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Stem the Tide: Why the Voices of Middle Managers are Critical in M&A

As much as 70%-90% of mergers and acquisitions activity fails to achieve its intended objectives. Among the most common reasons are those related to people, culture, communication and a lack of detailed understanding about how the combining organizations truly work.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can fail for various reasons, often stemming from complex interactions between organizational, cultural, and strategic factors. In fact, 70-90% of mergers and acquisitions activity fails to achieve its intended objectives! Among the most common reasons are those related to people, culture, communication and a lack of detailed understanding about how the combining organizations truly work.

 

Employee Engagement at Every Stage

Engaging employees at all levels during a merger, acquisition, and post-acquisition integration is crucial for the success and long-term sustainability of the newly formed entity. Involving employees fosters a sense of ownership and commitment, which are vital for maintaining productivity and morale. When employees feel included in the decision-making process and are aware of the strategic goals behind the merger or acquisition, they are more likely to align their efforts with the organizational objectives, reducing resistance to change. The knowledge and insights of employees at various levels are invaluable during the integration phase. Frontline employees possess a wealth of operational knowledge, while middle and upper-level management bring strategic perspectives.

Often neglected in the M&A and post-acquisition integration process, middle managers are critical to positive outcomes. Jennifer Fondrevay, Mark Walztoni and I recently discussed just how critical this organizational cohort is to deal-making.

 

“By including middle managers earlier in deal deliberations, companies can improve their chances of success and create more value from the deal. Middle managers are not only drivers of the business, but key to unlocking its potential. They serve as a vital connection between senior leaders and frontline employees, facilitating daily communication and engagement. Companies who’ve experienced post-deal success recognize the value of involving middle managers during deal due diligence,” says Jennifer in her Forbes article, Middle Managers Will Make or Break Your Merger or Acquisition.

 

Actively engaging employees in discussions and decision-making, organizations can leverage this collective intelligence to identify potential challenges, streamline processes, and capitalize on opportunities. This collaborative approach not only enhances problem-solving capabilities but also facilitates a smoother integration process, minimizing disruptions and ensuring a seamless transition. Ultimately, a culture of open communication and inclusivity establishes a foundation for a united and motivated workforce, essential for navigating the complexities of mergers and acquisitions successfully.

 

If you’d like to experience this level of success for yourself, check out the article.

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solomondevel

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Laura Queen

Partner, Human Capital Solutions

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