How to Manage Employees During a Transfer of Business

Transfer of business doesn’t necessarily need to be a chaotic time, but it often will be. Big changes often inspire big reactions, and your employees are only human if their reactions are showing through. The best thing you can do from a leadership position is change the way you interact with these employees. Things are going to change soon anyway, and you can set a positive example and keep morale high until the changes are complete.

Evaluate What’s Actually Important

There are a lot of things to focus on right now, and you need to cut that list down to what the top priorities are. The new owners may not have the same long term goals that your employees are used to, so working towards them would actually be unproductive. Place the highest emphasis on day to day activities, rather than on long term projects that may change or be cancelled altogether. Your employees will still feel as though the work they do matters.

Encourage Them To Use Their Paid Time Off

Everyone might need a little time to clear their heads. As long as they’re still working with you, they’re still entitled to vacation time and personal days they’ve not yet redeemed. Some of them might want to do a little soul searching, and others may want to seek other career opportunities. If you’re giving them enough time to reflect and network outside of the workplace, they’ll be able to function fully when they’re at the office.

Handle Workplace Situations with Empathy

Tensions are going to be a little high. Some people might be less agreeable than they usually are, and stress affects everyone differently. Communication is more important now than it ever was. You might want to let some things go that you wouldn’t overlook before, such as someone slightly out of dress code or a slight slip of performance towards the end. You need to keep everyone from getting burned out, and the best way to do that is through empathy and constant dialogue.

Give Them a Little Freedom

If the buyer you’ve found isn’t keeping everyone who currently works at your place of business or office for your website, your employees know their environments are about to change. From the moment you decide to sell, the work environment has already shifted in some small way. Allow employees whose jobs can be made remote to work from their home offices if they’d feel more comfortable. As long as things are getting done at the rate they should, it doesn’t necessarily matter where they’re working from.

Use Your Resources to Help

Some employees may want letters of recommendation or permission to use managers and HR staff as references for future employment. It’s very well possible that they won’t all be allowed to stay under the new ownership, and even if they’re welcome to, they still may not want to. If you can provide something that will make their lives easier, you’re being more than a boss. You’re being a leader who looks out for their team, and that’s exactly what everyone needs when things feel a little unpredictable or confusing.


As long as you’re keeping your employees updated on every step of the transfer process, things will run as smoothly as they possibly can. Bumps in the road are only natural, but unity and communication as the cornerstones of your management strategy will ultimately keep you afloat.


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