Company Betrayal


I received a phone call recently from a friend who manages a retail store, he needed some input on how to motivate his employees after an event that happened with his company this past week.  Apparently his company had been negotiating a deal to sell to a larger company and of course the employees were not told about it.  He said that he received an email in the middle of the week from the corporate headquarters stating that they realized that there was some rumors that the company was selling, but they were just that rumors.

The next day the news became public knowledge that the company was indeed planning to sell but that the deal fell through on the part of the buying corporation.  Customers were coming into the store and talking about the possible sell of the company and asking questions to which they (the employees) had no answers.

He said that his store team (who are all good dedicated employees) were feeling pretty angry and betrayed by their company.  They knew if the company was sold to this larger company that most of the employees would lose their jobs.

His question to me was “How do I motivate my team now?”  They have developed the “Why should I attitude” and have lost their sense of loyalty to the company.  I told him that this was a tough situation and I totally understood where his team was coming from.  I reminded him that no one’s job is totally secure, companies get sold all of the time, and companies go out of business too.

I suggested that he contact his supervisor and talk to him to see if other managers were having the same issues now and what suggestions could he make.  Also he needed to have a talk with his team to let them know as long as they were employed they needed to continue to give their customers the high service standard that they have been use to getting not only will their customers appreciate it, but if the company ever does sell, hopefully they will be one of the ones asked to stay on and if not, at least they will have a good work record to take with them.

This is a very difficult situation to keep employee morale up in, I know my friend will do okay, he is a good manager, even though he himself has been taken back by this event his thoughts are on helping his team get though it.

No change is easy and organizational changes can be devastating not only to the employees but to the organization as a whole.

Leading Employees Through Organizational Change

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