Engagement matters more than on your brand’s social media accounts. For a family business, it needs to start within the organization, especially with your younger members.
When planning for the next generation, engagement needs to happen early and often. That way, you can forge an emotional investment in the company. Organizations often seek out third parties for family business succession planning. There are many situations where engagement becomes challenging, requiring a helping hand.
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What is “Engagement” in Family Governance?
Engaging your younger family members doesn’t need to include a high-ranking position. At first, it simply requires some insight into the inner workings of your facilities. That can include something as benign as a conversation at the dinner table. The aim in the beginning is not to force their participation but to generate interest.
Family business succession shouldn’t happen overnight but after many conversations. Eventually, when they can take on responsibilities, they will eagerly participate. You should remain transparent during the process, even if something doesn’t work. Any continuity planning service can tell you that white lies can quickly snowball into problems.
How Should I Engage Younger Family Members?
Engaging younger family members is an opportunity to teach them the basics. That includes teaching them about risks, opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, and current goals. Field any questions that you can to improve their willingness to learn. Even if you don’t know an answer, there is always someone who does.
Specifying which goals are short-term and what the long-term goals are is also wise. That way, they can begin to learn about balance and endurance. When they are old enough, having them attend meetings is a great introduction. They will feel like they’re a part of the organization both now and in the future.
The Benefits of Engaging Younger Members
Today, shareholders are spread throughout the country, if not the globe. That makes engagement especially vital for dispersed families and second-generation members. Engaging your family today helps to develop the next generation of owners. That will also ensure that your candidates remain qualified when you need them.
Not all brands will last forever, but planning now will maximize your company’s lifespan. That can lead to better planning for the brand’s long-term goals. Annual meetings should have a buildup of several meetings throughout the year. When everyone feels connected, they want to continue helping where they can.
Practice the Values of the Family Brand
How frequently have you rolled your eyes at companies defining their “values”? Unfortunately, your brand is not immune to that reaction, especially among younger members. We know it’s challenging to practice what you preach as a family business advisory service. However, avoiding any sense of hypocrisy can help younger members feel at home.
Everyone in your company and family has unique talents and abilities to share. Put them all to better use with Positively People and contact us today to get started. Learn more about Positively People services.