One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to make sure your team members’ families are on board.


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Leaders need the support of team members’ families. Here are 14 ways to get it. (Click to Tweet)

They need to buy in to your mission and support the family member’s efforts to help the organization.

14 ways to get a team member’s family to love you and feel a part of the team:

1. Give a raise…at a non-traditional time.

Like today, for instance. Or next Tuesday. Just make it outside of your normal raise routine (i.e. annual review).

2. Write a handwritten note to the team member.

News flash…people share notes like this with their families.

3. Write the family a note.

Thank them for allowing their father/mother to be a part of the team and tell them how great of a job he or she is doing.

4. Send them on a date night together.

One of the best gifts I ever purchased for a team member was a $100 gift card to a nice restaurant. I booked and paid for their babysitter and let him off work an hour early to go get ready.

5. Share the organization’s history and mission with them.

Take the time to share the history and mission with the family and invite them to ask questions. Share heart-warming stories of how the organization started, why it exists, and where it is going.

6. Support your team’s dreams.

Attend an event outside of work that your team member does as a hobby. I once had a programmer who was close to leaving our team. That is until I attended his band’s concert at a local coffee shop. I sat there with a fellow programmer, the CEO and his wife, and enjoyed a night of good music and puffed pastries. But more importantly, I supported his dream. He was still with the company three years later.

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7. Mentor the team member.

This shows the family that you care about him or her.

8. Mentor a team member’s child.

If your team member has a child with a genuine interest in learning the business or role you play, spend some time and show him or her the ropes.

9. Give days off unexpectedly. 

Or an afternoon to go pick up the kids from school. I once got a thank you note from the wife of a guy on my team just for telling him to leave at 2:30…that’s only 3 hours early. But he was able to surprise his daughters by picking her up from school and it made their day.

10. Give to the family.

Find out what their kids and spouse like. I once had a team member whose child loved golf. I happened to know one of the top child instructor’s in the area, so I arranged a series of lessons for him. That meant the world to both of them…and his wife.

11. Have them over for dinner. 

There is no better way to get people to love you than to feed them.

12. Send them to seminar together.

Pay for team members to attend marriage seminars and other events together.

13. Host an event for the families.

Jack Galloway at the Lampo Group (Dave Ramsey’s organization) is great at this. He often had the families of his team members over for a kid’s movie and some great food at his barn. One company I worked for hosted Financial Peace University annually at the company offices and allowed spouses and children to attend. They even let team members off one hour early each week for the two-hour class. (I am a big believer that reduced financial stress and increased intensity to earn more money make for great workers)

14. Invite them to celebrate.

If a team member is getting a promotion, invite the family to the announcement. If the wife is pregnant, ask them to lunch with your family.

That is only a starter list, but doing just one of these things is a great start to getting your team’s families to love you.

What are some other ways you have use or seen used to get families involved?

15 thoughts on “14 Ways to Get Employees’ Families to Love You

  1. Eric Dingler says:

    Include wedding anniversary as a paid holiday in your HR policies.

  2. Bob Winchester says:

    What a great list! This is definitely making my best advice post for the week!

    I can’t say that I’ve seen much family involvement at the jobs I’ve had. Most of the time it seems like there has been a wall put up between family and work. With that being said, this seems like a great way to fully engage people.

    You’ve outlined some of the good times, but I also remember Dave talking about the bad times. Being understanding when people are having issues outside of work with their marriage or a sick family member could also go a long way to show that you care.

    Sharing this for sure!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Great point Bob. When bad stuff happens, the company should be there just like family.

  3. Let's Grow Leaders says:

    Great idea for a post. Having the team and their families over for dinner is amazing. I now have a team spread all over the country, so I can’t do that any more…. miss it.

  4. Carol Dublin says:

    Great ideas Matt. I have always thought at least knowing the names of kids and spouses was important, but these ideas take it so much further. Terrific!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      At the very least you are right. I once had a team member with 7 kids…that was tough. But I wrote them on his one-on-one form each week and spent time memorizing them each morning for 30 seconds. After a month, I knew each name, their age, and at least two facts about them.

  5. Love that you made this important. For me it’s having and giving flexibility. Let people take care of family issues and trusting that they will get their work done.

  6. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    Awesome post Matt. What I think is impressive, is the fact that you did each and every one of these! That says something about you!
    Man, I love all those ideas. The thing that stuck out to me, is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It just takes you being interested in your team. It takes getting outside of yourself and your concerns and noticing others’ needs, wants and desires. And addressing them.
    It goes along with two or three of your suggestions, but I think giving a call to the family and telling them what a rockstar their mom or dad is would be huge as well!
    I had a great one yesterday. My wife is an asst. manager at the local theater. The owner of the theater actually works where I work. He stopped by my desk yesterday and just said, “I really appreciate your wife, she’s awesome. You’ve got a keeper!”
    You know how much that made my day? I knew everything he said was true before he said it, but to hear him say it was awesome.
    Anyways, great post brother.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Actually I’ve never done #8 🙂

      That is great about your wife’s boss. That makes you both feel amazing!

  7. Kathy Leicester says:

    Beautiful. What a world we live in where this is real, and … POSSIBLE!

  8. Dan Erickson says:

    Our last dean was great at this stuff. She had my duaghter and I over, she babysat for me, she helped at my daughter’s b-day parties, she had faculty paries. It was amazing. She moved on. It’s her I wound up loving more than the organization I worked for. She recently got the VP job at a college about 100 miles away from me after being in NY for a few years. I’m going to be on the lookout in case something comes up there.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That is awesome Dan. I love that she earned your respect and loyalty.

  9. Jon Stolpe says:

    I had the privilege of taking out a group of employees along with their spouses a couple of weeks ago. The employees were all part of a project team that was just finishing up a year of intense challenge. The spouses (and kids) definitely paid the price as their loved ones were at the job site many, many long nights to meet the demands of our customer. It was so fun to celebrate and reward the team and those closest to them.

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