what not to do when working in a merged organization

Mergers and acquisitions generally spark a sense of anxiety, uncertainties and ambiguity about the future. From job security to probable dilution of the existing work culture, many questions loom large during such business transitions. But rather than falling prey to the fear mongering that might consume workplaces, it is best to devise your own strategy to deal with it. Here are a few things you should avoid if you are working in a merged organization.  

Do not disconnect yourself: The best strategy - when fear about jobs, leadership changes, probable alteration of benefits and perks is rampant in the workplace - is to stay calm and watch how things unfold. Keep a keen eye on every leadership and organization level communication that hit your inbox. Make use of the help and FAQ forums your organization might have built to assist you to navigate through the relevant details of this change. This will help you understand your company’s business decision and enable you to take an informed step about your career.

Do not turn a blind eye to the company your organization merged with: Many a times anxiety and anger sparks a feeling of denial. We tend to avoid making attempts to know the company our organization is merging with. Such tendencies can sometimes make us lose out on some of our biggest career opportunities. Try finding out the business focus of the new organization. See if you can reskill yourself aligned to what’s in demand in the new company. Go through their career sites and see what skills they are hiring most. Connect with the HR and recruitment leaders and get an insight on what proactive steps you can take to stay relevant to the new business realities of your organization. 

Do not get into negative competition: The tendency to secure one’s job might lead to unhealthy competitiveness which often result in conflict. It is best to avoid such temptations. At the heat of the moment it might seem right to further your own goal at the cost of your colleagues but remember these are the people who interact with you regularly. They carry your image across the organization and beyond. You never know at what point of time you may encounter them when their opinion will count. It is best to stay amicable with everyone. 

Avoid taking impulsive decisions: M&As are usually not a one time activity but a long drawn process. These are not just cash-out deals, but ones that go on for at least three years where decisions about retention, vesting and re-vesting programs are constantly considered and reoriented. This means you have about 24-36 months to consider your next move. Instead of hastily accepting offers that do not truly complement your expertise and what you deserve, it is best to wait for the right opportunity and use this time to acquire new skills.  

Do not ignore the importance of liquid cash: While all the steps outlined earlier will help you withstand any adverse effect of a merger, there is no denying the fact that there will be uncertainties. Therefore, you should step up your actions around saving and keep a good flow of liquid cash available so you can continue to fulfill all your financial commitments. The best strategy is to shift to a cost saving mode on the personal front as soon as the merger announcement is made public. That will help you minimize the impact in case of a job loss. 

At the end of the day, preparation is the key to remain stable in the face of any business or market change. Be it a merger and acquisition or any other market-wide force, fretting about it doesn’t help. What helps is some strategic thinking in terms of skill development, scouting for newer opportunities and taking control of expenses. 
 
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