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I recently made the big decision to hire my mother as our new class manager. Obviously, this wasn’t an easy decision to make and took a lot of thought, contemplation, and a few different pros and cons lists. I kept going back and forth on the subject and couldn’t decide if it was a smart idea or not. There were literal sleepless nights and beyond long talks with my husband for months trying to make this decision. When I finally made the choice to give it a try it was a relief, but got me thinking how many of you are struggling with this same decision?
Just in case you are in the middle of this internal battle, I wanted to help fast forward to the resolution. No matter what family member you are (or are not) hiring, you need to think it all the way through. Do you really know what you are getting into? How is it going to impact your relationship? Are they actually capable of doing the job properly? Can you treat them like an employee? You need to think about it from all angels before you pull the trigger. So, let’s walk through it together.
First of all, you need to think about your relationship with this person. Can it handle adding a business relationship to it? Can you both separate the business side from the personal side? That is very important, you don’t want family gatherings to turn into work conversations when you are trying to take your mental break from business. You also don’t want them feeling awkward when you get together like they will be fired if they mess up during a family get together. Together you both must also agree that if the business side of things aren’t working out, then you will have to fire them, but it can’t hurt your personal relationship. I made it very clear to my mom that if I had to for the betterment of my business, I would fire her and even made her sign an employee contract.
That is another thing, have them fill out all the paperwork that you would any other employee and make sure they follow the same rules. You have to keep it fair for your other employees and don’t hide the fact that you hired a family member, that could end in a bigger disaster. Job Services doesn’t care if they are a family member or a random person off the street, they still expect the same level of professionalism and the same paperwork to be filled out.
Next, you want to make sure that you aren’t doing it for the wrong reasons. Are you just trying to help them out or can they actually perform the duties that you need help with? You also want to double check that you aren’t over compensating them. Pay them what you would pay anyone else in the position, you can’t stifle your business growth trying to help out everyone. Don’t get me wrong you want to make it a fair wage, but sometimes we like to try and overcompensate when a family member is involved. I personally adjust the pay 3 times before I actually made the offer, because I was so nervous.
Lastly, you want to think about how you treat (or want to treat) your employees. Can you do that with your family member? I will be honest there are some lines that you will let your family members cross that you wouldn’t let another employee get away with, but you have to make sure those lines aren’t the wrong lines. If you can’t do that, then it isn’t a good idea.
Remember, this doesn’t just affect you and your relative, it affects your entire company from your other employees to your bottom line and time line. Make sure it is worth it. And, just because it is worth it for one family member doesn’t mean that it is right for all of them. Make sure to reevaluate for each family member you are thinking of hiring.
Hopefully going through this has helped make this important decision. If you have more questions about hiring, please join us for one of our live Q&A sessions on our Facebook page. This is a great opportunity to get specific help with a current problem. Hope to see you there!
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Valley City, ND 58072