Mergers and acquisitions are a part of business – especially for growing and developing companies. It is critical to create plans for every aspect of a merger or acquisition, including understanding how changes affect the people within.
Business and culture are two crucial elements within a company. The first is what one most commonly considers when thinking of any company. It is the business itself, from the niche to the specific rules of operation.
Culture can be harder to define. To most, it is the shared goals, values, and practices held within an organization. In other words, it is a bit like the personality of a company. It defines and is defined by the people within and how they act.
Finding the Balance
It can be challenging to balance business and culture, especially during an involved process such as mergers and acquisitions. There are inherent changes that must occur here, and any shakeup can and will impact those that keep a company alive.
One of the best ways to help reduce any adjustment period is choosing a partner (or business) with care. Companies that share goals and values will have an easier time merging than those that run counter to one another.
Likewise, it is easier to handle a transition when both companies are organized. It can be pure chaos attempting to merge an organized business without any structure. As such, it is beneficial to avoid these situations altogether.
Regardless of the reason for the change, it is essential to always endeavor to support employees as they adjust to something new. Support is a multitiered effort that starts at the top and works down to the bottom.
Transparency may not always feel like a natural part of this process, but it does help to smooth out any potential issues. Likewise, having open communication channels is beneficial to improving both culture and business endeavors.
Finally, one should always be clear on what these changes involve: who will end up working together, how the business will alter, and what new roles employees may play in what is about to transpire.