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Mergers: A divergence of culture during a convergence of assets

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Did your company or do you know of a company that consolidated as a means of sustaining themselves through the pandemic? Perhaps you know of a few who merged with another complementary company or competitor to combine assets during this dystopic period?

While mergers and consolidation are natural during times of economic instability they create a melting pot of leadership and employees in their wake. Individual company values and culture are shelved for the better good of the ROI and suddenly a pool of misaligned employees who have no familiarization with the company culture represent the sum of the parts and a breakdown of community ensues. Saving the company but losing the culture is a big tell in the compromise of values and vision in order to stay afloat.

Sometimes two companies that actually complement one another come together and still there are issues as to which value system, which standardizations, which protocols “fill in the blank” and so on, employees are expected to adhere. Suddenly there is infighting, hostility towards peers, ineffective leadership, and mixed messaging in the sales field among others.

A company can go from being a healthy community with employees who feel an altruistic loyalty to the mission to a collection of strangers showing up to collect a paycheck, hating every minute of the day's work.

No doubt all corporate environments have been kicked around during the pandemic over and above any consolidation or big buyouts or merger. Clearly, happy employees mean more productive ones. When there is a breakdown in work life balance, maintaining consistent supervisory roles, or a consistency in messaging - employees detach. The first place this shows is in stress and in-fighting and often in unprecedented turnover. Again, all of this is over and above the strain of the pandemic.

Engaged, loyal and inspired employees mean greater ROI because the accountability and responsibility they embrace MEANS SOMETHING TO THEM and leadership, peers, and customers feel this. Employees who align with a company culture will stay at those companies longer reducing replacement/HR/training costs not to mention creating a stronger, more consistent community despite any major reinvention internally. This is the basis of a company culture and every employee (top to bottom) aligning with it, a murky goal in a time when two or more cultures collide.

In a reinvented organization powerfully committed to aligned values with its newly combined employee base, those employees know they are part of something greater and that instills in them a sense of belonging - a meaning otherwise lost in a workplace that instead churns its workforce because of changing goals. Important questions to answer would be:

  1. Are people passionate about the work they do at the newly reinvented company?

  2. Are people happy & inspired and do they believe in the company?

When employees are confused, frightened for their job security, restless, disengaged, feeling angry, overworked, unappreciated and misaligned, they not only aren’t giving it their best, they don’t even care. Indifference/disengagement is the culprit. And, when there is a problem in the organization, you can be sure customers and the competition are the first to know.

Having a cultural vision during any time of consolidation or merger is important. Keeping aligned in that vision consistently year in and year out is even more crucial than having it appear as a declaration on a website to please the Board.

As culture-shifters, Inspired Action at Work delivers improved employee morale, team loyalty, workplace productivity, sustainability & happiness instilling meaning and purpose for all stakeholders through the use of 1:1 hands-on, transformational techniques. If you or anyone you know has just been through any consolidation or merger, please take a scroll through the rest of our website ( . You bring the challenge and we'll bring the expertise to transform organizational culture no matter the catalyst for its compromise.

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