The often volatile process of M&A is a time that requires steadfast leadership, which is able to create a sense of stability whilst everything around the company is changing. In fact, it has been reported that aside from financial results themselves, senior leadership team effectiveness is considered the most important element in determining overall company success. One of the biggest factors to consider as a leader during any M&A process is that the mentality of your employees will not be 100% focussed on their individual tasks, and perhaps will be feeling a certain element of insecurity. In unpacking this notion a little further, a leader must consider that an M&A process can place added pressure on workers, with uncertainties over the likes of job security, salary, roles and overall worth to the firm (amongst others) being common occurring questions appearing in their minds. As we all know, mental distractions can genuinely be detrimental to one’s own productivity and overall standard of work. Thus, the importance of a leader re-establishing a stable workplace during and post an M&A process truly goes without saying.
What It All Comes Down To
As we have wrote about in previous articles, understanding the human factor in M&A, let alone in business overall, is absolutely essential to the overall success of the operation; especially from a leadership perspective. It is vital to know your employees, build relationships with them, and understand how they are feeling about their place in the firm. In turn, one of the most effective practices that a leader can adopt is when they are willing to level themselves with their employees. It could be something as simple as having a non-work related conversation with them regarding a shared interest, to something more extensive as the leader organising an office-wide initiative like a team-bonding event that includes company management. The idea behind it all is to remind leadership and employees alike, that everyone in the company is human after all, and that the best foundation for future success is a strong sense of company harmony and morale.
Within this frame of knowing your employee, it is essential to understand their individual strengths. As it were, it is commonly understood that if someone is working with their passions, strengths and interests, that they will almost certainly be more effective and efficient with their work. In turn, if a leader is able to harness and ultimately leverage the individual strengths of their workers, they will go a long way in ascertaining a strong sense of company pride, belonging and arguably most important, an all-encompassing sentiment of stability; a hugely coveted concept during what are inherently unstable times of M&A transitions. But there is more to it than just stability. With their interests being promoted, employees will naturally feel more motivated to work for their leader. This is a special setup to maintain, a symbiotic working format in which leadership is happy to back in their employees, and employees are secure in the knowledge that their boss is fully in support of their endeavours. All in all, it leads to a healthy workplace, whereby little time or attention is lost on anything other than the work at hand.
Leading the Company Further Ahead
This being said, there is more to do than to just ensure stability within the company. At the end of the day, you have not gone through all of this effort to complete an M&A process not to reap your deserved rewards from it. Resultantly, it is also very important to keep growth at the forefront of the company’s mentality. Importantly however, the pursuit of growth and improvement as a firm can often be used as a galvanizing tool in which employees can become even further dedicated to the cause. As a leader, if you can effectively portray the vision, goals and overall pathway ahead for the firm, then one might just find that their employees are even more committed to achieving beyond their previous performances than ever. What’s more, the employees will know that if they show their willingness and shared passion for the new company vision, that they will have more job security within the firm. In turn, by clearly voicing the future strategy and direction of the company, you will be signposting exactly what the employees can expect and should be aiming for going forward.
The snowball effect then transitions toward that hallowed achievement, synergy. After all, this is the target of any merger or acquisition; but of course, they do not just appear. To truly unlock the full potential of your merger via synergies, company leadership must conduct the necessary groundwork that has largely been covered in this article. As such, this can be a drawn-out process, and it might take years until the company is recording the financial returns desired as a result of their corporate transaction. However, M&A is a long-run game and when successful, the unfolding synergies are able to drive the company to newfound heights and capacities. Thus, it is up to leadership to incorporate strategies that seek to enhance the propensities for the various synergies to come to fruition inside their business. This starts at the most individual of levels and reaches right up until the most central of corporate strategy as a whole. Overall, an M&A operation is an almost unrivalled opportunity for companies to increase their capabilities, strength and focus on new areas. In turn, it is essential for company leadership to be diligent in their actions, ensuring that no stone is left unturned so to uncover every available synergy from their merger or acquisition.