Often with notice, employees learn
the company is either "On the Block",
is closing down, "activist investors"
plan to acquire then implement big
changes, or someone with lots of
cash decides they want the place
where you work. Or work is less and
cuts have to be made. No one wants
to hear any of the above yet they do.
Keep your ears open, mouth closed.
Sometimes this is a transitional period that the company will survive and need to hire
experienced people again, often giving preference to former good performing team
members. Saying bad things about the company does not go over well with anyone.
However you elect to view the situation, you can present it as a positive or a negative.
The challenge is to take an intelligent position in an environment where good solid
information is limited if not prevented from being disclosure.
Such transactions can have one, more or multiple of the following characteristics:
- the buyer is in trouble and sees enough cash in the seller to pay for the purchase
making the acquisition a very good deal for the buyer and employees hope they
are included in the transaction and survive the new company staffing reductions
- the buyer sees growing competition for their "stale" products and need to refresh
the product line to compete or acquire new products to enhance the product
portfolio and reduces employees
- an external buyer perceives the financial gains to acquire the company then "slice"
it up into different business units and sold for more money than the acquisition
cost and reduces employees
- a competitor sees the opportunity to acquire a competitor and remove gradually
terminate the competing (or sometimes just the poorer performing) goods and
services as they reduce employees
There are 5 states this process often follows:
1. The Confusion & Denials
2. The Anger & Frustration
3. Is Unemployment Now Immediate, Start Your Search?
Being pro-active is always good. Follow the standard fire drill.
In the end, what is going to happen will happen. Employees at both companies are
spending countless unproductive time worrying about their future versus working to
insure their future whether it is at the changed company, a competitor or somewhere
where stability exists. Employees at the Vice-President, Division or Product Heads are
often retained if their products or services remain. It is always possible that goods or
services that were loosing money can not be ended in the transition.
You have given much of yourself over the many years, often unrecognized or given any
appreciation. Give the company a chance to see what their new attitudes are like. You
may find little happens. You may find opportunities for advancement. Or you may find
advancement through starting a discrete job search as your primary or contingent plan.