Mergers and acquisitions are incredibly common in today’s competitive, globally-driven marketplace. According to Firmex in their Mid-Market M&A report, while the largest deals have been on the decline in 2016, mid-market deals haven’t seen as much of a downturn. These mid-market deals often impact a significant number of employees, since so many businesses fall into this middle-level category.
When these transactions happen, employees tend to feel a great sense of anxiety since they can often lead to the layoff of existing employees.
The question for employees who are caught up in deals and mergers is how to protect themselves and their jobs, even in the face of what can represent pretty significant changes.
Learn About the Company Coming In
During a merger or an acquisition, there is going to be a coming together of two separate businesses in most cases, and these companies can be very different from each other and do things distinctively.
A good idea for employees is to learn more about the new company that will be coming into the mix. This will give existing employees an opportunity to find out how they do things, a little more about their corporate culture, and how they can potentially position themselves to remain a good fit in the new structure.
If you’re going to be getting a new boss or supervisor, make sure you’re prepared and then be ready to seek that person out and introduce yourself. Sometimes employees mistakenly think it’s better to go under the radar during a merger and hope they get to stay on because no one really noticed them, but in reality, it’s typically best to do quite the opposite.
Create a Survival Plan
When you know a merger is coming down the pipe, preparation and planning are the best things you can do for yourself. Taking a wait and see approach isn’t likely to be best for helping you survive.
Instead, being proactive is ideal.
A merger survival plan should include contingency plans in case you simply can’t hang on, steps you can take to build relationships with both new and existing team members, a plan for proving your value, and an outline for how you can be a change advocate.
Be Open and Collaborative
When a merger is happening, it can be difficult not to develop an attitude of “us versus them,” but this is not the right approach, and it can lead to a sense of animosity that may not help you survive the merger.
Instead, when you work to protect your position, try to be open to change and collaborative. Be on the lookout for new opportunities to build relationships, and also new ways you can prove your value in the evolving structure that’s likely to develop.
If the merger you’re part of involves employees from foreign offices coming into the mix, you can get to know them by learning a bit about their culture and their business customs. It will help you present yourself as someone who’s open to change, which can be appealing to employers who are the midst of a transition.
Anytime you hear your employer is planning something as significant as a merger or acquisition, it can immediately create a feeling of anxiety, but you can take steps that will help you be more appealing to your employer, even in the midst of change.