how a broad strategy can help address these common business issues:
Are you offering competitive compensation? Make sure your compensation packages, including compensation plans, are based on market-driven data.
Do family members enjoy perks or bonuses that other employees do not?
Do you have adequate training to prepare the next generation to assume leadership roles and responsibilities? Does every employee have access to the same training and development opportunities, regardless of marital status?
Who is involved in designing compensation packages or making hiring decisions? Do the decision makers have the necessary qualifications?
Is your board composed of family and non-family members? Do you have adequate succession planning? Have you identified all risk areas for your company – from the economy to competition to cybersecurity?
Do current company policies comply with your country’s legislation? Is there a clear performance appraisal framework for both family and non-family employees that provides opportunities for development and advancement? Are policies, standards, and expectations the same for all employees? Is the workplace an equitable environment overall?
Is information communicated clearly and at all levels of the organisation? Are there instances of unfair treatment where only certain individuals are privy to decisions or plans?
How do you compete with companies that offer stock as part of their compensation plans for new talent? What can your family business offer in lieu of stock? Are there opportunities for advancement for non-family employees?
Implementing effective HR policies may require tough discussions and negotiations that go beyond family expectations and overcome long-standing and potentially inappropriate practices. Working with a poor governance model, or no governance model at all, can have a serious impact on your organization.
Implementing well-defined HR policies can protect your business, your employees and your family. Developing the right governance model for your business doesn’t have to be scary, it can actually save your business.
MARKEF‘s business consultants can help you develop a human resources strategy tailored to your unique circumstances. From an inventory to policy development, we can help you create and implement a well-thought-out plan that will help your business grow and maintain family harmony.