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8 Ways To Leverage Your Unique Family Culture

Every business has its own unique culture but never more so than within a family business. Family businesses feel different, and a strong family business culture can inspire high levels of engagement and commitment from employees.

Beverley Mitchell from Beverley Mitchell Consulting shares 8 tips with us about how you can utilise your own unique culture to drive long term business effectiveness and success.

1. Consider your culture and values as a whole.

This is your Unique Selling Point. Understand how your culture differentiates you from your competitors and ensure that your existing and potential customers, employees and suppliers understand that too.

2. Many family businesses are now into their third or fourth generation.

This provides the business with stability, dependability, trustworthiness and reliability. All of these are highly attractive characteristics when it comes to winning new customers, suppliers and employees. Ensure you maximise these by regularly communicating these qualities.

3. Family businesses can offer benefits and rewards to their employees which are above and beyond other companies.

For example, profit share schemes, holiday accommodation available to employees for free or at significant discounts, long service awards. Ensure that you regularly communicate these additional benefits to your current employees as well as sharing this information with potential employees.

4. Family businesses often have many long-serving employees.

Identify ways to make their experience and expertise count. Get the long serving employees to act as ‘buddies’ for new joiners or mentors for developing employees. Make sure you use knowledge management systems to capture and share their experience and expertise across the wider business and for future team members.

5. In the battle to win and retain talent, people are looking for the best work life balance they can find.

Family run businesses that leverage their ‘family focus’ are in a unique position, so make sure you make the most of this aspect when you recruit.

6. Engaging with staff socially helps.

Family businesses that manage and promote the social engagement of their employees with social events such as BBQ’s or smaller social gatherings, should ensure these are promoted during recruitment as examples of how their business rewards and recognises its employees.

7. Family businesses tend to take the long view when it comes to investing in the company’s development rather than constantly looking for short-term gain to please external shareholders.

Consider the benefits that this long-term view can bring to customers, employees and suppliers and communicate these benefits clearly to these key stakeholders.

8. Take nothing for granted. Finally, employees of family businesses, especially those with long service, can sometimes take for granted the additional monetary and non-monetary benefits that your family business culture provides. Ensure you send out annual employee benefits statements detailing all the benefits that you provide to help build engagement, loyalty and employee retention.

About the Author - Beverley Mitchell has been working in or alongside family businesses for most of her career and has personally experienced the high levels of engagement and commitment that a strong family business culture can inspire. She set up Beverley Mitchell Consulting Ltd (BMC) in early 2015 to help family businesses to leverage their unique culture to drive engagement across every level and in every area of their business. Beverley’s approach is one of partnership and collaboration and she uses her personal, intuitive and pragmatic style to create tailored solutions which drive both business growth and staff engagement and retention.


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