Disputes naturally come with owning and managing a business. A good manager resolves disputes swiftly and efficiently; indeed, around 30% of a typical manager’s time is spent dealing with and resolving workplace conflicts. But when family members are part of the business, whether as colleagues or employees, disputes can become a lot more complicated. In especially serious cases, intervention from a third-party mitigator or lawyer may even be necessary.
The interconnectedness of family within a business structure can cause conflicts that may lead to bigger problems if not handled properly. Though there are rules and regulations put into place to create a decisive separation between work and family matters, it’s better to take extra precautions to ensure that the business would not suffer in case of inevitable quarrels between members.
Here’s how you can manage conflicts in a family-owned business before it escalates.
Make time and space for family members to express their grievances.
Most conflicts erupt from a lack of proper communication or, in some cases, miscommunication. When people, regardless of whether they’re related or not, feel as though they’re not heard or appreciated enough, even the smallest concerns can balloon into enormous issues. This is why a leader or manager, or a family patriarch or matriarch, should set aside a place and time for each member to express themselves and give or take constructive criticisms. They should be able to listen without judgment and be fair in considering and resolving the issues brought up.
Make use of formal governance structures to resolve issues.
Formal structures make the separation of business and familial duties easier. To mitigate issues more effectively, abide by the governance structures put into place. This can help make the process of resolving disputes much smoother as it provides a safe, clear-cut way to address and negotiate conflicts.
Bring in a third-party expert to professionally mitigate.
Some concerns are too complicated to be tackled informally. In such cases, calling in your family law attorney or solicitor to objectively mediate a constructive dialogue. A mediator can help navigate through a conversation until everyone agrees on a final resolution.
In this regard, disputes within a family-owned business are no different from those in other businesses. Resolving them can take a bit of time, but with the right help, it could be over and done with easily and quickly.
Find a reputable and reliable lawyer in Cairns.
Marino Lawyers has a team of experienced lawyers who can help you out in dealing with disputes in your family-owned business. Call us on (07) 4081 6700 and we could discuss how we could be of assistance.