There have been more mergers and acquisitions in the past five years than in the past several decades. Companies are looking for the best ways to stay viable and healthy in an ever-changing economy. Often, the best way to stay relevant is to partner with a former competitor to stabilize market share. Consumers have changed how business is done, and organizations must respond wisely to stay afloat.
Despite the potential benefits of this type of restructuring, talk of mergers between major corporations often leaves employees uncertain and apprehensive. Communicating the change effectively is vital for the overall success of employees and their home companies. A few tips from the experts may help staff members feel more at ease when an impending merger or acquisition affects their future.
Nothing promotes more fear than closed-door meetings and hushed conversations. When employees see strangers appearing in the Boardroom frequently or see the tension on the faces of executive staff, they know something is happening. It is far better that leaders address the change directly rather than letting the rumors create internal communication. Discuss the potential upcoming change with a sense of hopefulness and opportunity.
Keep Staff Informed
Leaders do not have to have all the answers, but they must hear all the questions. Townhall meetings are a great way to let employees voice their concerns, ask questions, and take stock of vital information. Even if the future is uncertain or a pending deal is in the balance, there is still a benefit of open communication. It is ok to indicate there is no new information or even that things are shaky. The truth, raw or sugar-coated, is far more valuable to employees than no information at all.
Employees want to know that their jobs are secure. Leaders should be open when it comes to this, even if it could potentially hurt the company in the interim. If a particular role or department will be eliminated, communicate honestly with employees who will be impacted. Offer them the opportunity to cross-train and learn a new skill if appropriate or take paid time off to seek new employment options.