A match made in heaven

Just like a marriage, a successful merger or acquisition requires strong foundations built on an alignment of values, interests and complimentary approaches to workplace cultures. Here our some top tips to ensure that businesses can protect their reputation and employer brand in the midst of any change.

1. Communication is at the heart of change

For both parties to truly flourish in a merger or acquisition, it’s essential that expectations are communicated from the start. Without this mutual understanding, there is a potential for misalignment and friction. This will result in two unhappy parties and two colliding workforces. To avoid this, core values and non-negotiable terms of business should be voiced prior to any merger or acquisition. Similarities can be drawn with putting a pre-nuptial agreement in place before a marriage.

During times of change, it is common for employees to feel stressed and anxious. This is particularly true when there’s a lack of clear direction or lack of communication from ‘the top’. Tackling this may be as simple as considering new ways to communicate throughout the initial transformation period. You should include clear signposting of how and when new updates will be made, and when employees are likely to hear from the leadership team next.

2. Align processes to ease transition

Other ways can include aligning new processes to ease the transition, this can involve hosting an ‘all business’ meeting, for example, to specifically address potential concerns within the organisation. When it comes to ensuring employees are happy and comfortable, strong and well-considered leadership is essential, with clear channels available for two-way discussions.

3. Allow for relationships to blossom

Workplace relationships are becoming more important for the workforce. In fact 50 per cent of UK workers claim they would rather have “great relationships” at work than a 10 per cent pay increase. Being able to freely and respectfully communicate at work should be encouraged. At times of significant change, this need will only increase further.

4. Protect company culture, brand and values

During times of change, it is also an opportune time to take stock of your employer brand to assess it and make improvements or adjustments as necessary. Considering the following is key to attracting talent that can smooth the change journey and help to boost employee morale:

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Diversity ethics and inclusion (DE&I)
  • Social and governance (ESG) programmes

A smooth transition for employees stems from clear communication and a conscious effort to integrate the two different cultures. Whilst doing this it’s important you don’t lose sight of either business’ core values. For a business to work against its own set of core values, or to partner with another party that does, could be catastrophic for its reputation.