• Tom McGinness, Leadership |
3 min read

The world has changed. So too have our attitudes to work as we continue the reassessment about what is truly important in life. 

Record numbers of highly skilled and top-performing employees fuelled “the great resignation” as they made different choices about the future of their careers. This has driven an acute labour shortage in many industries worldwide has made it a strategic necessity to attract and, more importantly, keep the very best people. It seems, finally, the “people agenda” has climbed to the top of the C-Suite priority list. 

“Talent risk jumped 20 places on the list of CEO priorities to become one of the leading threats to long-term growth. It was the first time in the history of the survey that the “people agenda” was seen as an urgent C-suite priority.” - 2020 KPMG CEO Outlook Survey

The pursuit of happiness

High-potential younger generations approach their employment choice in the same way customer preferences drive purchase decisions. Employees are no longer simply happy to have a job, that job must be at the type of place they feel proud to work for. Employees want a clear sense of purpose and the opportunity to be involved in meaningful work at socially responsible companies. Because when it comes down to it – why sit at a desk all day making someone else richer for a pay check that still doesn’t keep up with the rising cost of living? 

The solution is to offer purpose and meaning to employees which will contribute to high business and social performance in return.

“Businesses are now working hard to create work cultures in which there’s a shared purpose that attracts and retains the very best talent. Family businesses are already there. A purpose-driven culture underpinned by strong family and social values has long been a key to their success. Their historic commitment to community, environmental and social issues ticks most of the employee preference boxes, but it doesn’t stop there.”  - The future of HR : Lessons from the Pathfinders

According to The regenerative power of family businesses, in collaboration with STEP Project Global Consortium the majority of family businesses are actively developing the capabilities of the young, digitally savvy next generation leaders who bring fresh perspective on product, service, and operating innovations. 

They’re new-age entrepreneurs and they’re helping to create an exciting new vision for the future of the business.

Tapping into the value of the next generation

It’s no wonder that family businesses are often the preferred choice of so many high-performing employees. The strength of the families’ values, social purpose, persistent entrepreneurial drive, and environmental stewardship are characteristics that have long proven to be competitive differentiators. 

Empowering next-generation family members and employees to help shape the future adds even more strength to that advantage.

I’ve been lucky to experience the results first-hand where vibrant, organisation-wide entrepreneurial cultures have become competitive game changers. And I believe family businesses can — and should — be role models for the future of work in all types of businesses.

So, what can we all learn from the family business model?

The success of every family business is founded on its own unique characteristics, but there are many lessons and practices for every business to take away in building the workplace of the future.

Foster strength in  the company’s innovation and entrepreneurial orientation as the family businesses is continuously looking for opportunities to create innovative products and services and pursue new markets.

Recognise the impact of next-generation family members and employees on the direction of the business, and give them opportunities to contribute new ways of thinking about the business and introducing product and service innovations.

Tap into the digitally savvy capabilities of next-generation family members and employees and drive technological breakthroughs.

Recognise the value of increased diversity in creating a distinctive, long-term outlook for the business.

Actively evaluate the leadership potential of family members and employees across the spectrum of age, gender, ethnicity, and experiences outside the business.