How to become a better manager of family, staff

Running a small business is inherently difficult. However, that task becomes more complicated when family gets involved. A relative within the company could either be a blessing or a curse, and the answer to that often comes from how well they are managed.

The same is true for the entire workforce. Good and bad employees come in all shapes and sizes, and leaders need to be able to control both effectively. There are several great ways to do this, from a strong financial plan to thinking outside the box. Great small business owners can juggle all types of personalities – including family – correctly.

Manage difficult employees
Not all employees, family members or not, are difficult. In fact, most are fantastic additions to any company. However, it only takes one or two bad apples to ruin the entire operation, so it is up to the small business owner to manage these personalities in a successful fashion. 

Maurice Ewing, author of the book "The Leap Factor," wrote in the Harvard Business Review about how to manage biased people. One easy way to get started is by collecting employee goals, according to Ewing. Each and every staff member is driven by something – it could be money, success or something else entirely – and it is up to management to find out what it is. This can be achieved with a number of cost-effective financial tips, like anonymous surveys, business retreats or other strategies.

Ewing explained that biases come into play depending on how an employee's perception of the company relates to their career goals. If they feel that the firm is helping them reach their objective when it isn't – and vice versa – that could lead to a complicated problem. Therefore, great managers can balance their employees' outlooks on the company, especially when family is concerned.

There are relatively simple solutions to this that can still fit into any financial plan. For example, small business owners can offer alternative strategies for each worker, Ewing noted. These need to be things that fit into everyone's goals, both the company and the staff. Once good communication is established, problem-solving methods can be discussed that make everyone happy.

Balance family and work
Managing personalities can be even more difficult for small business owners when family is concerned. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, family-owned businesses account for 90 percent of all businesses across the U.S., and that statistic doesn't account for other firms that employ one or two family members.

In order to keep everything in check, owners should remember that business always comes first, the news source noted. Every choice should be in the best interest of the company, free from personal bias. If management starts to sway their decisions in favor of family, that could be disastrous to a financial plan. A clear mission can help achieve success, and authority needs to be established. Other employees have to understand that family members don't take precedence solely based on these relationships.

A good way to do that is to hire qualified personnel, who aren't related, for managerial positions. The SBA explained that a strong manager needs to be thick-skinned and tough, and personal relationships can get in the way of good business decisions. Having objective people like this can also help manage tricky family disputes within the company. Sides should not be taken, and choices can't be made based only on emotions.

Overall, if a small business owner can balance work and family at the same time, the company will have a better shot at success. Personal relationships can be great for a firm, but they can also create discord. Therefore, quality management can solve any potential problems.

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