Talk to employees during M&As

Employees usually feel uncertain during change, but open communication can keep morale high
By Karen Traboulay
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/21/2010

People, generally, fear change. Especially in the workplace, when new strategies can make employees uncomfortable and elicit a variety of emotions. Employees placed in uncertain positions tend to internalize a variety of reactions, from fear and anxiety to acceptance and excitement. During a merger or acquisition, organizations should anticipate and manage those emotions.

The most important element to managing employees’ emotions during a merger or acquisition is communication. Timely, honest and open communication, rooted in good leadership, will make the difference between high or low employee morale.

Once senior management is aware of an imminent merger or acquisition, it is critical to develop a communications plan. Employees need to be apprised of the situation by leaders early on.