In any M&A deal, there is consolidation of companies and most importantly, people. This process can create stress and tension, not just for the group leading a merger, but also for the people waiting to hear the news of their fate. Many will have to face taking the place of a trusted colleague or losing a whole department in the new company as a casualty of duplication. A few might end up doing well in the new position; others could even end up being a star in their new role. What cannot be escaped, however, is the stress of integration, all the way from the top leadership down. What are the major issues to remember during integration?
Employees in the Dark
Employees of the two companies are largely in the dark throughout the M&A process. While experts iron out the details, employees can feel anxious from rumors and lack of information. How do you heal a workforce while ensuring a match of jobs skills to the essential tasks of the new company? How do you create allegiance to a new company and the new leadership?
“While working with enterprise-level clients in a merger, I’ve found there are multiple challenges for the team, including uncertainty, role transitions and new team relationships,” says Jeffery Sooey, a renowned coach and trainer of coaches. “Coaching helps the team to keep a positive and empowering mindset, and further supports them in making the most productive decisions and behavior changes during the acquisition.” It’s difficult to manage the uncertainty of a deal if in the process of financial and legal due diligence, the needs and fears of your new employees are not addressed. People matter, and your newly acquired company could rise and fall based on the employees running it. Remember your employees are one of the most indispensable parts of the company, and the worry, insecurity and uncertainty about the recent M&A deal could harm the new company’s productivity and long-term success.