One of the many challenges in owning and operating a family business is keeping the talent. How does one find and retain top talent? According to several articles and especially this one from CNN good talent relies on 60-70% on the job experience, 20% education, and 10% mentoring and coaching. The article cites companies like Unilever and Proctor and Gamble that really turn out impressive leaders by any field’s standards. And they’re able to do so by incorporating training, mentoring, coaching, and job experience that brings out their strengths.
An important lesson for family business is to bring on talent from the outside and not be afraid to have them be successors and work with them as though they were “part of the family.” That means including them on important decisions, taking them out to dinner, getting to know their families and involving them. In this way, they are engaged and close. Granted, this would not be for every employee, but it would be for the ones that show promise as leaders in the organization.