Six Sins To Avoid When Working With Siblings

Two business ladies talking

Being a business owner and having a sibling on your payroll can be tricky. In keeping with National Sibling Day, we’ve come up with six sins to avoid to ensure no blood is lost between you and your sibling – in and out of the office!

1. Don’t cross the line

Make sure you keep your personal and professional lives separate at all times. Your sibling hooking up with an ex-partner of yours at the weekend is not something that should be brought into the workplace, ever.

Ideally, this is something that should be set out before your sibling starts working for you, but if not, make it crystal clear that any problems outside of work should be left at the office door. That’s not to say you can’t ask how your mum’s doing during office hours, of course, but make sure it’s within reason.

2. Don’t confine your relationship to working hours

Make sure you still set aside time to hang out, outside of work. It’s important to maintain your brotherly/sisterly bond, and discussing work schedules doesn’t count!

3. Avoid special treatment

This can reflect badly on both of you. Other employees may question your management style if you’re seen to be acting favourably towards your sibling. As a result, employees may become disgruntled and this could impact the way they act towards your sibling – something neither of you want, we’re sure.

4. Don’t keep it a secret

You might be worried about how employees will react if their employer’s sibling is joining the workforce, but don’t keep it a secret. This could actually do more damage than good if it slips out of the woodwork at a later date, and your employees question your openness as a result.

Be transparent from the off and make it clear that your sibling will be treated no different to anybody else in the workplace.

5. Don’t abuse the relationship

You’ll undoubtedly have a bond with your sibling that you don’t have with the rest of the workforce, but don’t take advantage of it. You should refrain from asking your sibling to do things you wouldn’t ask from other employees, like secretly spying on others or demanding they stay late, for example.

6. Establish a dynamic

It can be odd for both you and your sibling to manage the change of dynamic. You might feel uncomfortable giving orders and your sibling might feel odd receiving them, but it’s important to establish that working dynamic, whereby you hold authority.

Let your sibling know that this doesn’t change how you operate outside of working hours, but that they must respect your position and the responsibilities that come with it in the workplace.

As with all employees, be sure to implement your authority in a professional, polite and considerate manner.

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