Going Outside – The Runaway Manager

“Before we knew it, we learned that we were having a Grand Opening for our new Manhattan retail store later that week. And we weren’t even a retailer“

To help with the growth our family business, our family hired a key non-family manager for the first time.  Attracting an outside manager into a family business is especially challenging with regards to compensation.  Like many closely-held firms, we weren’t willing to give up equity in the business, so we created a compensation package built around a performance bonus.  We selected an outside executive who came from a larger company, who brought proven expertise to grow our company rapidly. Coupled with their high ambition, it seemed like a good idea to tie their compensation into sales growth. More…

We’ll Never Do That Again: Taking the Temperature of Your Family Business Culture

We thought we had pretty thick skin until we received responses from our Employee Opinion Survey.

When was the last time you asked your employees how they thought things were going? We had just come off an unsuccessful union organizing drive in our family business by a small faction of disgruntled employees. Even though the union wasn’t voted in, it made us aware of some employee issues that needed attention to improve the culture of our company.

When the labor issue was over, part of the healing process was how to move forward and mend relations with the affected employees. We had hired an outside labor management firm to guide us through the unionizing campaign. The management firm used two tools to evaluate the employee sentiment. The first was a comprehensive wage survey to benchmark our wages against other companies in the area.  More…