Questions your employees may ask, after the sale


September 1, 2021

Illustration: Canan turan/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Illustration: Canan turan/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

When a mid-sized company is acquired, there are bound to be many questions and concerns from employees. If you’re thinking of selling your pest control company, consider the following queries you’ll have to field immediately after your announcement to your team — all of which I’ve heard over the years:

  • Will our company name change? If so, are you going to give us literature to hand out to our customers so we can explain the changes?
  • Will I have the same route? The same number of stops?
  • Will I bring home the same paycheck I currently do?
  • Will my healthcare and retirement benefits be comparable to what I currently have?
  • What is the vacation policy?
  • Will I use the same pest management techniques and protocols as before? If not, what is going to change?
  • Can we carry the same products in our vehicle that we currently have?
  • I was promised a new vehicle (laptop, respirator, what-have-you) in six months; will that still be granted?
  • Right now, we have to wash our uniforms at home (get them cleaned at the office). What will the new policy be?
  • We are issued flashlights, extra batteries and an ample amount of safety equipment as needed. Will this policy continue?
  • Will I have an opportunity to grow with this new company? If so, what are some of the possibilities?
  • Will my managers and supervisors remain the same, or change?
  • What types of new training will I receive?
  • If I have further questions or concerns, to whom can I turn for answers?

Every one of these questions came from concerned technicians, many of whom have spouses, children and other family members they support. Your team may be trying to digest your big news while in their personal lives, they’ve been mulling over a big financial decision like purchasing a new home or vehicle, sending a child to college, or financing a healthcare procedure.

Sometimes, sellers become so wrapped up in the balance sheet that they forget the wants, concerns and needs of the people who do the work. A little empathy goes a long way. Two points to keep in mind as you open a new chapter of your career, whether you are buying or selling:

  1. It’s possible the company you purchased or sold to was one your company viewed as a competitor. Bridges are not easy to build, but it’s not impossible. Have patience and transparency.
  2. Sometimes, the answers to these questions aren’t easy — or what employees think they want to hear. That is why the transition period requires communicating with employees and presenting an overall positive picture of what will happen.

Company mergers and acquisitions require traveling down a new road. Help ensure your team enjoys a smooth ride.

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