Encourage your younger generation and your family to follow their passion and find work that they find both personally rewarding and in alignment with their natural talents.
Whatever you do, don’t in any way, coerce them into coming into the family business for the wrong reasons.
I’m blessed to work with a wide range of family businesses and have found some of the healthiest and most successful family businesses have families that encourage and support the next-generation to be successful regardless of whether they’re in the family business or not.
Today’s younger generation is much more focused on doing work that is fulfilling and rewarding to them personally. As a family business you can either support that notion or fight it.
Some creative families will find ways to broaden their business focus or create new opportunities within the family business that will better match the aptitude and interest of the younger generation. That approach can create a win-win for the family and the family business.
Another scenario is where the younger generation goes out and builds their professional identity and resume working elsewhere. Years later, after having built personal confidence and satisfaction developing special expertise or experience, the family member might come back. They can see their career in the family business as something that fits into their long-term personal vision.
Too often family members join the family business without thoroughly exploring their own personal interests and aptitudes. They later realize the family business might not be the best fit but are now comfortably secure, yet not terribly satisfied or effective in the family business.
First and foremost the bottom line should be helping the next-generation be successful. For many families going through the exercise of creating a family employment policy is a great way to flush out these ideas. Creating a family employment policy is just one out of 24 exercises that are a part of our Family Business Survival System. Learn more about it here.