Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues

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Hiring family members might be beneficial for some businesses. It’s convenient for companies that are just starting, want to employ quickly, or need help getting back on track. Plus, the owner already knows the employee’s weaknesses and strengths, and the relative will likely be more motivated to contribute to the business’s success. 

However, some may find it difficult to stay professional while working together, as it was for this father and son. The parent didn’t like that his child was calling him “Dad” in front of everyone at the company and asked him to come up with something different. So he did and maliciously called him that for more than 20 years.

Scroll down to find the full story and a conversation with business consultant and the host of Behind The Business podcast, Ryan Drake, who kindly agreed to tell us more about the family business dynamics.

Hiring family members might be beneficial for some businesses

Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues

However, some may find it difficult to keep it professional, like this son, who called the owner “Dad”

Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues
Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues
Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues
Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues
Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues
Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues
Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues
Dad Asks Son Not To Call Him By His Name During Work, Malicious Compliance Ensues

It’s important to stay professional in a family-owned or controlled business

It’s not unheard of for company owners to hire their close relatives. In fact, today, family-owned businesses are largely important participants in the world economy, with 90% of American organizations being family-owned or controlled. 

Daily Trend Blog reached out to business consultant and the host of Behind The Business podcast, Ryan Drake, who kindly agreed to tell us more about the family business dynamics.

He believes that hiring close relatives can be extremely beneficial, especially for small companies. “The reason why is that your family member understands the nuances and subtleties with which you communicate, so you save time having to train up a brand new hire. Because they’re family, they can also have a vested interest in the business and your mutual success,” he explains.

However, as with most personal relationships, relatives working together might face some challenges that can impede their everyday operations. Drake mentions the main ones, which are unclear expectations and communication around how work should be completed, by whom, and when.

“The lines can be blurred if the job description and task at hand isn’t clear enough. I believe these challenges can be addressed through regular performance reviews,” he adds.

Generally, before choosing to welcome a family member to the team, the owner or manager might want to thoroughly consider if they can maintain a professional relationship between them. 

Drake suggests refraining from calling each other nicknames like “Mom” and “Dad” and instead referring to them by their names or roles. “This allows you to keep a nice and healthy separation between work and family life,” he says. 

Working with your family can be rewarding but it shouldn’t be taken lightly

For anyone who is thinking about working with their close relatives, Drake advises going for it. “There’s so much to be learned from working together with family members! I think you should definitely go for it and learn to work out the issues and kinks in the process. Just be sure to set clear expectations from the outset, so people aren’t upset and the relationship isn’t significantly impacted.”

As the business consultant mentioned, working with your family can definitely be rewarding, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. One thing that is best to avoid is nepotism, which is the practice of favoring relatives while rejecting the most qualified specialists. This may negatively impact the business as qualified and capable professionals aren’t being hired, and the family member might not have the necessary skills or experience for the position.

It’s also crucial to treat them like any other employee. If anyone on the team feels like they’re receiving special treatment, it can cause resentment and friction, creating an unpleasant workplace culture. That said, a close relationship also shouldn’t be abused or mistreated. Ensuring that every employee, family or not, receives the same benefits and a fair salary according to their position helps to avoid any dissatisfaction. 

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