When businesses consider the possibility of a merger or acquisition, the benefits of the change are examined; improved profitability, availability of new markets and enhanced/strengthened competitive position. Now, while it is difficult to argue that these aspects of M&A can be extremely good for a company’s bottom line, the same may not be true for the business’ employees.
M&A rumblings within a business, usually have a devastating effect on productivity and morale across staff at all levels. Whether it be the fear of redundancy or a culture shift within the company, such factors can contribute in employees losing sleep during the run-up to a merger or acquisition, with some even seeking alternative employment. The issues however don’t stop there, the radical changes that are involved in an M&A deal can have a negative effect on the company’s clients and customers, which can be disastrous.
Now, while there isn’t much a business owner can do to ease anxiety surrounding the deal, there are however a number of ways to reduce any negative impact.
There is no one way in dealing with the internal issues that M&A activity can cause within a business. One of the best approaches is to regularly communicate with everyone throughout the organisation. However, it’s not always possible to be completely clear with everyone at every stage of a merger or acquisition, but it is worth addressing the business as a whole whenever possible to avoid statements being taken out of context.
The way in which news and updates are communicated is also important. Business leaders and senior managers are advised to explain how and why the merger or acquisition is happening and how the roles will be staffed, so that any circulating rumours can be put to bed.
Securing your talent
It is advisable to acknowledge the skills of your current employees and match them to the capabilities that are required for the new organisation's objectives. This can go a long way in making people feel valued and needed throughout the process. However, business owners and senior management are warned that they must act quickly. Talented people are in constant demand and are highly marketable, so it is essential that their value is reinforced to prevent any thoughts they may have about leaving.
Remember the public
Although internal communications should always be prioritised, business owners and leaders must keep in mind the effect M&A activity can have on people outside of an organisation. Customers are also prone to feeling uneasy when a business goes through a period of transition. Therefore, it is vital for businesses to provide the very best service during the process. The power of a letter, call or email are worth remembering, as they allow clients and customers to be kept up to date on what is happening and provide them with a point of contact for any questions they may have.
Having the best team is a pre-requisite for a successful merger, as they are essential in adapting to the changing needs of the business. With this in mind, it is time to invest in employees and prepare a communications plan in advance of any movement into a merger or acquisition.
With representation throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, Benchmark International can connect you with the right opportunity. To find out more, visit http://www.benchmarkcorporate.com.