Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are rough for everyone involved, there is no argument there. Managers are stressed, employees are trying to complete current projects with a sea of strangers as coworkers, and no one is exactly certain their job will be spared in the consolidation process. According to the Harvard Business Review, as many as 30% of employees’ jobs are determined to be redundant in a merger between companies in the same industry. To be honest, those aren’t the best odds. The purpose of this article is not to scare you further; in fact, we want to offer an alternative perspective to the common M&A Plotline of Misfortune. We have witnessed employees involved in mergers and acquisitions prosper from the experience simply because they adopted a different frame of mind than their peers. This is the personal strategy you need to follow as soon as you hear talk about a possible restructuring, merger, or acquisition.
Channel Your Inner Extrovert
Just being more outwardly confident is one of the easiest ways to become recognizable to the decision-makers at your corporation. You may do some of the most valuable work in your department, but if the higher-ups cannot match your name, face, and portfolio together, your merits may fall through the cracks during the merger. Make yourself known to leaders in both companies to ensure your talents are a known commodity to the C-Suite.
How do you do this, exactly? Become a team player, and do not sit on the sidelines. Aiding the integration of two companies will illustrate your flexibility and your desire to be a part of the newly formed corporation. It may be your personal nature to stay out of the spotlight, but we urge you to show how integral you are to your employer’s success. If stepping out of your comfort zone means continued employment, it is definitely the right step to take.
It’s Not a Test, It’s an Opportunity
As trite as this advice may seem, it is absolutely necessary to reframe your mindset in a merger. If you view your corporation’s consolidation as an attempt to weed you out, you are already approaching the situation negatively, and your actions at work will feel resentful as a result. The moment you learn about a merger, restructuring, or acquisition, you need to begin brainstorming possible ways to make the change advantageous. If you have been eyeing another job title within your company, now is the time to work towards that end goal. Do you need to develop a new skill to be competitive in your industry? Learn it right now. There are so many resources for professional development, both online and in-person. Create an objective for yourself and highlight your benchmarks throughout the process. Demonstrating to corporate leaders your willingness to evolve will put you ahead of contemporaries who are sitting idly, waiting to see what happens. Do not wait for change; become the change. This will put you ahead every time.
Work Through the Kinks
Mergers are messy, and every single one is different. There will be problems, and you will have to be flexible and work around them until they are solved. Throwing up your hands in frustration will not fix the issues. Do your best to help coworkers complete tasks, and always make an effort to stimulate waning morale. If you make the consolidation process easier for your corporation’s leaders, they will remember your name when they begin handing out promotions.