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January 19

To buy a company is (also) to buy the expertise of its employees!

Taking over an existing business is widely regarded as an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs or businesses looking to either launch a new project or take the reins of an existing organization and set it on a new course.

Sounds good, right? But even with a solid plan and a fully operational business, what will make it successful?

  • Its sales?
  • Its financial status?
  • Its position on the market?

Perhaps. But it all stems from one thing: the expertise of its crew.

Because your employees are a key factor in the success of your business!

It’s your employees who get the work done and keep your projects moving. It’s also they who ensure the growth of the company and its success. So their drive, knowledge and skills all actively contribute to the growth of the organization.

More than anything, they convey the internal culture and act as ambassadors for the external culture. They’re on the front line in dealing with customers and the realities of the marketplace.

Yet, they also have the power to tear down those relationships if left unengaged.

You guessed it right: the quality of their employee experience directly influences the customer experience they will provide.

So how do you nurture internal expertise when you take over a company and leverage it to the fullest?

Well, let’s find out why you need to involve employees in the buyout process and how to ease the transition to a new business model.

Reading time: 8 min

Uncover the Value of Current Expertise

Employees are the very heart of a company. From the moment you decide to acquire a company, it is crucial to safeguard existing in-house expertise.

As you settle into your new company, be humble and listen. Display a keen interest in getting to know your current team members and their roles and contributions to the company.

It’s all about communication! Communication in business is the key to a successful change in management.

Beware: it may happen that some people find it difficult to deal with this change and react poorly to your approach.

You must therefore be patient and adopt tools or strategies to ease the process. Don’t be afraid to spend time in the office with employees to understand their daily lives and create a stronger bond!

When you experience and value their expertise, you’re giving them a sense of security regarding their job. This is often a major stress factor when taking over a business.

Involve your Employees in the Takeover

The Golden Rule of change management is to look forward.

« The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. » — Dan Millman

If you want to document organizational knowledge, you have to come up with a way to do it that is innovative and motivating. Establishing a transfer committee is one solution that could inspire the team while adding value to your change management.

Change that comes from the bottom-up is generally the most effective!

The goal of this committee is to set an internal structure for documenting expertise to ensure a smooth transition between the former and the new owner. Its role is to preserve the quality of operations during this change so that the clientele will not see it as a surprise.

Another way to help your employees feel more involved in this transition is to encourage intrapreneurship! New beginnings equal new ideas, so…

What better way to drive innovation and growth throughout the company than to encourage employees to think and act like entrepreneurs themselves?

Not only will you benefit from the valuable ideas and creativity of your employees, but it also promotes collaboration between different departments within the company!

Implement a Recognition System

Earlier we saw that it is important to connect with employees when taking over a business, but to further engage your new team, you can also set up a recognition system.

Offer points or bonuses to those who participate in documenting their expertise.

The trick is to match behaviors with a reward to develop a habit. The more content your employees create, the more they receive in return!

Invest in this documentation system by creating topic-specific training. You’ll be looking to clarify how to create an internal procedure and best practices for ongoing process improvement

Working with an online tool that supports the content creation and collaboration of your different departments will make your life even easier.

But it’s not the end of the story! In addition to encouraging and rewarding them for their efforts, you can provide them with new opportunities and training, additional responsibilities and involve them in professional and/or personal development projects. It’s just as rewarding.

And remember: by helping them get involved and contribute to the takeover, you can get them to build a stronger bond with your company and become even more engaged in their work.

Build a Strong Learning Culture

Needless to say, all these suggestions will work on one condition: you must create a culture that fosters knowledge sharing.

The internal culture that existed prior to the acquisition will slowly evolve, but the process will take time. One thing you can do right now is to add a corporate value that supports the change and pushes the handover forward

Training and learning are good ways to bring the whole team together and set the mood for innovation.

Ever Thought about Lunch & Learn to Develop your Employees' Skills?

Learn how to organize your first Lunch & Learn session to encourage knowledge exchange and create team building activities to boost your team!

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In order for the culture to change, you’ll need good internal ambassadors. It’s a safe bet that the members of the transfer committee will be good allies, as they are already showing interest in preserving workplace happiness and internal efficiency.

Ultimately, that’s what everyone wants, right?

Use an LMS to Support Change Management!

Change management is a key factor in any business takeover, if not the most important. And with a learning management system (LMS), you can better manage the transition and ensure that all employees are informed of the changes!

A good LMS can provide:

  • A platform for training, sharing and feedback, for smoother transitions during the company takeover
  • Centralized resources to help employees understand the upcoming changes to the organizational structure and how it will affect their work

By implementing an LMS, you can ensure that your employees are prepared for the changes ahead and support the new management of their company.

Find out how to choose the right learning management system for your business!

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Marie-Hélène Couette

Marie-Hélène Couette is Head of Sales and Marketing at Didacte. She is also very passionate about entrepreneurship and human development. She specializes in content creation for growing companies looking to better support their teams in this great adventure!