Preparing Your Business For a Merger: How To
The one thing is for certain in today's economic environment is as business grows, mergers of different businesses will be certain. Mergers are not bad things. In many instances, the fact that businesses continue to join forces means in order for each to be successful they are finding strengths where each individual business may not have been able. In fact, it shows that combined those businesses can do so much more and extend farther than each could have done on their own. The outlying concern among most employees during a merger is job security, and whether or not they will continue to be employed once the merger has been completed. This is where the strength of the manager comes into play, and whether or not they are able to help manage their team through a successful merger. In the following paragraphs, the key steps a manager should take when preparing their business for a merger will be discussed.
First of all, the number one key to success when merging businesses is successful communication at every turn. Even if one feels they are communicating even the most miniscule details, more communication is better than limited communication. It is important to realize emotions are already running high when discussions of a corporate merger surface. The rumor mill gets spinning faster than normal. Employees are not sure what to believe and what to discard. The most important thing business owners and management teams can do is to continually be out in front of their teams communicating as much information as possible to them so they can ensure their teams are as well informed as they can b at each and every step. The more information the team has, the less likely they will be to freak out when the rumor mill churns out another half-truth or inaccurate fact.
In addition, change management is key to the success of any merger. Regardless of how great the companies involved in the merger may be, they will never be mirror images of each other. That means that when groups come together, even in similar markets, they will each have their own individual ways of doing things, and at some point during any merger, those differences will clash. Having good people on the ground that can work through those differences, and be able to come to a single, best resolution as to how those differences can be resolved in a productive manner, will find much more success in their mergers than companies who cannot.
Another thing companies need to keep in mind is maintaining the utmost transparency in how they are merging two businesses. This again goes to the comfort level of the employees that make up a business. Ultimately the business is the employees that work for it, and as their confidence in the company ebbs and flows, so too does the overall productivity of the business. If maintaining business as usual is one of the main goals of a company throughout a merger, then they need to ensure they are completely transparent in the actions they are taking to merge the two companies. Whenever possible the company needs to ensure they are explaining the "whys" behind each of the steps they are taking. Studies have shown when individuals fully understand why changes are being made, they are much more likely to go along with said changes uninhibited than they would if they are asked to follow blindly.
In today's every changing market, the only thing for certain is change. This includes the mergers of businesses, and like it or not, these mergers take place on a daily basis. The most successful companies are those that can face these mergers, and work through them seamlessly versus those companies that cannot. The transitions of change through these mergers comes from the top down, and those companies with management teams knowing how to lead through these changes will come out much farther ahead than those companies with management teams who do not. Preparation is key when it comes to merging businesses. Preparation is followed closely by change management, and some would argue they are one in the same. In the end, companies who know how to merge businesses successfully will be those that continue to flourish in the twenty-first century.