Managing change successfully during a merger or acquisition

During a merger or acquisition, management must remain conscious of employee morale and efficiency, in addition to the legal, financial and operational aspects of the event. Mergers often result in a  more diversified organization with greater market share and renewed vision, but can also leave employees feeling like just another line item on the expense budget. 

Of course, with a merger or acquisition, questions will arise in the minds of employees. Will I be changing offices? Will my primary job functions change? Will I be replaced with staff from the purchasing company? Will I be employed in a month? These are questions that cause a significant amount of anxiety and stress, and need to be addressed by management as soon as the information is available. 

Keeping lines of communication open during a merger or acquisition can be challenging, but is necessary in order to have the team resume operations rapidly after the dust settles. Rumors and wild theories can spread quickly, and if not addressed, can lead to employees looking to jump ship to a more secure and predictable environment.

The most effective means of dealing with the uncertainty that comes with the change is to have an employee communication strategy ready to be implemented before the deal is finalized. By that point, the rumor mill is usually just warming up, and getting ahead of speculation and addressing concerns shows the workforce that their needs ands concerns are being considered during the process.

Change management consulting can help your organization develop an employee communication strategy that provides a smooth transition through a merger or acquisition and prepares and excites the workforce for the new future of their organization. Considering the amount of communication and alignment necessary to enact change effectively, not only after the deal is finalized, but before it is even publicly announced, organizations need to seek the expertise of industry professionals that can recognize the many challenges of the process.