Managing Friends and Family at the Workplace: Part 5 – Avoid Favouritism

3 mins read

This article is written to provide you with an understanding why it is important to avoid favouritism when working with or planning to employ friends and family.

As previously stated, it is important that you treat your friends and family like any other employee, no matter how close you are to them. It is common for people to leave a company due to a culture of favouritism, this can make people feel as though they are not as valued or that their career is not as likely to progress as others.

When thinking about hiring someone you personally know, it is always best to think critically.

  • Why are you considering them for this role?
  • Is this the right decision for the company?
  • Do they have the right skillsets or talent to work in the position?

Due to the potential complications of working with friends and family, it may be a good decision to stay clear of hiring someone you have a pre-existing relationship with. Unless they are bringing value to your business and team. When working with someone you know well, if it ends badly, it can have a serious negative effect both personally and professionally.

Whenever possible, it is suggested that you remove yourself from the hiring process, this way you will avoid accusations of favouritism or nepotism. We recommend that a clearly defined job description is available for the individual with whom you have a relationship with, so you are able to professionally articulate your expectations of them.

By having a clearly defined job description available, the team members may adjust to the working relationship better as they will understand what role the friend or family member will play within the company or team.

Once the friend or family member has commenced working, it is best practice to touch base with everyone regularly to get feedback on how they are things are going and to ensure nobody feels undervalued with the new team arrangement.

It always helps to be transparent and communicative with your employees, letting them know what is coming down the road. Remember it is important to treat your friends and family like any other team member, conduct regular follow-up meetings to get feedback to ensure everybody is feeling supported and valued in their roles.

For more on managing friends and family at the workplace, please be sure to see part 6 of the series, “Avoid Gossip”.

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