Get Invested in Your Work

Now is the time to try harder. Don’t let your fears and anxiety about the acquisition become an excuse for letting up in your work.

There are many aspects of a merger situation that are distracting and tend to interfere with your job performance. It may be difficult to get answers to your questions. Usually it’s harder to get decisions made by higher management, and information flows more slowly throughout the organization.

You may not know how much authority you have. Often people complain that they don’t know what’s expected of them, and they’re afraid to take any risks because they don’t know what will happen to people who make mistakes. Maybe you can’t get the cooperation from another department or person that you need in order to get your job done.

Mergers and acquisitions create a complicated work environment. So often employees feel impotent and powerless. And they end up worrying about what might happen, instead of actively trying to make things happen.

Be careful not to give away your power. It’s very easy, especially for people in management and supervision, to move toward the sidelines while they wait for clear signals from more senior management. They feel ineffectual, like they have lost decision-making authority, and they never really test the validity of that assumption. The result is that they disempower themselves and the entire organization suffers—particularly when this behavior is widespread.

There are things you personally can do right now to take charge of the situation. Do something. There is no excuse for doing nothing.

Acting passively usually just makes things worse, for both you and the organization. Instead of worrying about what the merger is going to do to you, concentrate on doing your best and figure out how you can have a positive influence on the merger. Define your options. Test your authority.

You may have more control over the organization than you think.