Tips for Merging Corporate Cultures
When two organizations merge, or when one company acquires another, there are always growing pains. It can be complicated to take two completely distinct organizations and make them function together as one. This is especially true when it comes their corporate cultures. Every organization has its own way of doing things, its own traditions, and its own personality. When two of them come together, there are bound to be some hiccups and issues.
However, if you aren’t able to effectively merge the cultures of both organizations, you could end up with significant morale issues. It can also result in workflow problems if team members are unwilling or unable to successfully work together. To help avoid these problems, here are some tips for how you can merge corporate cultures after an acquisition.
Do Your Research
Before you can merge corporate cultures, you’ll need to figure out what the cultures actually are. While you’ll know what works for your own organization, there’s a good chance that you don’t have much information about how things work in the company you’re acquiring.
Ask team members from both organizations what matters to them and what aspects of their company’s culture are important. You might find that there are certain things that really matter to employees and keeping these aspects of the organizational culture after the merger can help boost morale.
Make sure that leaders articulate the goals of the combined organization. Lay out your expectations and let your team know that they have a voice in how the organization’s culture will form and grow. Often, team members worry that they won’t “fit in” in a merged organization and clearly explaining the company’s goals, mission, and expectations can help.
Take steps to ensure that everyone is kept in the loop. This can be difficult, especially if there is one “main office” and one or more branch locations, but it can be done by communicating effectively and getting together as a group when possible.
Let your team know that all input is valuable and that the new combined organization will be more successful if everyone feels included. Organize opportunities for people to bring their ideas forward and truly listen to what they have to say.
Create a New Culture
Once you know what’s important, do your best to include those factors that mean the most to your team. You won’t be able to include everything from both companies, but you may be able to get the most important factors right.
When one company is acquired by another, employees may worry that their culture will be “swallowed up” by the one that is acquiring them. This can leave them feeling left out or lesser than those who worked for the other organization. However, in a acquisition, the goal should be to fully integrate both organizations under one roof and have everyone be considered an equal part of the team. Defining a new culture can help accomplish this.
You don’t have to change absolutely everything about either organization’s culture. Instead, try to choose the best of both worlds. Finally, know that integrating two company cultures will take time. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s certainly something your team will need to work on for a while.
Mergers and acquisitions can be difficult. The team at Ralevic & Ralevic LLP can help. Find out more about how we help organizations with mergers and acquisitions or contact us today to see what else we can do.