Transactions involving mergers and acquisitions can be quite stressful and difficult to deal with. Most company executives would wish that they can snap their fingers and the M&A deal goes through seamlessly with a perfectly merged organizational culture and a shared vision. Unfortunately, this is hardly the case. The ultimate goal of merging or acquiring a company is to create a larger entity that is more effective and profitable compared to when the merging entities were individually. However, as mergers integrate, there are a number of challenges that the new business faces that could derail the entire process. Some of the issues that raise concerns in M&A are prices, regulations and culture. So how do effective managers address these issues, before, during and after the merger?
Listening and Acting on Information
Most company executives are often detached from the reality on the day to day happenings at the workplace. This is by virtue of spending most of their time in policy-making. However, Strong leaders take the necessary time to reach out to employees after a merger in order to address some of their concerns as well as learn what excites them about the new venture. The whole point of doing this is in order to understand that if challenged, they may be forced to adjust their plans.
Without effective communication, employees are sometimes forced to jump into conclusions-that at times are far from reality. Strong leaders establish open lines of communications and cut off the bureaucracy that hinders flow of information between the management and the employees. This is because communication is an integral part of any M&A plan. The point here is not to sugarcoat information but deliver the same with a positive spin. Remember that during the acquisition process, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the future of the business and employees as well. Openness when it comes to communication tends to alleviate some of the tension that employees experience after a merger after it becomes clear that information isn’t being kept from them on purpose.
Sharing the New Organization Structure
For the merged entity to succeed, it is not enough for the new organization structures to be shared just among the top executives. Some of the things that change include; vision, mission, policies and organizational charts. All these changes should be made available to the entire workforce in the organization. This step that is commonly overlooked goes a long way in addressing some of the concerns employees from both organizations have.
Develop a Shared Organizational Culture
Combining different cultures has never been easy for most merging entities. In businesses that have different sets of capabilities, allowing multiple cultures to coexist is necessary. Yes, there will always be culture overlap but that is a small price to pay compared to forcing employees to adopt an entirely different workplace culture. Good leaders inspire change at the workplace by encouraging their respective employees to step out of their comfort zones and embrace things they are not accustomed to.
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