Mitigating negative impact on morale, post acquisition

This topic contains 16 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Ian Smith 5 months ago.

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    Natalie Trabert

    Greetings All,
    What recommendations do you have for mitigating negative perceptions and fear that comes with the uncertainty around an acquisition?
    Thank you!


    Julie Meador

    Communicate to employees quickly, transparently and often about their personal situation – when they will receive an offer, new reporting structure, what they can expect following the close, orientation with new management and most importantly the rationale for the transaction – why it’s a “good” thing – and how they are a valued contributor to execute strategy/vision. It’s also helpful to enlist their key employees that were supportive of the deal to address concerns and act as “cheerleader” to support the strategy.


    Nick Picone

    Agreed, open and honest communication. Show them the growth plan and the benefits of the new paradigm. Especially important is continued updates beyond the initial announcement. Let them know how it is going and what needs to be done for it to be successful. Where possible, have one on one conversations and discuss their concerns and their future with the company.


    stacy hall

    Open, transparent communication — it’s okay to overcommunicate! Incentivize employees to see the value of working on a workstream/team by offering bonuses and offering career growth opportunities.


    Recently, my organisation started discussing a merger with another organization. The deal is not yet done, but so far everything that could have been done wrong, was done wrong. So following a list of things to not do 🙂
    – Have no clear team that is responsible for negotiating the details.
    – Do not include people in the negotiations who will be most affected by the merger.
    – Do not communicate with the two teams about the progress/process.
    – Ask people to prepare calculations, but don’t tell them the reasons for it.
    – After two months of discussions, start asking yourself if this merger is really what you want.


    Hari Pandiyat

    2 years back my bank had acquired 2 other banks an I can share the experience I had gone through at that time.
    We all had the uncertainty of getting fired when the management look for synergies during PMI phase. But the management kept conversing with us during team meetings regularly about the M&A developments and how it won’t be affecting our existing job profiles, what all future opportunities would be available and value would be created through that merger, future strategy etc. They also advised us about the departments that would be impacted going forward. So such transparent and honest communication, helped to allay our fears and gave sufficient time for others to plan for their future.



    Open and transparent communication is crucial to instill trust in staff and prevent the decrease in their morales. By planning the integration prior to the acquisition, management can communicate their expectations and strategic direction to employees before the acquisition is finalised. This would allay fear and uncertainty among the employees.



    Fear mostly comes from a lack of awareness – they don’t know how they are going to be personally impacted. Every day they don’t know that and/or hear information from the grapevine creates more anxiety. This results in a loss of productivity as they have no desire to contribute towards the goal.
    Making sure you have a proper Change Management plan that identifies individual and group concerns and takes up to address them through a combination of clear communication and messaging from people they trust, getting additional knowledge and tools, support infrastructure to got through the transition, etc. can take care of these.


    Do communicate to the employees that this is happening because of a new vision that the company is having. Ensuring that the management is there to support them should there be any need for role change etc


    Linda Castle

    Actions! Coming up with the right words to communicate is the easy part. Actions need to follow and be consistent with the messaging. If promises or better benefits are not kept, or promotions not made, people will lose their faith and leave.


    Christian Münnich

    Certainly a proactive communication and early involement of the employees.



    Plan your integration and communication with a people-centric approach but always being honest and candid (not sugar coating) with the message.

    One possible approach is creating empathy maps or personas canvas ( to explore possible perspectives.


    William Venus

    Having been through 2 acquisitions and led the integration of a workstream on one other, it is critical to be open and honest without candy coating any issues or questions that may not be known. Be respectful and people centric aligning the business rationale to the future opportunities for growth, both from individual career and business perspective.


    Michael Hubsmith

    From task forces that are given specific areas of focus to evaluate where morale will decay the fastest. Examples – dissect the organization chart, look at titles, roles and responsibilities. More often than not two different philosophies have been deployed in the development of each of the organizations. without completely overturn the history – what can be addressed and viewed as positive in the greater organization? Sometimes the smaller issues are the bigger issues. Pay attention to the small stuff.


    Cesar Otero Lucas

    Fear is normal, specially with those who do not feel secure in their position. It is important to talk with them about this feeling one by one. At the same time, the internal communication system will be the key resource to fight against rumors that in most cases are the main source of fear.

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