Mergers and acquisitions are a natural part of corporate growth. Along with the potential for a higher level of profitability, these changes can create anxiety and apprehension among current employees. There are several proven ways to protect your employees during a merger and ensure a smooth transition.
One of the major reasons mergers create confusion is a simple lack of communication. Transitional messaging is an important component of a successful corporate merger. Roles may change, and the daily routine will be disrupted. There is even a possibility of duplicate position elimination. There are aspects of a merger that are exciting and others that are unpleasant, but both are made more palatable when communicated. A great messaging plan will create anticipation rather than apprehension.
A corporate merger represents the union of two or more separate entities into one new organization by its very definition. Combining different cultures into one often creates internal conflict. As processes begin to change and a small minority makes decisions, employees can become defensive. Prepare for expected changes and help them understand their rights and responsibilities under the new organizational chart. Help them overcome insecurities by showcasing their talents and abilities. Refresh resumes and interview skills through role-play and personal coaching sessions. These small activities encourage confidence and establish a sense of personal responsibility.
The final step to protecting your employees during a merger is to encourage them to speak for themselves. Confidently approaching a merger helps employees feel secure in their position and address the concerns others may have. Tapping into these leadership traits ensures that employees can articulate and advocate for their needs. In addition, employees can create a demand for their services and talents. When role model employees voice their opinions or offer suggestions, they showcase their value and easily create a new space under the new regime. Employee feedback is crucial to a successful merger, whether in an open forum like a town hall meeting, behind closed doors, or through an anonymous survey.
Avoid creating a sense of anxiety or uncertainty in your team. Employees pick up on your concerns and are more likely to relax through the transition if you project transparency.