In a transition, Key Employees or “Strategic Employees” can make or break a new owners success. Often seen by the seller as key or strategic employees, they may have become legacy. Especially the loyal and trusted employees, they simply cannot relate to a new owner and develop an attitude. New priorities in a market (manage vs grow) can make it especially difficult for legacy employees to adapt to. Although often presented as key assets, they may become major headaches for the new owner as these employees simply resist change, and resort to the old Days, becoming an emotional and financial burden for the new Owner.
What is a way out? The Seller and Buyer, once they are closing in on the deal, each have to make their own assessment, (yes a job interview or a personal assessment of all the Key Employees), prior to closing especially if key accounts are depending on them. Prior to closing, and the Employees are transitioned, a plan B should be ready. In many cases however a good
will have a good feel for the Sellers Team, and early in the process point out the potential risk and it is a value Builder for the Seller to have a non-compromising Team in place.