Creating the right team for a family business

By Paul Andrews, Family Business United.
Family businesses are the backbone of the national economy, driven by purpose and aligned values, and making a difference through the jobs they provide, income they generate and wealth they create.
Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24
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Family Businesses:
Paul Andrews, Family Business United

With more than five million family firms in the UK today, many are approaching a critical stage in their journey as they start to plan for the future and build a team that will enable them to succeed.

Family businesses are all about the people that own, manage and run them on a daily basis, so how do you go about creating a team that is fit for purpose, now and in the future?

Define roles and responsibilities:

Clearly outline the roles each family member and non-family employee will play to avoid confusion and allow everyone to appreciate their place within the organisation.

Prioritise competency:

Emphasise skills and qualifications when hiring. Whether it’s a family member or an outsider, competency should be the primary factor in recruiting the best person for each role – people should always be employed based on merit.

The next generation:

Family members may or may not want to be part of the family business, so it is best to ask them! Open, honest conversations enable strategic decisions to be made in the best interests of the individual, the family and the family business. While they may not wish to be engaged in the family business, they may see a future by way of ownership instead.

Staff training:

Invest in training and development programmes for all team members. This ensures continuous improvement, encourages career progression and demonstrates a willingness to support personal growth. It can also help the business stay competitive in a dynamic market and increase the pool of talent for promotion into future management and leadership roles.

Open communication:

Foster a culture of transparent communication to address concerns and conflicts effectively and encourage a culture that rewards contribution and encourages feedback at all levels. Open dialogue enhances teamwork and allows the business to adapt to changing circumstances while creating a positive environment where everyone feels they have a voice.

Diversify perspectives:

Strive for diversity in your team, bringing in individuals with different backgrounds and experiences, family and non-family. This diversity can lead to innovative solutions and a more resilient business strategy for the longer term. It builds a company that is able to embrace change as its journey continues.

Establish a succession plan:

Develop a well-thought-out succession plan to smoothly transition leadership roles within the business. Identify and develop successors for all key roles, from within the family, broader employee pool and outsiders as required. This will minimise disruptions and ensure the firm’s potential for longevity.

Plan for the future:

Recruit today for the needs of the family business tomorrow. The business world is changing at pace and family firms need the right people, with the right skills, in the right roles, with the necessary leadership, to enable the business to achieve its long-term goals.

Get in Touch

Paul Andrews is the founder and Managing Director of Family Business United, an organisation that champions the contribution of family firms across the UK.

T: 07718 001179
Or visit

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