Employees are sometimes afraid to voice their opinions. The same goes for disappointments, frustrations or general ideas, especially when it comes to changing the way things are done. As you can imagine, this can be damaging to the growth of a business; it can even stagnate it completely.

Working with family members, however, is a completely different story. Having such a deep relationship and history promotes honesty that you just don’t get from non-family employees, and this can be very good for business.

Yes, complete honesty can be a good thing! Here’s how working with family promotes honesty and why that’s so important.

Working with family promotes honesty…

Employees are the beating heart of any business; they are the key workers on the frontline and they are knee-deep in the day-to-day running of the business so they know what’s working and what’s not.

This insight is extremely valuable to every business owner, but not many employees share it. Why? Because not all businesses make their employees feel ‘safe’ enough to voice their concerns or to pitch new ideas.

This is where working with family members is extremely beneficial. It promotes honesty because:

  • Family members are not scared of getting fired (technically they can, but it is unlikely)
  • You know how to communicate with each other better (you both know the best way to speak to each other and how you will best respond)
  • You can have business meetings in more relaxed settings (for example, a relaxed meeting over dinner better promotes honesty)
  • You both want each other’s best interests so will listen (listening is often the weak link in communication)
  • Family members are trusted to go with their ideas and to run with it (you know your family members, so you put more trust and responsibility with them. In return, they feel psychologically safe to take initiative and voice their ideas).
  • Family members aren’t scared of making mistakes (many employees don’t take initiative because they are afraid of repercussions. Family members aren’t as they know that you will help them to learn from their mistakes).

…and this is great for business

Honesty is essential for building integrity in the workplace which in turn is essential for businesses to evolve and grow. You may not think that the success of a business is all that affected by honesty, but you’d be surprised. Here is why it is so important:

  • Honesty results in closer relationships – if employees are honest with each other, they can develop deeper and closer relationships.
  • Honesty is the foundation for trust and confidence – with trust in the company and confidence in leadership, employees are far more productive and happy.
  • Honesty nurtures wellness and reduces stress – voicing concerns and new ideas not only has mental benefits but it also allows employees to identify problems and work better as a team.
  • Honesty fosters an environment for self-accountability and responsibility – if your employees feel safe to be honest, they will be more willing to take on more responsibilities and to hold themselves accountable for their work. As you can imagine, this results in better individual performance but also as a team.

Honesty is the best policy

As the saying goes, honesty really is the best policy in the workplace. It has major benefits for all your employees and your business as a whole. While working with family members promotes honesty a lot more naturally than working with non-family members, fostering this same environment should be a goal for every business.

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