CEO Sundays: Start a Second Family At the Office

By January 13, 2013


In the midst of a month filled with New Year’s resolutions and positive thinking – there’s no better time to treat your business team just like a family. This can be something as small as hosting a happy hour for your coworkers, or maybe something that goes a bit further (which I’ll get to later).

If you can create the combination of both a great product, and a family-like environment at the office, you’re going to go far. Trust me.

Coworkers and Friends

You’ll hear time and time again that you need to place a strict line between your business and your friends. I couldn’t disagree more. My business partner is my best friend. And before we became partners, he was my boss. We’re a shining example that a friendship and a business relationship can in fact coexist.

A successful business relationship can in some ways be like a successful marriage. And like any marriage, there are always bumps in the road. But at the end of the day, both parties are committed to what’s best for the relationship in the long term — and that can make powerful things happen.

At the same time, it’s important for your entire team to remember that from time to time you have to make executive decisions. When this happens, respect is a huge part of the relationship. From my experience, true friends will give you just that —they will respect your business decisions and understand that is part of your job.

Create a Culture of Family

The expectation with a family is that people won’t leave once they’re a part of it. Why not bring that same expectation to your workplace?

Because I run a technology company, it’s important to find employees that are very skilled in different technologies. And trust me, these people don’t come by often. Because of this, I’ve made it a goal to create such a positive company culture that employees don’t want to leave once they’re a part of it.

To create this “family,” make every employee feel like a valuable team member. Don’t make them feel dispensable. Treat them with respect, decency, and fairness, and they’ll treat you with the same.

At the same time, I’m lucky enough to like every member of my team (keep that in mind when hiring people). Why wouldn’t I want to create a positive environment in which they work?

Family Events and Sugar Bribes

Like I’ve hinted at multiple times in this article, people just want to feel respected. That should be a no-brainer. And as an entrepreneur, it’s your job to do that. I realized early on in my business ventures that even though we had a great product, we were never going to amount to anything more if we didn’t have great people behind the product.

To secure these great people, don’t be afraid to spend a little capital on creating a place people enjoy working. Invest in an office party or some fun decor. Whatever you do, happier employees always correlate with a happier boss when the profits start rolling in.

Oh, and buy them cake, and cookies sometimes. And pie. Everyone likes pie.

 Bring it Home

You want your employees to actually look forward to work in the morning because they know they’ll be spending most of the day with smiles on their faces. When the clock hits 6 p.m. and some employees are still working at their desks, you know you’re doing it right.

There’s no better way to do this than to look at your business team as your family. Treat them with respect and create a positive culture. That’s a New Year’s resolution that will definitely be worth following through.