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Ways to adopt positive attitude during M&A
January, 27th 2010

The number of mergers and acquisitions taking place in the business world are on the rise as it is beneficial for the business.

But, many a times, employees of both the firms are equally concerned about their future and career prospects. But then, there are unique ways through which you as an employee, can handle the transition tactfully and derive maximum benefit out of it.

Experts say that because of the changes that a merger or acquisition could bring in an organisational setup, employees tend to harbour a lot of apprehensions. There could be changes in policies, culture, working

And experts suggest that understanding the changes and getting accustomed to it is important for career success after a merger or acquisition.

Some of these changes could be immediate and others medium- to long-term. The employee must understand that change is not bad and in every change, there lies an opportunity, says Vivek Menon, director, human capital management, Integreon.

Adding to it, Paneesh Rao, chief people officer, Aditya Birla Minacs says that employees should expect change in everything and they should adapt to these changes.

While preparing themselves for the transformation, employees must also keep themselves informed about the happenings within the organisation.

Menon suggests that an employee must seek as much credible information as possible and take informed decisions about his/her current and future career prospects in the new entity.

But moving away from the comfort zone and working style may not be easy for an employee. Many find it difficult to cope up with the changes around.

The most common challenges that are encountered by an employee are non-acceptance of the change, conflict in work culture, changes in team or reporting relationships, fear and insecurity, external pressures, peer pressures, etc, explains Mukund Menon, head of business HR relations worldwide, Mahindra Satyam, adding, Also, it is challenging for an employee to fit into the larger entity, in terms of working with a new group of people, understanding and meeting expectations and quickly adapting to the changed environment.

Soon, after an M&A, the most important concern that employees harbour is about job security and experts say that, post an M&A, there will be rationalising of jobs and employees must be able to present themselves well and also explain their role and responsibilities to the future employer.

The key to ensure a successful career following an M&A would be to embrace change, communicate with a positive approach, re-build teams, establish good relationships with peers and your reporting manager and be open to suggestions/constructive criticism, suggests Menon.

According to Vivek Menon, an employee must have a meeting with his/her new manager or existing manager, as the case might be, and seek clarity on any change in role, expectations, deliverables, goals, etc.

Any apprehensions/concerns that the employee might have must also be discussed openly. Once this is done, then the performance will be the sole determining factor for continued success.

To ensure success, employees must be aware of things taking place at work and take an active interest to understand the nuances of the new system, says Puneet Jetli, VP and global head, people function, MindTree Ltd.

A merger or acquisition brings in two different entities to work together as one and it calls for a lot of integration and alignment from the part of both, the employee and organisation.

While the organisation could provide a helping hand to employees through constant communication and by assisting them adapt to new changes, the onus is also on the employee to be willing to embrace this change, stay positive and understand the new company culture and work towards a fruitful career.

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