23 February 2015
Many big name acquisitons reported in the last few days such as the acquisition of the Toll Group may be exciting news in the market but may set alarms bells for employees on what the future holds. In these situations, the employer should manage the culture of their organisation.
An acquisition can be a difficult process for both employers and employees. Employees often live in uncertainty and want to be kept in the loop on their position and their status within the organisation regardless of whether or not their employer is acquiring a company or is being acquired by another company. A clear process should be established for employers to follow to ease the transition for employees.
Below are some key factors an employer should take into consideration when managing employees in this situation:
Communication is vital in any organisation but especially important when there is a level of uncertainty faced by employees. The culture of an organisation will most likely be affected with the addition of more employees. The key to a smooth acquisition is communicating clearly and often and this can happen in a number of ways (e.g. one to ones, regular updates, group consultations). Employers should aim to clarify roles and benefits to employees.
Employees of an acquired company may want to know what will change when their company is acquired. Employers should try to be upfront with all employees about what will change, as well as the cultural aspects that will stay the same.
There are bound to be employees who would support company cultural efforts and it would be useful for these employees to act as liaisons to their organisation.
Employers should consider the talent which would be brought to the table. Each employee would have to be considered individually to see what they can offer to the larger company. It would be extremely beneficial for the employer to clearly evaluate their talent before making rash decisions only for financial reasons.
Employers should also develop a robust development program which aligns employees into the larger business. This should go further than the basics of job titles, compensation and benefits. Detailed information should be made available to educate the new employees.