3 things to get right about people

How to Create a Family Business Culture Where People Thrive

If you want a prosperous family business, it’s critical that you get people and culture right.

Getting it wrong is expensive!

SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) estimates that it costs 6-9 months of a person’s salary to replace them. Not including recruiting fees.

This means that if you’re paying someone a $60K salary, it will cost $30K – $45k to replace them.

And that’s just the tangible dollar costs.

Replacing people also comes with intangible costs:

  • Loss of productivity due to the empty position, including lack of leadership if the person you’re replacing was a leader or manager
  • Reduced team engagement from bitterness about having to pick up the extra slack or emotions arising from losing a team member
  • Impacts to company reputation when the loss affects customer relationships, service, or delivery

Here are 3 things you can implement that will go a long way towards setting up a family business culture of excellence where people thrive:

1. Schedule Regular 1:1 Meetings

Having regularly scheduled 1:1 meetings (weekly is ideal) with your team members allows them to have a forum where they can talk about their progress, any issues they may be having, and any ideas they have for improving processes or increasing efficiency.

It also gives them an opportunity to get feedback from you on their performance and receive valuable coaching. Additionally, it’s an excellent way to build trust between you as a leader in your organization and your team members.

Make these meetings something that everyone looks forward to by bringing positive energy and a productive structure.

Ask them:

  • How you can help them prioritize
  • How they are feeling – and encourage them to use specific feeling words
  • If you’re getting in their way (this question takes vulnerability, but it’s worth it!)
  • For their ideas and input to create a culture of inclusion, value and understanding

Before the meeting, ask them to bring you 3 things you need to know – and at least one good thing that happened since your last meeting.

2. Establish Work/Life Balance

It’s important that your team has time away from the office for rest and relaxation so they can come back refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges with enthusiasm.

Encourage them to take regular breaks throughout the day, make sure they are taking vacation time when needed, and provide resources such as flexible hours or remote work options if possible.

Establish expectations on (the less ambiguous the better):

  • Sending or responding to email outside of business hours
  • Working while on vacation or away from work
  • Where work happens – in office vs remote
  • Taking time off

Walk your talk.

If you say these are your policies, make sure you are doing them as well!

3. Communicate consistently and transparently

Remove as much ambiguity as possible in the work environment.

Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them by providing clear direction on tasks or projects, giving timely feedback when appropriate, asking questions when needed, and being open to feedback from your team members as well.

This will help create an environment of trust where everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions without fear of repercussions or judgment.

Build trust and ensure everyone is on the same page about expectations and goals by transparently sharing things like:

  • The current strategies, goals, and priorities of the organization
  • Plans such as creating a new position that you will be hiring for
  • Current revenue target and how the company is performing financially (you don’t have to lay out exact numbers, you can use percentages)

When your employees feel that they know what is going on and they trust you to share information with them in a timely fashion, you’ll avoid leaving people to wonder and make up their own version of reality.

A strong people and culture strategy is the backbone of any successful family business

In a tight labor market, your culture can be a competitive advantage and one of the most important factors in determining your success.

Would you like some help with leadership training or implementing a culture of excellence in your family business?

Book a complimentary call with one of our family business advisors here: book a call

Free Video: Creating a Culture of Excellence

When you’re in the Prosperity Zone you will see and feel your culture, the vibe, the energy. Your employees are engaged and your customers give you great reviews. Join us to learn:

  • How to create a culture that keeps employees engaged and excited
  • What brings down company culture
  • Barriers to excellence and how to overcome them
  • Bonus video: creating a culture of excellence with remote teams

This video is included in our free resource library. Enter your email address below to get instant access.