How To Retain Essential Employees During An Acquisition

Going through an acquisition as a business owner can be very lucrative deal on paper. Acquiring a business, branch, or franchise means that you are earning a lot of revenue, have strong operations, and you have a good personnel base.

The problem with acquisition is the possibility of that good personnel leaving to go in another direction, possibly taking suppliers and other contractors with them. That can leave you in a lurch. Your goal in an acquisition is to retain key employees during the transition so that you do not lose money and time sourcing and training a new staff. The following are some ways to do that:

Know Who Key Employees Are Early in the Acquisition

When you are acquiring a business, it is crucial that you quickly identify who the key employees are that will ensure a smoot transition. Whether it is sales people, suppliers, or executives, you need to work with your attorney to go over any agreements that are in place the staff to see if there are any agreements they are bound to per the conditions of their employment and what, if anything, happens if the company is bought out.

Consider Retention Bonuses

Once you have identified the employees you would like to keep on staff, you should have your attorney draft a retention agreement. This document states that you have identified that person as essential and would like him or her to stay on after the transition. If there is any pushback from employees or if they are not certain they want to stay, you can offer a retention bonus as an incentive.

Gain Trust

It can be difficult for employees to feel safe or comfortable during a transition. The key is to be as transparent and upfront as possible with everyone once the transition begins. Explain your goals for the company, how you envision things to go, and be prepared for questions. Will there be reductions in staff? Will salaries increase or decrease? Will business operations change? All of these are important concerns of the staff, and you need to be clear and honest. This will go very in the trust-building process. You should also work with your human resources professionals to help explain any changes in benefits, pay periods, and the like.

Retaining employees during an acquisition can be difficult, especially if they are fearful of major changes. The best thing for any successful transition is to have a solid employee base that have been identified as essential to the success of the business.  Contact a law firm, like Carter West Law, for more help.

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