A merger or acquisition can be an unsettling experience for business owners unfamiliar with the process. The amount of work may increase in the event of this with the time to do so decreasing, and working with employees you’ve never met prior to this change is almost always guaranteed.
With all of that said, it’s easy to focus on the aspects of a merger or acquisition that cannot be controlled, harboring negative thoughts throughout the operation (i.e. terminations, resignations, and promotions). However, there are plenty of controllable facets in a merger that many people may not be aware of.
Take a Step Back
Upon first learning that your business is combining its efforts with another, assess the situation. In some cases, a merger hardly affects employees on either side. These may be done as a financial investment on the buying company’s part, which keeps its operations moderately independent from the business being purchased. More often than not, however, changes will occur that may affect a majority of the employees involved.
To best prepare for these changes, perform a self-evaluation and identify your strengths and weaknesses. How are you an asset to your company? What skills do you bring to the table that make you an invaluable employee? Networking within your business, whether it be with peers or clients, is a great way to make yourself known in what may be a sea of similar staff members.
Recognizing your weaknesses is just as crucial. Are there any areas in which you can improve to perhaps better your chances of remaining with the company (so long as this merger means potential termination)? Or, do you feel as though there are any possible outcomes in which termination may be the result of a boss’s or peer’s actions? In this case, again, highlighting your strengths as much as possible will be vital.
Should you feel confident in maintaining your position within the company, it is wise to seek out potential opportunities, such as new departments, a promotion, or general advancement. Looking at the bigger picture is an important consideration as well. How might this change affect your company’s position within its respective industry, its reputation, or financial situation? Bringing forth solutions to any of these issues could solidify your tenure quite strongly.
Innovate and Collaborate
Mergers and acquisitions often give all players a stage to present their ideas. Audiences tend to grow upon merging with another company in some capacity, and those who may have considered themselves voiceless suddenly find themselves thrust into a spotlight. Share your ideas with new sets of ears.
You are also forced to work with people you may have never met before following a merger or acquisition. It is absolutely critical to accept new perspectives, cultures, ideas, and anything else considered “new” to your past work environment. This is a great time to showcase your collaboration skills.