How to Manage Employees When You Sell or Close Your Business


You have been running your business for years or even decades, but you have that feeling that you need to let it go. It is either you would want to sell it to venture to a new business or close it because it was unprofitable. For you, selling a company is worth the celebration, or closing can be a sigh of relief. However, this would mean a lot different for employees; and you know it very well since the first-hand in its human resource management.

Circumstances require difficult decisions. And the toughest is to tell your employees. One way or another, this will hurt them. You need to find the right time to announce the sale or closure. While it is hard for any small business owner to come to terms with ending employment contracts, this is devastating for employees.

The Risks

As a human resource in charge of your employees, telling staff that the company is on sale is delicate. You need the best time to disclose it. Breaking the news for a sudden can run a lot of risks. What could these risks be?

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  • Employees may begin looking for another work since they are worried about their job security.
  • They may develop anxiety, knowing that they will be losing their job, which is the main source of their income.

Wait for a moment to tell it to everyone and just delay announcing the rest of the sale information. What can you do then to handle the situation?

Continue reading to learn more about managing this complex process and get some recommendations.

Business Sale or Closure: When, How and What to Tell Employees

As a business owner who cares about your human resource and plans to sell or close a business, you tend to avoid disclosing the information. You may delegate the task to those in the managerial position or the HR team. However, it is your responsibility to divulge the matter to your staff. They have to hear it from you. Here are some effective tips to help you out and prevent any possible conflict with your employees:

Ensure That the Decision is Final

Keep quiet until the deal is done, although hiding is not and should not be an excuse. This is almost always the best option for everyone since the control remains on you.

If the news about the issue came out from others, they might have speculations different from yours. These may include but are not limited to, failure of a business, change of management, or employee replacement.

Most often than not, employees are the most valuable assets of the company. Enterprise will not be running as efficiently as possible without the main source. Waiting for the best time to tell them protects their probable nightmare. This also enables you to take control of the sale or closure.

Although there are those who need to know it beforehand, it is a rare case. These people may include your senior-level managers or accountant who are close to the business’ daily operations. It helps create a harmonious flow of information dissemination and the corporate deal between the seller and buyer.

Deliver the News with Consistency and Optimism but with Reality

Prepare employees right and use soft hands. Most of the time, the best time to inform employees about the issue at hand is before or after the sale or closure. It doesn’t matter what kind of the position your employee holds, an editor, a copywriter, a resume writer who deals with the resume craft, or a sales manager, the risk of a disoriented deal after due diligence is smaller. This gives you the chance to tell them about the decision. Understand the impact of the situation on the lives of your staff.

Keep the communication between parties open. Maintain understanding and courage when breaking the news to business assets – the employees. Good luck!

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