Structured communications play an important role in the M&A process. So, during this process the case “my company got acquired now what” is very common. Almost every employee asks it himself. How to prevent the leakage of talent and create a unified results-oriented culture? Here is about it.
The consequences of the acquisition process
Organizations are constantly evolving, adapting to market changes and the needs of their customers. Mergers and acquisitions are among the biggest organizational changes. Tax reforms, the specifics of the regulatory climate in different countries, and growing cash reserves reinforce optimism among large international companies that the M&A trend, which has been going on for many years, continues.
M&A offers companies the opportunity to grow quickly and successfully, opening up new prospects for strengthening strategies, creating improved business models, unique product portfolios, and innovative industries. However, along with some seemingly obvious commercial advantages, companies face serious internal difficulties. Managing the team spirit of an organization becomes a real challenge for leaders who, if not properly managed, can turn a business into chaos.
The first and main problem that arises after the acquisition is staff redundancy: the more overlapping functions in merging companies, the more employees are at risk of being fired or demoted. If the personnel policy of the initial stage of joint work is not defined a few months before the start of the changes, the struggle for a “place in the sun” can take completely unconstructive forms. Managers and entire departments are involved in a conflict of interest, lobbying for the interests of individual groups are actively used.
What happens to employees when a company is acquired?
The optimal solution is to create a new corporate culture that absorbs the best of the existing ones and involves the employees of both merging companies in its formation.
For the merger of companies not to fail due to irreconcilable cultural contradictions, it is necessary at the stage of preparing the merger to carefully analyze the existing differences in the following areas:
- Features of management: management style, number of levels of the internal hierarchy, distribution of responsibilities and authorities, behavior of leaders, governing rules and procedures, involvement of personnel in the decision-making process, control, and reporting system.
- Corporate values and traditions: clarity of wording and understanding by employees, contradictions between values and established norms, dominant principles, and methods of action.
- Personnel policy: success standards, selection and promotion criteria, principles of encouragement and stimulation, personnel development strategy.
- Internal communications: the style of interaction between employees and with management, openness or closeness, means of communication, degree of formalization, “information taboos”, feedback.
How to reduce stress among employees due to radical changes in the company?
The best way to deal with stress in this situation is reliable and timely information about the upcoming changes and the immediate prospects of each employee and each department. This will help each employee understand what and how will change for him personally, blocking the spread of unfounded rumors and the outflow from the company of those employees who would like to be retained.
It is necessary to actively PR-it the positive aspects of the changes – new opportunities, additional resources, changing the company’s status in the business community. Information about top managers, strategic goals, immediate and long-term plans should be sufficiently accessible – this strengthens the sense of ownership among employees and helps to overcome the traditional prejudice that “all changes are for the worse.”