Adoption or Employment?
I am working with a small company with the "We are a family" in its Values, trying to convince them to drop it. Why? Because the negativity around this approach will eventually backfire and because no company can deliver this promise.
Work is not a family. Employment is not an adoption process, and we shouldn't mix them.
Expectations are different. You are expected to deliver at work and within the family to love and comfort. Family provides you with unconditional love and support, but work must be an environment where conditions for performance are set; otherwise, how can you deliver if it cannot be measured?
I cringe when somebody says, "We are a family". Breaking news; we don't need to be one for me to do a good job, so let that go.
The negativity around this notion indicates that we should abandon this idea. It has been labelled as toxic manipulation, crossing boundaries, parental relationships, and misunderstanding of loyalty.
So please don't go down that rabbit hole because you won't be able to deliver your idea. If you say we are a family, you cannot fire me when I don't perform or when times are difficult. It is like putting your kids on the street because money is tight or if they misbehave.
The moment you declare the family status that is the moment you fail your employees because you cannot deliver it.
Work requires clear expectations, boundaries, and guidelines around behaviour. And performance requires the same with additional elements of a great team atmosphere, quality leadership, minimum stress, clear vision, and available resources.
Do that, and you will not need to use the family card. Nobody is falling for it.