When it’s time to sell a business, a lot of things feel up in the air. You might worry about what will happen to the employees you’ve hired throughout your ownership, and how they’ll take such drastic news. While there’s always a little bit of commotion around selling a business, you don’t have to feel like you’re throwing everyone to the wolves. There are plenty of things you can do to help them out until the transition has been completed.
Be as Organized as Possible
Any kinks in your plan will affect everyone, and you can’t afford to let your employees hang in the balance. Whether you’re selling a website business or a physical business, you need to be sure you’re selling it safely and correctly. Keep track of all of the important dates, and run the transition as smoothly as you possibly can. It’s more than just considerate to your employees – it will also make your life a lot easier during the process.
Know What Their Future Will Be
The new owner might intend to retain every last one of your employees, should they choose to stay after the big switch. Some owners might want to replace all of them, while others may want to replace a few. The new owner’s plan might render some positions redundant. You need to be able to tell your employees where they stand in the situation. If you aren’t keeping them updated, they won’t be able to look for a new career or start planning for their future under new ownership.
Keep Them Updated Every Step of the Way
Always let them know where you are and what you’re doing. Can you give them an important heads up about what will happen after the transfer is over? Can they be getting a head start on new habits or responsibilities that they’ll need to assume later on? By letting them know as much as you possibly can, you’re equipping them with the information they need to make informed decisions. You can’t make their choices for them, but you can provide them with everything they need to make the best choices for themselves.
Be a Little More Flexible
When everyone’s lives are changing, allow those lives to change. Some people might have career interviews to attend, or perhaps they’re considering extending their education in order to find a more lucrative position somewhere else. Allow them some flexibility in their scheduling. If they can work remotely for a day or two, encourage them to do so. As long as the work is getting done, it’s best not to be too picky about the methodology. Your employees are probably juggling more now than they’re used to.
Offer Them Exit Support If They Need It
Whether certain employees can’t stay or have chosen not to, they’re going to need a little help. Offer to write letters of recommendation, or volunteer to become a reference for these employees. If you have any resources or know of any upcoming networking events, spread the information throughout the office. This might be difficult to do if new ownership plans to keep few to none of your current employees, so it’s best to start as soon as you know what’s most likely to happen.
Overall, a transition of ownership is always going to be a little chaotic, but it’s possible to create a controlled chaos. By being mindful and supportive, you’re able to provide help to your employees when they need it most.