Tips for Managing your Way through a Business Merger
More and more companies these days are taking advantage of the opportunity to join forces in order to create one single company, one which is stronger than either of the two separate ones would have been. Business analysts point out that there are some pitfalls associated with mergers which don’t have anything to do with the financial aspects of the merger, and which managers of both companies need to address in order to ensure the success of the merger. Experts recommend that managers spend as much time on reviewing the impact on individual employees and departments, as on the financial aspects of the merger.
Arrange for employee discussions
It’s important to involve the employees of both companies impacted by a merger, in discussions which can bring out their feelings and perspectives. It’s also very important that the business aspects of the merger are discussed freely and frankly among people in similar departments across the two companies, so each can understand how the other operates.
Identify areas of overlap
Another aspect of examining the impact on individuals is to identify where areas of overlap exist, and where some positions may have to be eliminated. While this is an unfortunate consequence of many mergers, it is one that must be addressed, in the interest of efficiency and future success of the new company.
After the period where individuals have had a chance to talk about what the merger means to them, and how to gain understanding of what their roles will be in the new company, the review should extend upward one level, to the department. While the individual impact needs to be considered first, the departmental impact is not far behind. It will be extremely important to take a hard look at how departments like IT, Human Resources, Product management, and Sales & Marketing will all operate under one roof.
It may be that consolidations will need to be made, philosophies may need altering, and leadership will almost certainly undergo change. When a merger is being planned or is in process, it’s critical for managers of both companies to get together, and make sure that individuals understand the process and are on board with it, and that departmental considerations have been reviewed and adjusted wherever necessary.