Hiring Your Own Children

You need some summer help and you have a teen who is looking for work! Perfect. You’ll hire your daughter or son and both problems are solved. While in many cases that can be a very workable solution there are other instances where hiring your own children can create more headaches than you ever imagined. As with most things in your business the key to success is careful planning. Here are a few tips for success:

Have a job description. This is important for any employee but will be especially important when hiring family members. Describe the tasks that are expected, the work hours and conditions.

Have an employee policy manual. This doesn’t have to be fancy but it should include the tasks that need to be completed along with clear instructions on procedures and work quality. Include general policies related to taking time off, and who to notify in the event of illness. The policy manual should also be clear about any training that is required, what equipment can (and can not) be used and when, and the safety plan in case of an emergency.

Have an letter of employment signed by both parties. This document should spell out the wage that is being paid, when and where checks can be collected, how hours are calculated, the policy on rest breaks and meal breaks, the starting date and the terms of employment.

It may seem a little silly to go through all of this with someone that you know as well as you know your own child but experience makes it clear that all of this process really helps to create a professional employee/employer relationship. By emphasizing the professional nature of this relationship you can help minimize the temptation to drag family baggage into the work environment. It will also help your teen set some important expectations about future jobs where the boss will not be “Mom” or “Dad”.


Tips on How to Motivate Employees

  • Organize jobs so that an individual can see the job through start to finish
  • Let employees interact with other employees, customers, and supervisors
  • Organize jobs into clusters that require a variety of skills
  • Allow some freedom for employees to make decisions in how to get a job done
  • Provide frequent feedback with clear standards about how success is measured
  • Provide opportunities for growth

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