The deal is done and the company is in new hands. Sure, the executives want the best for the company. They think of the budgets, the departments, and reorganizing – but what about the employees?

Employees are often hit the hardest whenever a merger or acquisition takes place. Questions like “Will I still have my job?” and “Will I still have the same benefits?” are at the forefront of your mind when coping with a company acquisition. Confusion and doubt may arise, and people deal with the change and uncertainty in different ways. While some may get by better than others, most employees tend to sit back, wait in the dark and even lament the impending changes.

After giving some obligatory time to ponder on your uncertain work environment, the next thing to do is get up and face the changes head on.

Tips for coping with a company acquisition

1. Do your homework

Knowing more about what is happening and who the key players are in the acquisition will keep you a step ahead. Find out more about the new leaders. What are their priorities? What major changes will they want to bring to the company? What is their vision for the organization? What are their values and expectations?

Information will keep you prepared and ready when you need to make a good impression on your new managers or executives.

2. Be visible and available

Being consistently present helps establish your contributions to the company. The people who step up and make their presence known are usually the ones that will be dependable.

Showing up a bit earlier or sticking around later than the minimum hours required sends a message that you are dedicated to your work and that your presence is crucial to making your team or department function well. It also shows that you value your job and are willing to perform well and give more time to ensure that systems and workflows are in place for the benefit of the company.

3. Don’t be afraid of change

As the new company owners are examining every aspect of the business operation during the company acquisition or merger, be ready to adjust to new policies, processes, and even restrictions. Stay open-minded. Remember that everyone has the same goal in mind – to keep the business running efficiently for the benefit of everyone involved, including the employees.

Openly adopting new plans, a new vision, and understanding the new culture can help make the transition easier on you and on your fellow employees. Instead of complaining and pulling others into a vacuum of negativity, try to express feelings and opinions in a constructive way. Being optimistic helps you cope better and reassures your colleagues that things might not be as bad as they think.

4. Get acquainted with new managers

You all have the same goal in mind – to make the acquisition a success. Do your part by inquiring about your unit’s new responsibilities, offering information and suggestions on current projects, or giving out ideas for smoother workflows. Remember that all these have to be backed up by research on the new company, so that your suggestions are in line with their goals and strategies. Employees can move their profiles forward by talking to the new boss, emphasizing talents and skills, and asking how they can help with new plans and projects. 

Coping with a company acquisition or merger can be tough. The uncertainty that comes along with an acquisition can cause more stress than usual. Be sure that in the process of keeping up and putting your best foot forward, you still take time to look after yourself and the people that matter to you. As a last resort, keep your resume updated and be prepared to choose a different path should you and the new management not be a good fit.

Do you have past experience coping with a company acquisition? What worked well (or not so well) for you? Share your comments below or tweet us @trackvia.

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