Retirement Onboarding - Communicating Family Succession Plans

How do you effectively communicate family succession plans? With transparency in your communications, properly preparing someone for leadership, and identifying potential skill gaps and behavior problems.

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Contributors David Brown

Question: “We are a 2nd generation contractor. How does one communicate the plan in such a way that it avoids alienating the family or the rest of the team, particularly when the family members who are succeeding me are vastly less experienced than the current leaders?”

Answer:

  1. Be transparent in your communications that the business is and will remain family owned, if that is truly your intention. This may cause some short-term problems, but the truth is that there are many very talented people who absolutely love working for family owned and operated businesses because of the culture.
  2. If the family member(s) have skill gaps, assign someone to specific mentoring roles and also make that transparent to everyone. There is a lot of honor and responsibility that goes into preparing someone to take a leadership role.
  3. Make sure to differentiate between skill gaps and behavior problems. Behaviors that are outside the cultural norms of the organization will do a lot of damage. This is doubly true if those behaviors are exhibited by a less experienced family member. That will endanger the business for the whole family and all of the team members.

This is Part 15 of a 15-Part Series


Topics Covered in the Series Include:

  • When is it Too Late to Start My Retirement Planning?
  • Where to Turn for a Helping Hand
  • Future Vision For Your Company
  • Post-Retirement Business Involvement
  • The Construction Retirement Masterpiece

Interested in learning more? Contact us.


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