What Happens When Family Members Don't Perform?

What Happens When Family Members Don't Perform?

Many BKBG Shareholders are family businesses, and the exit strategy for a number of those firms is to pass on their showrooms to their children or other relatives. But what happens if a child or niece can't cut the mustard? What do you do? Thanksgiving won't be much fun if you believe that you have to terminate one of your children. 

There are four questions to consider before taking action claim success planning experts Judy Lin Walsh and Ben Francois in a recent HBR blog. 

Does your child have the right role, and can you shift your child's responsibilities to create a better fit? As a rule, if your child in the business is not performing, they know it. It may be that your child is better suited to run construction crews than he or she will be at running the company. Find the niche that caters to their abilities and interest. 

Does your child understand and respect the company culture? Famed management consultant Peter Drucker is credited with stating culture eats strategy for breakfast. Is there a cultural mismatch? Often the next generation wants to make an immediate impact but is either not equipped or trusted to do so. The typical reaction is long-term employees leaving the business. Children in the business need to understand and accept the culture that has made your showroom successful.

Who's at fault? One of the more difficult questions to ask and answer is who is at fault, the parent or the child? Many business founders find it difficult to cede power or even walk away when it's time. You can avoid this challenge if you establish a succession plan that parallels the professional development track set for the next generation of leaders.

Having to fire a child from the family business is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions anyone would ever have to make. If it is the right decision for the future of the business, then it is a decision you need to make as the owner of the business, and not in your role as mom or dad and make that clear to your child. There's an old story of a dad having to let his son go from the family business, and as soon as he did, he said to his son, "I've heard you've just been fired. How can I help?" 

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