How to Handle Working for Family-Owned Employers

Ah, the family business. If you’re not a family member but you’re employed by small business owners who are related and often squabble, proceed with caution.

As per a piece in today’s New York Post, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. For starters, avoid getting drawn into their own disputes.

Human resources executive and columnist Gregory Giangrande writes:

“Remember, no matter what, you’re not family. You’re not going to inherit the business. You are an employee, and you have no more business getting involved in personal family disputes that spill over into business than you do as their guest at Thanksgiving dinner trying to referee a holiday family smack-down.”

Despite your best attempts to avoid the family squabbles, if you somehow get roped in you can simply explain the way you can be most helpful is by “focusing on their business and not their personal issues.”

Part of being successful in this role involves being a mindful listener, too. He adds, “At most, be a good listener, but never pick sides because, well, you may pick the wrong side — or there may no longer be sides if the parties resolve their differences.”