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How to tell your employees that you’re selling the company

You might be overwhelmingly excited to sell your business.  You might have imagined since the inception of your business that you would be able to accept a great offer and move on to pursue even bigger and better things. Morever, you should try to search for tips on how to sell your business for maximum value and what questions to have in mind when selling your precious company. You could see a bright future on the horizon, but that future isn’t the same for everyone who has been involved in your business.

Your employees may not understand your decision to sell. It can make them feel uncertain about the future of their employment. They’ll have to answer to a new higher up, and this person can make changes that significantly impact their jobs. It might seem like bad news to them, but you have a responsibility to inform them. Helping them find a silver lining may prove to be productive.


Get Your Information in Order

While your employees deserve as much advance notice as possible, informing them too early can have unintended consequences. It’s only natural for your employees to have questions, and your lack of answers may create a tense and anxious environment. You want to tell them when you know all of the details. You can address all of the questions at once, and give them all of the information they need to proceed.

For this reason, it’s best to wait until you’re certain that the sale is going to be a sure thing. If a deal falls through, you’ve essentially prepared your employees for something that was never going to happen. That’s not an effective use of time or resources, so hold off until you’re positive about what’s going to happen.


Make Them a Part of the Process

Your new buyer is going to want some information about the internal structure of your business. You likely outlined most of this information in your sales document. Since a huge change is imminent, you might want to renew your employees’ confidence by having them become a part of this documentation. Have them write out descriptions of their jobs, accomplishments, and responsibilities. This will help the new buyer develop a deeper understanding of workplace nuances while giving your employees official concrete proof of their worth.

Some people may fear losing their positions under new management. If you can sign off on such a document, this will show that you personally vouch for the competence and productivity of each employee. They’ll also feel a greater sense of ownership over their position. If they were worried about what would happen in your absence, this exercise will actually empower them to feel stronger in their jobs.


Help Move Things Along

Everyone will benefit if you stick around for a little bit. By becoming a part of the transition process, the new owner will be able to learn as they go. Your former employees will have your guidance as the transfer is taking place. You’re not required to do this and your new buyer may not even ask you to, but her or she might actually appreciate your help. See if you can facilitate an arrangement where you’ll be around for anywhere between 30 to 90 days after the transition to make things better for everyone. If it keeps your employees in good spirits, the new buyer might actively encourage you to do it.


While you shouldn’t deny yourself the opportunity to sell your business simply because you feel your employees wouldn’t agree, you also shouldn’t leave everyone feeling like they’re lost in the woods. Being proactive and helpful during this time is key to a perfect transition.

Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at NYBizDb – an online resource of relevant business information.

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