When a company exchanges hands, it makes sense for the new owners to keep on the existing staff. The team will be a great asset to the owners as they already know what they are doing and will be able to keep the place running smoothly as the changes take root. Because there will be changes. But what does it all mean for the employees? A take over doesn’t have to be a cutthroat as it sounds. But it can cause a host of issues. Look at Jozef Opdeweegh who said that ‘Unless the ownership transition is undertaken with great care, it can undermine the continued success of the company and its value.’ Yet a lot of takeovers happen with speed for one reason or another, and speed doesn’t always allow time for care. So how do you survive?
Give things time to settle down. Everything will be a bit confusing. If you work in the lower ranks, there shouldn’t be too much upheaval for you, but there will be for management. If you are part of management, remember that the people under you will be looking to you for stability and answers. The new owners will want to go through all of the company paperwork with a fine tooth comb. The original owners will have sold for some reason, and the new owners will want to see where the mistakes have been made. Where the financial leaks are. Entrepreneur states three reasons that businesses might be sold as ‘Business value...Tired of risk...Change.’ And hopefully, the company you work for will be changing hands for one of these reasons instead. Regardless, they will still be looking through everything to see where they can make changes to make things more efficient. So be patient. Things will settle down again. Once the dust clears there might be a few changes, but don’t tear your hair out and quit during the transitional period.
Changes are going to happen, and there is no point in fighting them. If you’re high up in the pecking order, you can voice your concerns, but don’t expect them to listen without evidence to back up what you’re saying. They might make changes and then come to realise that you were better off before and be changed back. And they might make some that work out better for everyone, and they might change some things that work just the same as the old system. But you can’t fight it if you want to keep your job. It’s possible that changes will be small and not affect you; rebranding a company looks huge, but it doesn’t have much to do with how it operates. And they might bring in new software and systems that will take some getting used to. You just need to keep your head down and learn what you need to and teach those under you how to do the same.
Ear to the floor
Keep an ear out for news throughout the whole transition. If there will be new software, the sooner you can prepare for the change the better. You will also be able to keep an ear out for if there are going to be changes to staff. Don’t spread gossip, particularly bad things, this will just create panic within the ranks, but it’s worth knowing for yourself. Plus bad mouthing the new boss is a sure way to get fired - a lot of new owners look to make their authoritative mark on the company, and a simple way of doing that is to making staffing changes. It might not happen, but in a just in case scenario, you should keep your mouth shut.
Just because you have new bosses does not mean that you should work less. During the turbulence of the transfer, it can be tricky to keep things running as smoothly as before, and it’s your job to see that your work is on the same level as it was prior to the business being sold. If you didn’t get the opportunity to rise through the ranks under the old management, now could be that chance to show you can deal with change and pressure. See the new ownership as a new opportunity; hopefully the business will grow, nad there will be people who decide to move on because they don't like the changes being made. And it is always better to promote in house than to hire externally - which is what most companies aim to do.