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founded in 1948 by Robert’s father Paul, he also hoped to minimize the potential for sibling conflict. To this end, he hired his offspring into different positions. Son Jim, with his master’s degree, has handled the business end of the practice for over two years; son Greg, a certified orthotist and prosthetist, came aboard eight years ago in a clinical role. Robert’s wife Rosie manages the front office.

“Make [all new hires] aware of all policies and procedures, including the disciplinary process. Then anytime their behaviors fall outside those expectations,

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you have to start the

Give a Fair Shot At Arkansas-based Snell Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory, Clint Snell, CPO, decided early on that the best way to bring his kids on board would be to give them all an equal shot. Founded in 1911 by Clint’s grandfather R.D. “Pop” Snell, the facility has already been passed to Clint’s father Jim Snell, who in turn passed it on to his son. Clint was determined to see the family tradition continue, but he wanted to do it in a way that gave all three of his kids a fair bite at the apple. “I had all the kids helping out some during their teen years. I exposed them to the family business and tried to make it a positive exposure,” he says.

As things shook out, two of the younger Snells opted to follow other paths. “In the end, they just didn’t have much interest in the business,” he says. Son Christopher joined the 30-person practice in 2007, having already expressed an interest while in college. Snell’s thinking: If everyone got equal exposure, no one would be jealous at the outcomes.

Spread Out the Talent For Robert Leimkuehler of Ohio-based Leimkuehler Inc., hiring family has been an exercise in thoughtful human resources (HR) strategy. While he hoped his sons would join the family enterprise,

disciplinary process.” —Nathan R. Mitchell

“If you have one family member who has been there a while and then another family member comes, is there going to be an issue? Maybe there could be some jealousy to that,” Leimkuehler says. “In our case, since one son is doing the business end and the other is doing the patient care, there isn’t that overlap.” Leimkuehler says he is satisfied that his hiring strategy has played out so well. Equally important: He’s glad to have brought on his sons early in their careers. “I am trying to take on the role of teaching them all the things I think they need to learn before I decide to retire,” he says. “That can be a very long process.”

Potential Peril Even with such sound tactics in play, there’s a lot that can go wrong when hiring family. Relatives outside

MARCH 2014 O&P Almanac

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March 2014 Almanac