A merger may be an effective way to increase a company’s success. However, it is important to ease customers’ and employees’ transition through the process.
For many businesses in Michigan and elsewhere, merging with another entity may provide increased opportunities to expand a customer base and provide more services. However, the merging process is known for being difficult on staff. A merger might also cause customers uncertainty. Therefore, approaching a merger with creativity and sensitivity may help business owners and managers ease the transition for employees and customers alike.
The current business climate in America has resulted in numerous mergers among companies of all sizes. An example of this is cited by Crain's Detroit Business. Throughout Southeast Michigan, at least half of the area's health insurers and hospitals have merged since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, at a pace not seen in decades. While it is hoped that this type of merger will provide superior services for patients, it goes without saying that customers might become nervous, staff might fear upcoming changes and managers could anticipate potential legal matters.
Addressing client and employee fears
Customers come to expect a certain level of service from a company they have relied on for many years. If, for example, a healthcare provider merges with another to create a larger entity, patients might worry they will not receive the same level of care. Employees may fear for their jobs or worry that the work climate they are used to will change.
A merger may be smoother if management is sensitive to the valid worries of their staff and clientele. A wise move might be to ask for input from employees and to show that their opinions are heard and valued. Additionally, many companies during a merger choose to launch advertising campaigns that address the concerns of clients. Effective communication has been shown to alleviate many fears, as well as to strengthen loyalty among staff and clients.
An important decision
Some company executives might decide that combining businesses is not the best choice for their customers or staff. According to MLive, two major Michigan credit unions recently canceled a merger that would have made the new entity one of the largest credit unions in the country. Executives said that they made their decision based on delivering the best value and services to their customers. They may have believed it was best to remain separate and provide client services that had been firmly established and were known to foster client satisfaction and company success.
The decision to merge businesses is not one to undertake lightly. Mergers affect everyone involved in a company, from the top executives to each member of staff, as well as customers. It may be beneficial to consult with an experienced Michigan business attorney throughout the merger process.