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Family Business Fairness Policies and Procedures Shirking Responsibility

There are two sets of rules in this company. One set is for the owner's son, and the other set is for the rest of us. He comes in late, leaves early, does practically no work, and walks around like he is our boss. I enjoy my work and the people here, but none of us know what to do about this spoiled brat.

One of the most effective ways to undercut morale, satisfaction, and productivity in a family business is to allow a family member to wander in, pretend to be working, strut around the office, and then head for the golf course. Not only is this type of behavior doing a disservice to the company and its employees, it is doing a disservice to junior too.

Although it typically makes sense to deal directly with people who are creating difficulties for you, the odds are that you will get nowhere if you go directly to junior. You can certainly try, but in this type of situation, you really need to look to his father, the owner.

The action that you need to take depends upon the owner's managerial style and objectives, along with your working relationship with him. If he is truly business-minded, equitable, and communicative, you should meet with him and discuss the situation in businesslike terms. Perhaps you could suggest another department where his son may fare better.

At the same time, if the owner's style is autocratic and dictatorial, or if his son's behavior is typical of the antics that he allows from employed family members, then junior's behavior is here to stay. In this case, you need to decide if you can ignore junior and focus on your work and career, or if his behavior is so upsetting that you need a permanent vacation from this family.

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