If you are on the verge of combining your business with another enterprise, the process will likely be complex. There will be intense negotiations regarding is the price that you pay for certain assets or the way that you will run the newly-merged business. You may need to move workers from one facility to another, close existing business premises or bring in new staff to help support the transition.
One of the consequences of merging with another company is that some of your top talent will leave. Workers often feel nervous about mergers and acquisitions and may start to look for jobs elsewhere. As many as one in five of your employees could voluntarily leave before, during or shortly after the merger.
How can you prevent the loss of the most crucial talent at your organization?
Identify your retention priorities
The first step in protecting your business from the loss of its most valuable workers is to identify who those workers are. Executives aren’t the only ones who may move on because of company changes.
A custodian who has maintained your facilities for two decades may be worth three or four new hires. A sales professional with connections at numerous other local businesses can be a crucial part of your business’s success. When you understand who does the most important work and whose skills will be the hardest to replace, it will be easy to target these individuals for retention efforts.
Give the workers a reason to stay
Employees rightly worry that a merger might mean their position is now redundant or that they will have to take on more responsibilities without an increase in pay or a change to their professional title.
Your company can potentially help them overcome that fear with a one-on-one meeting and a retention agreement. You could offer them a bonus if they stay with the company for a certain amount of time after the merger.
Open communication can also help
When workers understand what will happen and what, if any, downsizing will occur, they may be less likely to leave their job out of concern that they will eventually find themselves unemployed.
When you identify the right talent, find ways to tempt them into staying and keep everyone informed of upcoming changes, you can potentially reduce how much talent you lose during a merger or similar business transaction.