Crafting a Retention Strategy for Your Family Business – HBR.org Daily

by | Sep 16, 2022 | Business

Family businesses offer the promise of close-knit family-like cultures that attract employees with similar values, but management must live up to this promise in order to retain employees. Family firms should lean into their unique advantages by fostering a sense of togetherness and shared identity among company personnel. Doing so will create a productive workplace and help insulate employees from thoughts of quitting and the temptation of offers from other firms. Family business managers may often be unable to offer monetary incentives to induce retention, but they should not settle into the belief that there is nothing they can do. By enhancing the firm’s family-like atmosphere and shared identity, family businesses can retain the valued employees who will help them thrive for generations to come.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, “The Great Resignation” has made retaining talent a top priority for most organizations. This phenomenon may be even more acute for family-owned businesses, because they often provide less-competitive salaries and benefit packages than their corporate rivals. With the best career opportunities typically reserved for family members, retaining nonfamily employees may be a specific area of concern, because they perceive a career advancement ceiling within their firms. Despite these challenges, family businesses also have unique advantages they can leverage in their retention efforts. Our research points to three important ways that family firms can lean into their advantages to retain talent.
Create a sense of “familiness” for all employees.
Family businesses offer the promise of close-knit, family-like cultures that attract emplo …

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