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6 Ways Employees Can Prepare for Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) can be a difficult experience for an employee. After all, it takes ages to adapt to a company’s culture and environment. The new transition might bring in new culture, people and mindsets working under different leadership, along with the fear of unforeseen work culture issues.

M&As can be a source of speculation and uncertainties. This is because, more often than not, mergers and acquisitions deal with eliminating redundant job descriptions and implementing entirely new working methods.

This means employees may be laid off or transferred into entirely new work zones, each of which comes with its own set of complications.

However, there are ways you can ease up the transition process for yourself. Read on for some tips on how to do so.

Stay informed

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M&A may be a company decision, but you can keep yourself informed in order to plan your future. You can do this by taking part in information sessions, if any are offered, that may be facilitated by leaders of both organizations.

Even if there is the chance of a lay-off, it will probably come with a severance package. Try to negotiate a fair severance package, something that can keep you going until you find a new job.

You should plan your HR consultation as well. Dr. Richard Bayer, COO of The Five O’Clock Club, ]a career coaching and outplacement network, tells employees to plan in advance by consulting their HR manuals for information about types of severance packages.

This process will give you insight into different elements of severance packages such as career counseling and health insurance.

Communicate your value

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Try not to fly under the radar and be more proactive; in mergers and acquisitions, your management needs to make difficult decisions of retaining employees, and you need to prove your worth.

Kirsten Dixson, co-author of Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand, believes that going unnoticed may lead to your elimination.

Dixson, a personal branding consultant, recommends sending regular progress reports to your supervisor. Document your work and compile a weekly status report that outlines your key performance indicators and the projects you have worked on.

This may not guarantee any safety, but it sure will set you apart from the rest of the employees and make your boss’s decision easier.

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Be a team player

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Downsizing can be a difficult process for everyone. It is important, though, to show support, both to each other and to the organization. Otherwise, you may be perceived as someone who is not a team player.

Don’t believe it? Take it from Ed Longanacre, senior vice president of IT at Amerisafe.

According to Longanacre, professionals that just sit at their desk and complete their hours may be at risk. This is because it may give the impression that the employee is not interested in the organization. Organizations need employees that can work well together. Just being good at what you do is not enough.

Stay and define the elevator pitch

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Instead of a severance package, you might actually be on the list of those who get to stay within the newly merged organization. If so, you may either continue with your job as is or you may be reassigned to a new department with a new set of responsibilities.

If this is the case, try to prepare for your new job. Do your homework, and see how you can contribute to your new responsibilities.

Rich Casselberry recommends preparing an “elevator pitch.” This means learning to succinctly talk about what you can bring forth to the larger company that they didn’t previously have. Casselberry has been an IT manager for about 20 years.

In one of the mergers and acquisitions Rich faced, he saved 20% on running the business’s own IT services rather than outsourcing them, unlike what the larger organization did. And that was his pitch – saving them 20%, which ended up being nearly $25 million a year.

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Move on and plan ahead

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In the case that you receive no severance package or job sustenance, stay positive and move on. Without further ado, proactively start looking for another job.

If you land a good job, great! If not, think of building your own company. That’s right: be an entrepreneur.

Choose something you are skilled at and/or that you are passionate about. This does not need to be something at a big scale. If it makes you feel any better, 69 percent of entrepreneurs in the U.S. start their businesses at home.

Robert Bahn is a lead business consultant with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center. Bahn has three words for you: do your homework.

Make use of numerous online resources and research your business financing. Being able to cover rent and opening costs is not enough. You need to draw in and maintain your customers, too, so plan accordingly.

Deal with mergers and acquisitions positively

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At times, employees may focus too much on negative news during such uncertain times. Instead of good, that does more bad by making people discouraged when they need to stay optimistic.

Furthermore, this does not play well when looking for a job, because prospective employers can sense discouragement and negativity in candidates, which turns them off.

Dr. Bayer recommends not only staying positive but showing positive behaviors, too. He further adds that companies prefer people that are resilient.

Rick Myers advises just how to curb that negative behavior at its core. The founder and chief executive of Talent Zoo, Myers agrees that bad habits can destroy one’s career, but the worst part is people rarely realize it. This is why it’s important to become more self-aware and be sure you practice habits that are of value to the company.

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Tell us if your company has experienced any mergers and acquisitions. Comment below with tips!