The top brass of a company are the first to quit post an M&A deal. Put your focus on retaining talent – a loss of which can break your potentially successful deal!
No one likes uncertainty. There’s a reason you walk on a smooth path in the woods, light a dark street at night-time and use a map when you’re taking a new route. You want to know there’s something good at the end of the journey, with no nasty surprises along the way.
The same goes for your employees during an M&A. When an M&A is in motion, a degree of uncertainty is natural and expected. So, with this in mind, how do you make sure that your top talent doesn’t run toward seemingly safer ground?
There are lots of ways to make sure you retain your best people, foster great employee loyalty and keep a competitive edge during (and after!) an M&A:
- Don’t wait, communicate
The best way to manage uncertainty among your employees is to have open communication. There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling confused, ignored and in-the-dark. When change is coming, people naturally want to be as informed as possible. Undoubtedly, roles and reporting lines change. So, by being transparent about when changes will take place and how redundancy will be managed, you’ll help to build trust with your most valuable talent. Once you’ve built that trust, your employees will be more inclined to stick it out during this rocky and sometimes difficult time.
- Don’t waste your precious time
While the big M&A is guzzling time, resource and attention, your competitors might have their eyes on wondering employees. If employee loyalty is waning and people are considering a move, there are lots of other companies waiting to snap them up. Saving time by making effective, good decisions quickly can help minimise the risk of poachers. There’s no need to be hasty, but if you can act fast, don’t choose to wait or put off those tough conversations. Sometimes uncertainty can seem to last forever, so be snappy and secure your leaders, managers and staff before their loyalty wavers.
- Sweeten the deal
Your top talent know their own value, so you need to recognise it too. Transitions and changes aren’t easy, so an incentive can help to ease the process. It might seem like an expensive option, but if you truly value your key people, then it is a price worth paying. See it as an investment in the longevity and success of your M&A. Your staff will thank you for rewarding their efforts and identifying their talent. In the long run, retaining your best people and your strongest team-players will pay you back ten-fold.