Working with a friend or family member that you already get along with can brighten up your days at work that might otherwise be boring, lonely or challenging. If you’ve been recruited by a friend or family member or are considering recruiting someone you care about to work with you, these words of advice are helpful:

1. Never (never, never) take a job that would require you to directly oversee a friend or family member. Disciplining someone you know personally can be hard and firing them can be even harder. Doing either can destroy your friendship or relationship, and failing to do either when their performance is not up to par can result in discipline or termination of your own employment.

2. Never take a job that would require you to report directly to a friend or family member. You will not receive the transparent feedback you need to be successful and when you are successful, you will not gain the acknowledgment and respect you deserve from colleagues, who may credit your success to your connection.

3. Don’t allow your personal relationship to distract you from work. Having a friend at work is a great perk, but letting it impact your performance or productivity is a bad idea. Choose your wording carefully to protect your friendship while still taking ownership for your own performance.  “I can’t wait to hear more about it! I don’t want to miss this deadline; can we visit after work?” or “Wow, that’s great! What time are you taking lunch? Maybe we can finish this conversation then.”

4. Use a third party to avoid conflicts of interest. If you have to make a business decision that could personally benefit your friend or family member and colleague, always step out of discussions and allow the decision to be made by a neutral third party to avoid conflicts of interest.

5. Know company policy. The Society for Human Resource Management recommends that companies have an Employment of Relatives policy in place, and many employers do. Understanding what’s allowed and what’s strictly off-limits is critical before moving forward with an arrangement like this.

When you follow these best practices, working with friends and family members can actually turn out to be beneficial. Some of the great benefits include working alongside someone you like, having camaraderie at work, and sometimes even personal benefits like the ability to carpool.

We are interested in hiring friends and family at Crown Services, Inc. so much so that we have a referral program.