Common Causes of Family Conflict & What to Do About Them. Video No 48. Old Retainers.
Old retainers area a common cause of conflict in family businesses where Mum or Dad has worked with “old Phyllis / Sam” since the early days and has made promises that “we’ll always look after you”. The new business leaders are being made to feel obliged to honour these promises.
- The old retainers are no longer adding much value to the business and,
- They’re always suspected of spying for Mum or Dad on their successors and,
- They can undermine modernisation attempts because “that’s not the way your father/mother would have done it”.
- Work out what, if any promises have actually been made, and the family’s appetite for dealing with the situation, now it’s been openly ventilated.
- Compare the old retainer’s competencies and contributions against objective HR requirements to get a proper baseline fix on the scale of the issue.
- Negotiate, or impose a more constructive employment arrangement, if possible and appropriate.
- Negotiate, or impose an exit plan, if appropriate.
- Whatever you do, ensure that the final solution is approved and supported by Dad or Mum.