Sticky solutions to your everyday business challenges
Question: My company is being bought out by another company. We’re set to close in August. I’m an IT Director and my employees are asking me if their jobs are safe. I honestly don’t know the answer, but I do know that I can’t afford to have my team panic. What should I tell them?
Answer: The first question every employee asks when they learn about a merger or acquisition is “How does this impact me?” Unfortunately, most employees are kept in the dark about what will happen to them until after the deal is closed. That’s true for employees of both companies, but usually more so for the company being acquired. The threat of unemployment and lack of security are real.
Without clarity about the future, your team is hyper aware of nuances that will help them pick up clues to fill in their knowledge gaps. They will especially watch your body language and listen to your every word during this time, so it’s important to model big picture thinking.
Listen to and acknowledge your team’s concerns. Share as honestly and openly as you can, even when you have nothing new to report. Advise your team to keep breathing and look at this change as an opportunity to do everything in their power to make the merger a success.
Even if their jobs are eliminated post-merger, they will have demonstrated resilience. That story will go much farther when they are interviewing with future employers than a story of panic and flight.
In the end, the decision to stay or go is one that every employee must make for themselves. It’s your job to create an atmosphere of dialogue and long-term thinking. That’s an atmosphere that generates trust and keeps your team from pushing the panic button.