How to survive a merger?

A merger, and any corporate action for that matter, can be a very unsettling period for employees in a company. You may not hear the news you want to hear until things are pretty final, your boss may not be able to tell you what is going on and may not even be in the loop.
Another situation would be when you actively participate in the corporate action and you find yourself in the middle of Merger negotiations.Working Together For Success
This is not the place to provide you with advice about what your job responsibilities are from a professional perspective, here we want to talk about you and your personal career. Chances are that “the other company” already has someone in a similar position to yours. There are a few popular systems for companies to deal with the personnel issues that are created by corporate actions;
  • Keep the current employees and lay off the employees of “the other company” in the merger
  • Accept the employees from “the other company” and lay off your own team
  • Assess talent and choose the best, so allow all to apply for all positions and pick and choose.
The circumstances of the merger are also important to consider. A few examples:
  • If the merged company will be substantially different (eg in size) from the merger partners, new talent outside both companies may need to be found.
  • If a company is in a growth mode and plans various mergers for a certain period, they may not be in a position to layoff their own employees as this may cause uncertainty in the deal team and may hamper the ability for the company to recruit the talent they need for this strategy.
  • Certain employees may be so crucial to the company that if they would leave there would be a serious impact on the value of the merger.

As you can see, it will be difficult to assess the situation for your own career early in the process. A few pieces of advice from experience and living through a number of corporate actions:

Be flexible, your job may change or move but realize that with mergers, things tend to be fluid and may change again and again before they settle and your eventual position becomes clear.

Acquire as much factual information as you can to understand what is going on, that is collect facts, not opinions. Stay away from hypothetical situation and stay away from the gossip circuit that has a tendency to create a virtual world of fake realities.

Be reliable and dependable and continue to execute your role as well as possible. You want to be seen as a rock in the sea of turmoil. It will help you perform an excellent job and it will help the performance of those who work for you or with you.

Keep your eye on the market, evaluate your options. You may want to start looking at your resume, so you are ready when the situation would require you to move on.

Manage expectations at home. Ensure you partner is aware of all the eventualities and know what the partner will and will not support as outcome, eg move to a different location, accepting a role with more travel etc.

With the above pointers you should be able to live through the merger and come out with positive outcomes for yourself, even if it would mean moving to another opportunity.

Drop us a line with specific questions on your situation.

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