What if the scariest thing you could ever say was just one word?
For your employees, that word is definitely “merger.” When a merger is announced, employees naturally wonder about the possibility of redundancy. They find themselves asking big questions, like whether they will still have a job in the next few months.
As a manager, it’s important to know how to calm worried workers down during company upheavals. Keep reading to discover 8 tips and recommendations!
1. Present a Calm Attitude
One simple truth about being a manager is that you should always lead by example. What does that mean in the midst of a big change, though?
Right now, the best thing you can do is to be a calm eye in the center of the chaotic storm. It’s natural for employees to be worried, and they’re going to look to you for information about things like the differences between mergers and acquisitions and the upcoming changes. If you can be serene during this frightening time, it can help to keep everyone else nice and calm.
2. Debunk Rumors ASAP
One thing that always threatens to disrupt the smooth flow in the workplace is nasty rumors. When you’re in the midst of a transition, these kinds of rumors are going to be flying all over the place.
As management, you can’t always keep the rumors from starting. However, you can do your best to quash these rumors as soon as you hear them. The best way to do that is to share information with your employees.
You can also be proactive and host “town hall” sessions where employees can ask you questions. The more answers they get from you, the less they’ll rely on the rumor mill.
3. Keep a Tight Inner Circle
Facilitating an M&A can feel like a bit of a paradox. On one hand, you can’t handle everything on your own. On the other hand, the more people you trust with the truth, the likelier you are to encounter unwanted leaks.
The solution is simple on paper but difficult to execute: you need to find employees that you can trust with the fate of your company. Maintain a tight inner circle and those trustworthy people can help you reassure the rest of your workers throughout the process.
4. Be Honest and Empathetic During a Merger
Earlier, we touched on the importance of leading by example during any disruption. Your confidence helps your employees become more confident too. However, unless you want to risk losing that confidence, it’s important for you to show honesty and empathy during the changes.
Be honest with your employees about what you do and do not know (within reason). In some cases, this may mean admitting that you, too, are unsure about certain things.
Throughout all of this, do your best to let your employees know you understand how they feel and that those feelings are valid. During times of uncertainty, a little of this empathy can go a long way!
5. Find and Promote the Right Leaders
To get employees through changes, you need more than a tight inner circle. You’re going to need to have a larger groundswell of support throughout the organization.
That’s why you should empower select employees in different ways. For example, you can choose various workers from different departments and give them certain responsibilities related to making the transition easier (such as coordinating different departments, communicating new updates, and so on).
Using this strategy helps you delegate while amplifying worker voices. These amplified voices will be in a unique position to keep everyone else calm.
6. Managing Expectations During an M&A
In some ways, your role doesn’t change that much. For example, managers must do what managers always do: manage the expectations of their employees.
What does this expectation management look like? Basically, it means that you don’t give in to the temptation to make everything sound like it’s definitely going to be fine. Everybody knows that upheavals will lead to at least some redundancies and layoffs, and lying about that will quickly erode everyone’s trust.
Conversely, being honest about what to expect (again, within reason) helps build trust, and that is crucial during this tumultuous time. For example, you may want to make employees aware of any outsourcing that may happen in the near future.
7. Detail the Opportunities of the Merger
Obviously, the prospect of an M&A is enough to make many employees worried about their careers and the future. One way you can keep morale up is to detail some of the unexpected opportunities that come with change.
For example, combining with another company may lead to layoffs, but they also lead to new job titles, new job responsibilities, and new job promotions. Ambitious employees may find this is the perfect time to climb the corporate ladder. Reminding them of this can bring calm to a chaotic situation.
8. Feature Successful Workers
When figuring out how to keep employees happy during changes, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. In fact, one of the best things you can do is something that should be part of your regular business strategy: featuring successful workers and openly praising them for their good work.
It’s easy for the average worker to feel overlooked and underappreciated. They may even feel like a tiny cog in a giant, corporate machine that never stops moving.
By positively singling out workers for their success, you show these employees you see their value and know their worth. And this shows other employees that hard work still has major value, even during uncertain times.
The Key to a Better Merger
Knowing ways to calm workers down during company changes is the mark of a good leader.
Here at Confie, we know all about mergers and acquisitions as well as the business process outsourcing you may need to help create a smooth transition. To learn more about what we can do for you and your company, just contact us today or give us a call at (714) 252 2500.