Should I employ family and friends in my small business?

Surrounding yourself with family and friends at work may seem like the ideal situation for a start-up. For any new business there is a comfort factor involved in having someone you know well there to help and share some of the burden. It may also be the case for a small business that is beginning to see its first uplift in profits that family and friends begin raising their hands to get involved. However, it is important to consider a few points before you employ anyone you know well.

Employees need to understand that you will be their boss and not just their friend . There may be times when you need to pull rank and this may not always be well received by those close to you. Your employees need to recognise while it certainly doesn't need to be a dictatorship and you are open to constructive criticism, you remain at the helm. Your rapport as friends may not necessarily translate into a productive business relationship.
 
A professional approach should be encouraged and maintained,
whether the role is customer-facing or otherwise. Friends and family may take the position and its responsibilities far less seriously working for someone they know than they would otherwise and this his attitude begins with you. New staff will always take their cues on how to behave from the management and existing employees so set the standard early.

Qualifications still count, whether you know each other or not . Hiring a friend or family member merely out of obligation or to make the workplace a bit more 'fun' is probably not the way to go about it. Of course personality counts and the fact that you know this person's strengths and weaknesses can be a big plus. However, as with any potential employee their background, including education and experience is key to understanding whether they will cope with the demands of the job. Like any businesses, you want employees that believe in who they are working for and are keen to help the business reach its potential.


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