3 Effective Ways to Beat Zoom Fatigue

Family businesses generally operate a bit differently than traditional companies. While many aspects are the same or similar, odd situations occur more often in family businesses. And, that’s due to the fact it’s family and not “strangers” that are part of the day-to-day operations. So, common things in regular business arrangements might be quite different than in a family business. For example, employee compensation. Some family businesses neglect to give their employees pay raises because they are members of the family. In other words, it’s not a common practice, because the business is run by a family, instead of unrelated individuals. Of course, the phenomenon of unconventionality is something that can easily be part of a family business, simply because all the individuals involved are related and feel an obligation and duty to the company.

Family Business Fringe Benefits are Fine, but Not Compensation Replacements

Some family businesses provide their employee relatives with certain fringe benefits. These might be things like extra flexibility with schedules. Or, extra time off for vacations with pay. It could even be things like a company credit card and/or a company vehicle.
The job of operating a family-owned company is often grievously complicated by friction arising from rivalries involving a father and his son, brothers, or other family members who hold positions in the business, or at least derive income from it. Unless the principals face up to their feelings of hostility, the business will suffer and may even die. —Harvard Business Review
While such perks are nice, they do not take the place of compensation. But, it isn’t at all uncommon for the family business head to see such fringe benefits as a replacement for compensation. Since their relative employees enjoy perks, they view this as some type of offset to a raise and reasonable pay. This can create very awkward and sometimes even toxic situations to arise. Moreover, if non-relatives are working in the company, who do receive bumps in pay periodically, this can lead to outright resentment.

How to Talk about Pay Raises in a Family Business

Needless to say, it is a very frustrating and even unfair position to be put into by the very business you so loyally serve. Worse still, is that the longer you let it go on, the more normalized it becomes. And that is definitely something you don’t want to happen. Here is some effective advice for approaching the subject about a raise in pay from your family business:
  • Determine your actual value. This applies to every employee, and not just individuals working for family businesses. You need to know for certain what your worth is, based on real-world comparisons. Unfortunately, too many employees overestimate their value and therefore, ask too much from their employer. So, be sure to do your research in order to determine your actual value in the workplace, base on your skill sets, experience, position, and responsibilities.
  • Understand the company’s financial position. Before you bring the subject up, be certain that you know the financial circumstances of the business at large. Don’t assume anything, particularly if you’re not regularly involved in the company’s finances. Guessing and vague ideas will only lead to trouble in one form or another. If you do not have a firm understanding of the business’s financial situation, it might make the entire exercise moot. Or, it could also cause you to become envious and greedy.
  • Be calm, reasonable, polite, but firm. There’s no question that being in such a set of unfair circumstances will cause you to have any number of negative feelings. Remember these are counterproductive to your end goal. You will get much further by being respectful but firm and by engaging in a good-faith negotiation, rather than starting a family feud. If you let your negative emotions get the best of you, it will only lead to a bad outcome in the short term, and perhaps even ruin your relationship over the long term.
What other suggestions do you have for such a peculiar and awkward situation? Please take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your unique perspective! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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