When two companies merge, everybody gets nervous. That goes double (maybe even triple) for the employees of those companies because they are the ones who are often most directly affected by the changes, least prepared to make adjustments and most out-of-the-loop about what’s actually happening.
So, how do you keep your good employees from jumping ship as fast as they can to find new employment (especially in an economy where jobs are currently plentiful)?
Communication with your employees is key
Your employees are going to have questions, so you’d better have answers. As much as possible, you need to be prepared to answer questions like:
- Are positions going to be eliminated? If so, how soon will those affected know?
- Will eliminated employees receive a severance payment or adequate notice to seek new employment?
- Will job duties and titles change? What happens if an employee doesn’t like the new job description? Are their alternatives to simply leaving?
- Will pay rates be negatively affected? What about current benefit packages, including insurance and investments?
- What is the new organization going to look like? Who will employees report to? Who can they turn to if there is a problem?
- Will the culture of the company be undergoing a radical shift? If so, in what way and how are employees expected to conform?
Remember: There are things that your employees may value that you haven’t necessarily considered important. The layout of desks or the way that workspaces are generally arranged can be important to many office employees, for example, and managers sometimes fail to appreciate the significance of the issue.
An experienced business law attorney may be able to help you anticipate problems as you make your transition with any merger. Don’t let things get out of hand before you seek assistance.