So begins a recent special report on family businesses published by The Economist.
A successful family business must be poised to prosper for many generations to come. A quick list of necessary items needed to create a successful family business include: alignment on important matters, a shared vision for the company, a detailed action plan, a family constitution, a shareholder agreement, a responsible owner and an official employment policy.
Writing a letter that expresses business advice from the leader of a family business to the successors of the business is an excellent method for examining what is truly important. This exercise allows the family business leader to reflect on the values of the family, review past challenges and provide invaluable family business advice that will provide beneficial guidance.
Trust in family business is a critical issue. Strong relationships which are based on trust and communication build equality and respect - not power and control. Trust can be built, measured, tested and repaired. It is a way of reducing uncertainty in interpersonal and organizational settings and is necessary for cohesive and productive professional relationships.
Disputes can cause major disruptions within a family business and even spell an end to the business if not handled effectively. This is exactly why learning how to facilitate dispute resolution in family business is vital. The development of a shareholder agreement can prove to be invaluable in resolving differences and protecting a family business from making destructive decisions.
Learning how to build positive working relationships is essential in a family business. Positive relationships are a factor in the success of the business and in the level of satisfaction at work. To build good working relationships in a family business, employees of the business must be proactive in making social investments in one another.
The strength of social relationships and strong ties to their manager can distinguish the happiest employees from everyone else. Family business support can be the greatest asset of a family business. Workers who believe their supervisor cares about them as people are oftentimes more productive and more likely to stay with a company long-term.
Positive bonding within families is a critical factor in the long-term achievement of the family as well as the family business. Families that have a culture of love and support ultimately lead to more successful working relationships and family business success. Social investment and bonding in the family business is an invaluable factor.
Happy workers have higher levels of productivity, produce higher sales and perform better in leadership positions. Are the leaders and employees who work in your family business workplace happy? Is it a positive place to work? Happiness affects success in all areas of life, and especially in a family business.