What the heck! We were bought out by who? Wasn’t that our competition? Now what? Where does that leave me? Just a few of the questions that always occur when a company gets acquired. It’s easy to be anxious but don’t be. Here are some things I have had success with when faced with a merger.
First and foremost take a chill pill. Most changes don’t occur overnight. There will be changes, of course, over time. And, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I have been through multiple mergers and acquisitions and while not all of them were for me, most were actually better situations and opportunities. Cultures always changed and morphed at some level. Redundancy of course was a concern but I learned to deal with that. The biggest concern of all was when these changes were going to happen.
New owners and leaders will have to deal with changes as well. It will take them a while to make decisions. They don’t want to upset the troops with possibly bogus information. My experience has pretty much been a year before you will see anything concrete. That is not set in stone of course but not unusual. So what to do in the meantime.
Show that you are interested in the way a new company does things. Don’t go down the rabbit hole of “we already know how to do it best”. Get a feel for what changes might be coming and align yourself accordingly. Network with anyone, and any group, that can shed some light. A cultural change will come and you need to be prepared.
Pre-stress baggage. Clear the noggin.
Most likely your company was doing everything they could to make the bottom line look great. Most times at you and your fellow employees’ expense. Stress and pressure can take a toll but you can not take that with you when the merger happens. Clear the noggin, get excited, and be open to changes. There will be many.
Network and prove your worth.
New bosses do not know how cool you’ve been. They are stressed by everything as well and need you to help them succeed. Make sure you are friendly to all and accessible. Become a go to expert that is visible but not obnoxiously so.
Cargill and Continental Grain Company to Acquire Sanderson Farms – PR Newswire
Change is good.
No, really it is. You might have liked the way things have been working before. Most likely this will not stay. You have to adapt and stop protecting your “turf”. You will have to adjust to new culture styles, rules, and so on. Adopt their practices and embrace their culture. Hard to do sometimes but necessary. Your new bosses want to see that you are on their side and not an enemy. Also, you might just learn something new and cool.
Leaders will pretty much tell you whatever you want to hear to keep from having a mass migration of employees. They will play politics to make sure they can keep their jobs at your expense if necessary. Reality can be harsh. There will be whispered meetings, lunches, and after hour activities. You do not need to be part of this. Consider it useful entertainment. Just be your friendly subject matter expert self.
Death and Taxes.
The only thing for certain are taxes and death. Everything else is uncertain. You are about to experience this in a big way. Don’t over analyze and go with the flow. Also, don’t kid yourself, there will be layoffs. The details.. who knows.
Acquired – Decisions to make.
Bottom line is that you are in control of your future, not the new company. Make a change if that makes sense to you but don’t give up on them too quickly. This new company’s actions are not a declaration of their personal dislike for you. Take a deep breath and for heaven’s sake relax. It really might be better.
As you go through these changes don’t forget about your vendors as well. Let them know what they can do to help your cause and transition.