Confirming the optimum role for a family member entering the business is an exciting process that takes patience, honesty and proactive aggressive coaching. For the family member to have the opportunity to achieve their ultimate role the most important developmental activity is establishing, monitoring and refining a three to five year on-the-job-training plan that exposes the candidate to most if not all the departments of the business. This development track should offer diversity and challenges that provide sufficient feedback to confirm the optimum job role.

The track should also provide the candidate the peace of mind that they are truly being given an opportunity to see the entire business and not be pigeonholed somewhere that is way out of their comfort zone and interest. Finally regardless of how broad or narrow the ultimate job, this track provides the family member employee an understanding of how all the departments work together to fulfill the company’s mission.

The feedback for confirming the optimum career path for the candidate’s skills, aptitude and attitude comes over time in the form of a progression of performance reviews, candidate reflections, 360 reviews, mentoring and industrial psychology assessments that confirms they have the personality, orientation and versatility for the preferred job role. Assuming everyone is committed to the process, over a three to five year period, there should not be any surprises or shock regarding fulfillment of career preferences, goals or dreams of both the successor candidate and the parent. Now that does not mean there will not be a few heated discussions, but that’s healthy because passion, drive and conviction are the key components to successfully achieving the family member employee’s goals as well as those of the mentor, business, owner, supervisor, and Certified Succession Planner™

In conclusion, my experience has confirmed that the progression and ultimate impact of a family member’s entry into the business is directly proportional to the investment of forethought and pre- planning that the business owner and leadership put towards the success of the process. The investment is worthwhile because today’s new employee could be relied upon to reconcile the future’s challenges. The organization of a family member employee development team and a subsequent successor development curriculum is a high quality representation of good investment in forethought and planning

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