Managing Friends and Family in the Workplace: Part 1 – Introduction

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This article is an introduction to managing friends and family in the workplace and the different steps to take to ensure everyone gets the most out of the work relationship.

In Canada it is common to be working with or being employed by your friends or family members. In fact, 80% of Canadian businesses are family-owned contributing to 60% of Canada’s annual GDP.

Working with people who you have a pre-existing relationship with can be rewarding, but it can pose challenges. It can be tempting to provide too much guidance or insufficient feedback on performance because you do not want to upset the relationship outside of work. Unconsciously, it may also be easier to be more critical towards the individual or to overlook their ideas based on your experience with them outside of work. Regardless of what the relationship may be, it is crucial that the individual is treated like any other team member.

If you are planning to employ a friend or family member, or know that you will be working with them, it is crucial that you establish the best way to work together from the start. This can be achieved by:

    • Setting Boundaries and Expectations
    • Avoiding Bringing Personal Problems to the Workplace
    • Being Honest with your Team
    • Avoiding Favouritism
    • Avoiding Gossiping
    • Providing Regular Feedback
    • Including Everyone in Work Projects

These are just a few of the best tips to get you started when working with friends and family. For more on managing friends and family at the workplace, please see part 2 of the series, “Setting Boundaries and Expectations”.

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