What Happens If Your Company Is Merging?

What Happens If Your Company Is Merging?

If your company is about to undergo a merger, you probably have a few concerns. The future seems uncertain and you may worry that you will no longer have a job. Even if you do remain employed, your company culture and job duties could change. Whether you work for a large company or a small business, a merger has a significant impact on day-to-day operations. Find out more about what happens during a merger.

Understanding What a Merger Is

To fully comprehend the consequences of a merger, you need to know what it is. A merger is when two unique companies combine forces and have new management or a new organization. Typically, the merger occurs because both companies see value in joining together.

There are various ways in which a merger can occur. Therefore, it's impossible to say exactly how your company’s merger will impact you. In some cases, the merger involves one large company taking over more responsibilities than a smaller company. These scenarios can result in drastic changes for the employees in the smaller company.

Meanwhile, some mergers don't result in many changes at all. The employees have fewer adjustments and can go on with their work. Without knowing the exact details of the merger, no one can tell you how the merger will affect your job or the workplace.

If you have questions about the merger, you should speak with your boss. It's common for managers to discuss the upcoming merger and explain what changes will occur. However, not all companies are forthcoming with this information. You might need to seek a meeting with someone to learn more about the merger.

When Do Things Change?

You shouldn’t expect a merger to affect your job right away. From the moment a company announces a merger to the moment you notice changes, weeks or months could pass.

This is due to the fact that mergers take time. For one company to effectively merge with another, there needs to be a period of change. Management needs to coordinate paperwork as business continues on as usual. Once the paperwork is done, the administration needs to take its time preparing for the adjustment.

Think about all of the details that go into a merger. In addition to having a new hierarchy,  the company might also have new payroll systems, responsibilities, and clients. There is a great deal of planning and a long period of adjustment associated with a merger.

Staying Informed

Your managers should tell you about the status of the merger. Every so often, you should receive an update about the current situation and any upcoming changes.

Once again, you may need to work hard to stay informed. If you don't have good management or you are in the midst of a poorly coordinated merger, you might need to ask for frequent updates. There's no shame in asking for information on a merger that could completely change things.

Are Employees Always Laid Off During a Merger?

When people hear about a merger, they immediately worry about job security. People associate mergers with massive layoffs, but this isn't necessarily the case.

Whether or not your new management makes layoffs is entirely up to them. Sometimes, the merger results in no or very few layoffs. But other mergers result in almost all of the staff being laid off. Once again, it's all very dependent on the merger and the parties involved.

If a merger involves overlapping companies, there may be too many people in one position. For instance, two companies could each have their own accounting departments. The merger might make the business more profitable, but is unlikely to result in the need for double the amount of accountants. In this scenario, the management could decide to lay off several people from the accounting department.

How Should You Handle a Merger?

So, what should you do if you hear that your company is about to undergo a merger? First, you shouldn't panic. Unless you have poor performance or a bad record, your new management is likely to see you as an asset. Before management makes any decisions, they will probably sit down with you and discuss the situation.

Before that time comes, you should read over your employment contracts. Do you receive severance pay or have any termination protections? If management does choose to lay you off, there could be some form of protection in your contract. This could affect their decision to terminate you.

Another way to prepare for the merger is to research the company. Do the new company's values align with yours? How does their workplace compare to yours? If the companies are similar, you might not have anything to worry about.

Watch Your Benefits

After a merger, you could see a change in your pay and benefits. While you might need to sign a new contract to see those changes, you should still be ready for them.

A merger could result in a change in pay, Healthcare, and retirement. You should learn about your current benefits and pay attention to any changes in them.

Preparing for Termination

It's always good to prepare for the worst. When you hear about the merger, start looking into the termination process. Typically, it takes about 30 to 90 days for a merger-related termination. In some cases, the employers help the terminated employees find work.

Do You Need a New Job?

A merger doesn't mean you need to start applying for new work. Although people tend to jump to the negative implications of a merger, there could be some good to come from it. You should remain calm and pay attention to what happens before and during the merger.

If you believe you will be facing layoffs or benefit cuts, it might be time to begin the job search. You could start looking for a position with a new organization, which might give you more stability. Just know that you don't need to panic and that there's a future for you somewhere.

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