How to Motivate your Employees when Selling a Business?
Selling Your Business? 5 Things You Can Do to Keep Your People Motivated
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s ready to move on to bigger things or simply looking to sell to step back from the busy life and relax a little, selling a business you have built up from scratch may give you the financial freedom and time you need to pursue your other passions.
But once your employees get wind of the news that you’re selling your business, they may start stressing over the future – that is, if they still have one in your business. They might worry about the new owner, whether they will be retained and whatever else might change. This, in turn, can prevent them from being motivated and productive – something you don’t want to happen especially at this crucial time. Remember, you did say your business is profitable, and the pressure’s on to ensure it stays that way for the new owner.
To keep your employees motivated, happy and confident about the future, make sure you do the following:
Ensure you find the right investor
Sure, it may seem easier, more lucrative and convenient to sell your business to a big corporation or large investment group. However, keep your employees in mind in any business dealings. Instead of finding an establishment that’s purely concerned about the bottom line, focus on finding an investor who not only appreciates your business but also the culture you built along with it and the people who helped you – your employees.
Negotiate beneficial terms for your employees
Whether you find a like-minded investor or end up selling to a larger corporation, there are certain ways by which you can protect your people. Try to negotiate or work out terms and stipulations that positively impact your employees. For example, you can negotiate for key team members and old employees to be retained in the business even after the sale has been made. And since your reputation is on the line here, make sure you endorse only exceptional employees, or those whom you know can add value to the deal.
Keep employees in the loop
It’s always best to let your employees know about your plans to sell your business from the beginning if your decision is final. Doing this will prevent gossip and speculation which are precursors to negativity. Be straightforward and tell them your reasons and share your intentions. Encourage them to ask questions and let them know what they can and cannot share your plans.
Some of your employees might begin jumping ship or looking for other jobs. However, if your motive is clear and they are aware of the conditions of the sale, they might just stay put and continue working as they always have.
Avoid overworking your employees
People fear change, no matter how attractively it is presented to them. So, avoid taxing your people and adding to their stress. Discuss any new developments and changes, especially those that can directly affect them. Focus on preparing them for your exit and their transition into the new company if you can negotiate their security of tenure.
Show your appreciation for your people
A sure-fire way of instilling confidence in your employees is by letting them know how much you value their contributions to the success of the business. Send them handwritten notes or endorse their skills on platforms like LinkedIn. If anyone asks for a recommendation, give it as long as it is well-deserved. If you can afford it, you may also opt to give them an incentive or bonus for their loyalty and goodwill. Doing this will not only build up their self-esteem but also their trust in you and the new owners that will be taking over.
A smooth transition
Selling your business is not the end of your relationship with your employees. By following the above tips, you can ensure a smooth transition for your employees and a successful handover to new owners. More importantly, you can show you appreciate how your people helped you grow your business through the years.
Are you ready to sell your business? If so, enlisting one of our experienced business brokers is a great start. Contact us today on 0409 965 540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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