HELP- creative disciplinary actions for owner in family biz

BusinessFoolBusinessFool Posts: 2subscriber

My father and I work together in a family owned business.  The company has 100-130 people and in the last few years added a non-family President to run day to day operations and reports to the Board of Directors.  My father and I are both on the board and owners along with 2 other family members.
My father is very useful from his knowledge of the industry, contacts, etc.  Typically he has limited duties, however on occasion he is assigned tasks.  When he is assigned tasks he will periodically end up in a fit of profanity/temper tantrum, directed at no one, however not in the privacy of his office or car.  
A recent outburst was probably the worst.  Our outside President doesn`t want himself or the company in the situation of `special rules` because that could lead to a legal nightmare.  The problem the President and Board have is how do we take disciplinary action when:
1) Any suspension -  my father would only see as a vacation
2) Any withholding of pay - He is comfortable enough that a doc in pay is useless, unless it was a major % of compensation - which also sets bad precedence
Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Bfool
 

Comments

  • dsprindledsprindle Posts: 2subscriber
    Not knowing the details, one thing is certain. When family members are involved it is easy to let emotions and opinions cloud the issue. Make sure you are addressing the real issue and not a red herring. What is the truth that underlies his behavior?
     
    Once you have identified the true issue (jealousy, need of attention, animosity. etc), allow your corporate bylaws to address the real issue. If your bylaws are lacking the teeth to deal with the issue, this is a great opportunity to change them. Do not let opinions rule the day, that`s what bylaws are for.
     
    Hope this applies and is helpful to your situation.
    dsp
  • BusinessFoolBusinessFool Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks to all.
    1) Counseling - he would go. He would be more shocked that we all think he has a problem, forgetting the dozens of other times we have addresses the issue with written warnings, suspension, etc..  I can see the look of shock on his face - who? me?  The issue would be that he doesn`t acknowledge he has a problem and would be going because he has to do it to comply with board request and/or to get everyone off his back.  We have been to family/group counseling just before we hired the non-family President, which ended up focusing on the rest of us learning to deal with the way he is.  I was President at the time and was about to lose my mind because he could not follow orders.
     
    2) Replacement - He does have a long time in the industry and knowledge that few people have.  It would be difficult to replace him.  The bigger problem is if we fired him, he would probably need to call in some of his loans to the business.  So the company would still be paying out an amount equal to his salary, and not have the benefit of his knowledge and his contacts. 
     
    3) `Screaming Boss` - His fits happen only a couple of times a year and many go unheard by anyone else.  Just this time it was witnessed by several employee.  In general, he is extremely well liked by employees.  If anything he attitude is not profit driven enough, he has the hobby shop mindset. 
     
    4) Identify the issue - My knowledge of him over the last 36 years of my life can be summed up by the following regarding this issue:
    a) He is an `unorganized, optimist with a short temper` - He expects everything to go right, with little or no planning, and becomes irritated/confused/irate when things don`t go as hoped 
    b) His main focus with the business is with i) people -to be well liked by co-workers & customers ii) get involved in the next new and interesting project - to only get bored quickly
     
    5) Bylaws/Employee Manual - have the bite, just as discussed in #3 above I don`t this is the best course of action.
     
    BF
  • LiveWiseLiveWise Posts: 5subscriber
    I don`t understand why a thread is posted about this problem and it sounds like everybody is at their wits end and then the negative actions are defended because it only happes a couple times a year and is well liked. 
     
    It makes it hard to respond to when we aren`t getting accurate information.  Figure out if you are willing to hold him accountable for his actions instead of defending the actions--that`s probably why the issue continues.  If you make excuses, you are not doing any favors for either you, your dad, or your business.  The behavior will continue as long as it`s allowed.  If the past disciplines don`t work, then figure out disciplines that do work, exclude him from the business, or have all Board meetings off site where you can have his knowledge/contacts and he can have his outbursts without affecting others besides the Board members that choose to be present. 
     
    But if his knowledge/contacts are so valuable, why isn`t somebody learning from him?  What would you do if he decided tomorrow that he is done and will not spend anymore time on this business because he already has enough money and wants to retire?  What if he had a health issue and couldn`t communicate?  If what he has is so valuable that you are willing to keep him and his tantrums on board, why isn`t somebody learning this knowledge and making contacts?
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