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Family Business Terminations

I have been very patient with my son-in-law, but he is not working out in our business. I don't want to fire him, but it's apparent to just about everyone that he is still around because he is family, and people are getting upset about this. How do I fire my son-in-law and not ruin my relationship with him and my daughter?

If you simply fire your son-in-law, your daughter may sense that she is being fired too. At the same time, if your son-in-law is truly a bad match for the job, there are some steps to take.

In the first place, although you indicated that you have been patient, he may be in the wrong position altogether. Perhaps there is another job within the firm that is a better match for his skills, abilities, drive, and expertise.

In addition to considering other job opportunities within the company, it is also worthwhile to explore the possibility of providing him with more training, guidance, and opportunities for growth and development. If you have already taken these steps, and he has still failed to perform successfully, then it may well be time for you to make a move, and for him to make one too.

However, this move should be focused more on outplacement than termination. With this approach, you should arrange for him to receive some career guidance, planning, and related support to help him find a position that is a better match. Unless he is completely out to lunch, he knows that he is failing on the job. In fact, he and your daughter may be wondering how he can leave without ruining their relationship with you.

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