The 2010/03/29 at 13:01
The words of Bérangère Deschamps, a lecturer at the IAE (Institut d’Administration des Entreprises, or Institute of Business Administration) of Grenoble and a researcher at the CERAG (Centre d’Études et de Recherches Appliquées à la Gestion, or Management Study and Applied Research Centre), will reassure many managers working in family businesses: “We observe that dismissals are much less numerous in this type of company, especially for positions of responsibility.”
Generally speaking, family enterprises are more secure environments, according to surveys and testimonies. Stéphane Salini, Co-President of the family SME Salini, specialising in corporate real estate services, explains that in his company, “reserve funds constituted year after year largely serve to avoid letting go of employees hastily when things turn tough. Many family businesses work this way. We have gone through the recent crisis without any hitches. There have been no dismissals.”
According to a survey carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2008, over half of the managers recruited by such businesses declare that they are “very satisfied” with their daily living conditions. The survey also points out that heads of family companies feel more involved in the local economy. In this way, 55% of them consider it important to be able to help others thanks to their wealth. “This is another aspect that seduces employees and is a source of pride for them,” continues Stéphane Salini.
The survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers also specifies that in a majority of cases, employees in family businesses say that they share the same culture and values as those driving their bosses. But employees and managers of family structures are also familiar with the flipside. “When recruiting a manager, we might be able to offer an acceptable salary, but in terms of various bonuses and advantages, it is difficult to win him or her over,” regrets the company head.
Family businesses are, by nature, strongly rooted in their values of producing quality work and supporting a real family spirit. “But these assets aren’t everything,” he adds. Career prospects are often not the most attractive. Some observers also mention the existence of a “natural ceiling” for every employee outside of the family stakeholders – a limit that stems from not being part of the family in question.