Speech to Staff After Selling a Company
Not many of us will ever get to deliver this speech, given to staff after selling a company. But if the statistics are to be believed we are increasingly starting our own companies in the UK as a serious alternative to being employed, particularly when it comes to working from home.
Be clear about whether you’ll need this speech or not!So the number of people who could be in a position to deliver this speech could go up significantly in the decades to come. And if you are starting up your own business and haven’t thought through about what you are going to do in the future, then it’s time to think about it now.
Knowing what your ultimate end goal is, whether you’re simply going to wind the company down when you’ve had enough, or build it to a point where you can sell it off and retire without having to worry about money, really changes the way that you work on the company and how you build it.
What’s the exact situation?Having got to the point where the company is about to be sold, what you are going to say to your staff will depend on the scenario. Are you staying on, either permanently or for a handover period, or are you going to leave straight away? Are the new owners going to make a lot of changes or have you made the sales contract subject to certain clauses about not making changes?
Of course this governs what you are going to say to staff but the main thing, particularly if there are holdover or earn-out clauses. These mean you may get more money or shares after a while, if certain conditions or targets are met. If this is the case then you’ll have even more reason to keep the staff motivated.
Be clear about the situationBear in mind that many of your staff may not have been through this situation before. A change in ownership of a company, whatever the arrangement, can make people very fearful of their position and future.
- Make it precisely clear what is happening to the company as whole.
- Outline the complete extent of what will be happening to you.
- If you are staying on, state whether temporarily or permanently depending on the situation.
Give reassurance to staffOnce that’s out of the way you need to reassure staff that their futures are safe, or at least to what extent. If you have made conditions in the sale that affect staff, let them know.
- Give a clear indication of the future for staff, as far as possible.
- Do not make promises you can’t keep or don’t have the authority to make.
- Indicate whether the new owners are going to invest, if you know their plans
Finish on a high noteWhat you tell the staff on an occasion like this can make a huge difference to their morale and the performance of the company as a whole in the days after you’ve gone. Urge people to look forward, not back.
- Tell people that this is a new start.
- Try to dispel concerns about your leaving
- Encourage people to look at those new opportunities
Don’t forget to end by thanking everyone for all their work and effort during your tenure.