Family in the Workplace
My father and I worked together for over 16 years. We started out in a magazine company, then a specialty advertising company, and last a cabinet company. We had a lot of ups and some downs but we were always family. A special bond that could never be broken. We set our boundaries early in the business plan and had clarity of what was expected of each. There was no reason for us to bring work home with us or bring home to work with us. Once we started the day at work we were co-workers and treated it as strictly business. This is not easy but with open minds and clear boundaries, we were more productive. The hardest job we had was communication with each other.
My father was older and had a lot of experience. I was young and had a big ego. Even though the differences we both had to learn to listen. By listening we showed respect for the other person. I figured out real quick my ego was much bigger than my knowledge. My dad could teach me a lot. My father and I had a situation one time that involved an enormous builder wanting to use our services. Dad saw problems and I saw dollar bills. We would have more orders than we ever could have imagined but we would have no loyalty from the builder in return. After 2 weeks of back and forth bickering of who was right with no logic even being spoken, dad explained to me that it is not always about money. We would have to sacrifice all the loyal customers that we had built up over the years with great profit margins, just to take care of this one builder that would not guarantee us anything and had minimal profit margins per job. I never thought of this and it made perfect sense. I put my EGO aside and we declined the offer and never looked back.
We set goals together for the company and personally. By setting these goals together, dad and I worked harder and better together to accomplish each one. We would meet once every quarter and go over the goals and change what was needed. This again caused some conflicts but we worked our way through it. It’s not always easy to work with family but if you can put your emotions to the side and treat each other like co-workers it will work. You have to show each other respect and listen to each other. You never know how much you can learn from the ones you love.