Successful family businesses are built on a solid foundation of values. Often these are unwritten and unspoken, but clearly understood by anyone working there. The vast majority of the values embodied in these organizations come from the values of the founder. Values like fairness, integrity, perseverance, creativity, passion, innovation, accountability, etc. Once these values are imbued in the organization, they can take on a life of their own. They become known for their exceptional service and willingness to go above and beyond to solve a problem or deliver something that is new and innovative.
This leads directly to attracting and retaining quality employees. People are attracted to organizations that share their values. Shared values lead to trust. Whether you are looking for a product, service or job, values matter.
So as a family business, make sure that you clarify what values you and your business are committed to. Ask yourself:
- Do our employees know what we stand for?
- What values do our customers think we believe in?
- Does our advertising and marketing material reflect our values?
- Do we interview for values when we are hiring new staff?
In our work with family owned businesses, there is sometimes a disconnect between the values that the family is held to and the values for the rest of the business. Every family wants to protect family members and provide for their security. Some businesses do not hold family members to the same standards as other employees. When this happens, neither the family member nor the other employees are well served. It leads to conflict, resentment and the loss of good employees.
When we work with family and closely held businesses, the values usually become very apparent. These values should become the linchpin between generations. When this happens, leadership transitions become much smoother and more effective. When we talk to key employees, they sometimes express a reticence to work with the “heir apparent”. Most of the time, this is because they do not believe that the values they have come to depend on will be honored.
That is why identifying and aligning your Core Values is one of our 10 Succession Strategies®. For more information, please visit our Business Succession page at http://www.tricirclefinancial.com/services/business-succession/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-560-1679.