Family businesses create unique dynamics where loved ones work alongside each other. Parents look forward to their kids working beside them and eventually replace them when they retire.
Many relatives thrive in corporate environments, while others struggle with the work/home balance. Professional and personal lives often clash, creating conflict that results in a relative wanting to leave the organization.
Healthy business settings see family members unite and support professional and emotional growth. Yet, when one decides their passion isn’t with the family operation, the different path they want to take may create professional and personal animosity.
Time for a change and the steps to take
Removing the emotional elements, a child who wants to break free of the family business represents independence and self-confidence, personality traits that would bring pride to parents. However, the supposed betrayal committed by their offspring could result in a much different reaction.
Those with experience in family businesses see a common thread regarding senior members. Parental instincts can overcome sound business strategies. Mothers and fathers may fear that they’ve done something their child disapproves of or overall unhappiness with their current employer. Conversely, a step towards leaving puts them on a path of independence.
Open lines of communication are paramount. Full disclosure is needed to help loved ones understand why one family member is supposedly “turning their back” on the family business. Laying out the reasons for a departure must be clear. While any business suffers from an employee leaving, family enterprises could affect personal relationships and certain traditions during the holidays.
Sadly, walking away from a job could also be seen as walking away from the family, irreparably breaking a bond. Separating business from personal issues is an essential first step to ensure harmony, even after an offspring starts off on their own.