A Case for a Family-Based Approach to Your Team

16 Oct 2020 | Team

Some of the most successful small and medium-sized businesses treat their team members like valued family members. While many business gurus would argue that this may be bad for business, there’s something to be said for a family-based approach.


Benefits of a Family-Based Approach 

Let’s look at why this approach may be a good idea for you. 

1. Higher work satisfaction = better productivity: According to Gallup, people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be fully engaged in their work. Your staff spends an average of 40 hours on the job each week and sees their colleagues more than their own family. We all crave human interaction, and when we have great relationships at work, we not only enjoy our work, but we’re also more productive and the quality of our work shoots up.

2. A great culture attracts great talent: For many, it’s not just about the money. Talented people often take lower-paying jobs if they could work in the right environment. Small and medium-sized businesses can’t always compete with big corporations when it comes to salaries; to attract the best, your culture needs to be the best.

3. Turnover is expensive: Every time an employee leaves, you lose money. Think about training new employees, delays, lost productivity, etc. People who are happy at work are less likely to leave.


How Do You Create a Family-Based Team Culture? 

Every family is different, and of course, not every type of family culture would work in the business. An absent parent (or boss) whose only form of communication is shouting when something’s not going according to plan, is not exactly a great recipe for success. 

So, which traits would create a great family culture at work?


Open Communication 

If your team believes they’re in the know, they’ll feel valued and they’d be willing to walk through fires for you (don’t let them do it, though!). 

Don’t be afraid to share bad news, either. If the business is going through a tough time – very common now thanks to the pandemic – there’s no reason to try and hide it. News flash: they already know things aren’t going too great. You don’t need to share every little detail, but if you take them into your confidence, they’ll do everything they can to help you, the company, and the rest of the team through hard times.


Invest in Their Growth 

When we invest in the personal and professional development of the team, we see them make increasingly better contributions to the success of the business. 

The more you invest in them, the more they’ll come up with fresh ideas and perspectives.


Family Time a.k.a. Team Building 

Many people are exhausted right now. We’ve had a few hard months behind us, and maybe more to come, and many people are concerned about the future. Your team may be frustrated with things they can’t get done or work they’ve done pre-covid that may seem gone to waste. Whatever the case, everybody needs a break away from the job – either as a team-building exercise or a few days off. 

A couple of months ago we took the team to the Fear Factory, where everybody could scream their frustrations out. Like the saying (which we’ve totally made up) says: “A team that screams together, stays together.”


Is a Family-Based Team Approach for You? 

You may not want your team to call you ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’, but making a few tweaks to the way you treat your team may just create the culture you need for your business to thrive.  

Do you think it’s a good idea to treat your team like family? What else are you doing to create the right culture?