How to Manage Employees In Mergers & Acquisitions
Change always needs to be managed and especially during a merger or acquisition. Merger & acquisitions at best combines the resources to create a stronger business; at worst, if not done correctly can impact the success of the business. Combining separate cultures requires an extensive knowledge around how to best integrate the separate business entities. As a manager, how can you contribute to the success of the new business?
I found this article in Businessworld, “Managing Employees During Company Mergers & Acquisitions” by Sachin Adhikari.
“Mergers and acquisitions are intrinsic to the business world, becoming far more common than before as companies become globalised. No matter how rosy the picture of a company’s merger sounds, it’s human tendency to resist and panic when confronted with change. The fearful reactions of employees invoke more anxiety than the stress of the merger or acquisition, so managers must learn the art of handling employees gently and calmly.”
There are several strong points in the post that can be used as a guide in managing the change:
- Employees will resist change as it is part of the unknown. Be patient with each person on your team as they acclimate themselves to the change.
- Manage your own reactions to the change and recognize that you are feeling similar to your team members.
- Strong communication that provides the necessary information to counter rumors is critical to the success of a merger or acquisition.
- Potential impact from the change could be low morale and/or reduced productivity.
- People will naturally feel insecure about job security, so managers need to communicate to help alleviate their concerns.
- Gather people together so they can communicate the different ways they have worked and how to capture the best practices.
- Provide a strong vision for the employees. What is the value of the merger or acquisition? How will they benefit? What do you need from each person?
- Give each employee a path that he/she can follow in order to contribute to the success of the new company.
Upfront planning, consistent and clear communication, team building and a strong vision on how the merger & acquisition will add to the value of the company are all important ingredients in a successful merger or acquisition.
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