Nine top tips for keeping morale high during an acquisition transition
Mergers and acquisitions can be a great way for businesses to grow at a fair pace: they offer the chance to diversify and expand, while eliminating competitors. However, managed poorly, they can be disastrous for your HR department.
When there is talk of a company being acquired, it is natural for employees of that business to be concerned. They don’t know whether theyll be laid off, and even if they keep their job the merging of divergent company cultures and increased workplace competition might raise stress levels.
When looking to sell a business, integrating two sets of employees from different corporate cultures when can be especially tricky, as an us and them? mentality can develop and fester.
The threat of losing their job or of sudden, dramatic change can be intimidating for employees, potentially damaging morale and productivity, which will impact your business? bottom line. You don’t want to do that, especially when you are selling a business.
There is also evidence that once you’ve lost an employee’s trust, it’s harder than you might think to win it back. A recent study has shown that if, during the acquisition period, an employee is laid off and later rehired, morale is likely to remain low.
In fact, the employee is likely to take more sick days off than if they had only received a warning notice.
So what can you do? If you are acquiring a new business, you need to be aware that, to some extent at least, the workforce might be feeling a bit blue. it’s your job as an employer to tackle these anxieties head on and keep staff happy and working at peak performance.
Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.