Don’t do this.
Survey says? All of the above, and then some.
We come from different family cultures. The meddling matriarch, the distant or controlling father, the over-protective big brother, the baby: archetypes don’t play out the same way in every family.
Some families have lifelong relationships. Some of my family members co-parent with exes and their new partners. Other families experience permanent breaks.
It’s complicated, and our experiences create how we define the word.
In the 90s, I worked for a company that had been divested by JP Morgan (now Chase.) Disappointed executives felt they had been disowned by “Mother Morgan.”
When I hear “family” at an organization, I’m usually being told about how an executive or the organization failed to live up to a promise. (In the case of my ex-JP Morgan colleagues, back in the day, it was the promise of a lifelong relationship.)
We already have complex power dynamics at work. Invoking our most primal relationships doesn’t simplify things.
Sooner or later a key employee will leave. Or you’ll have to make a tough choice about an employee’s role, or someone’s tenure with your organization — or a change in your business model.
When you say your company is a family, you’re making a promise you can’t possibly keep. That’s not a position of strength.
When everyone on your team is there as an adult, you’re better positioned to act.
(In fact, “team” is a far more effective metaphor.)