- Theresa Linn
Mergers and Acquisitions: How Employees Are Impacted & What They Can Do
Mergers and acquisitions have a profound impact on employees regardless of whether they are assured that they have a place in the new organizational structure. These transactions bring a level of uncertainty in the target company's employees, as job losses are a well-known consequence of these types of business transactions as positions become redundant or are eliminated altogether. The level of impact a merger or acquisition has on an individual may not be predictable, but there are some things within an employee's control that can be focused on during the tumultuous time following the announcement of upcoming changes and through their implementation.
Encouraging employees to take initiative for themselves and embrace change even when it's scary isn't an easy thing to do. Helping them to focus on themselves and things they can control rather than on things that they have little or no control over is a great place to start. Whether an employee taking the initiative themselves, a manager encouraging adaptation and personal development, or a recruiter seeking to help an employee navigate upcoming changes, certain factors that are within an employee's control is a great place to direct their focus after a merger or acquisition has been announced.
Change is Inevitable
Changes will come, regardless of job security within the new organizational structure. Preparing for changes and being willing to adapt as necessary will help employees make the transition smoothly and with as few issues as possible. These changes may be unpredictable, but preparing for their eventuality can make the merger and acquisition process much less difficult to endure. Encouraging communication with fellow employees and management throughout the transition process will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and will reduce the number of surprises that will impact employees after the announcement of a merger or acquisition.
Even employees who are not tasked with implementing changes or integrating with the new company can get involved in the process. Asking questions of those charged with incorporating new processes and procedures due to the merger and specifying a willingness to help with the process and facilitate a smooth transition are both things that an employee can take upon themselves to do. This demonstrates a willingness to adapt to changes and a sense of initiative that is valuable to any organization. Consider employee strengths and encourage them to offer help in ways that demonstrate those strengths.
If an employee is likely to be negatively affected by a layoff after the merger or acquisition, taking the initiative to polish their resume and begin a job hunt are steps that should be encouraged and facilitated. Obtaining letters of reference, additional certifications or taking on additional tasks that will teach new skills are all great ways to take initiative in the face of uncertainty and turn the situation to an employee's advantage.
Mergers and acquisitions are common, affecting thousands of businesses each year. While companies are focused on their profits and the gains that come from such business transactions, employees are often faced with fear and uncertainty. Taking control of what an individual can do rather than focusing on things that are outside of their control often makes the difference between a difficult merger experience and a smooth one. Whether a merger means searching for a new job or buckling down and focusing on enhancing skills to stay within a current company or position, adaptability and initiative are key to employee growth and continued development and engagement.
Change is inevitable, focusing on growth and things within an employee's control is a great way to deal with those changes and flourish.