Managing and supporting employees through cultural change in mergers

Managing and supporting employees through cultural change in mergers

Few things are as stress-inducing to employees as an impending merger.

McKinsey recently asked over 3,000 leaders if they regarded their change programs as successful, and only a third said “yes.”

Organizational issues like cultural changes and new operating models are major factors in the failure of mergers at least half the time.

The key is to manage culture change effectively. But how exactly does a company achieve this? The two broad tasks McKinsey outlines to better manage a “holistic, effective integration program” are:

  1. Embedding cultural changes
  2. Managing operational changes

For instance, if the two merging organizations have a different style and protocol for giving feedback, that must be addressed head-on. A formal annual review versus a casual weekly come-to-Jesus is a big difference.

I work with leaders at big companies every day in my job at Prestige Scientific, and this is a common issue many grapple with. Having a proactive plan in place to address both cultural and operational shifts is integral to HR success with mergers.

By Michael Barros, Managing Partner, Prestige Scientific, Inc.