January 31, 2024

Corporate CPR Episode 106: Taking Care Of Your Employees’ Emotions During An M&A Process Can Be A Lifesaver For Your Company

On today’s episode we are talking about how taking care of your employees’ emotions during an M&A process can be a lifesaver your company.

Jonathan Bennett, C.Dir., is a highly sought-after leadership coach and strategic advisor, offering his expertise to CEOs, executive teams, politicians, and boards of directors throughout Canada. With a background spanning urban, rural, remote, and First Nations communities, Jonathan excels in social purpose business strategy, governance, branding, change management, and communications. Before venturing into coaching, he founded Laridae, a management consulting and training firm that has served over 200 clients. As Laridae’s inaugural CEO, he transformed the startup into a leading B Corp. Jonathan, also a Special Graduate Faculty at Trent University, contributes his extensive experience as a director to boards like Accerta and CashCo financial. Additionally, Jonathan has held leadership roles in notable organizations, including Chair of the Board of Directors of Ontario Telemedicine Network and the Kawartha Haliburton CAS. An accomplished writer, Jonathan has authored seven books and resides with his family on a lake near Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Episode Highlights:

  • Anticipate Employee Reactions: Leaders implementing major organizational changes, like mergers, should anticipate varied employee reactions, from excitement to fear. Understanding and addressing these emotions is crucial for successful change management.
  • Effective Communication is Key: Clear communication is essential. Leaders must not only communicate what will change but also emphasize what will remain unchanged. Using diverse communication channels accommodates different learning styles and calms employee concerns.
  • Ongoing Dialogue for Support: Change is a process that requires time. Leaders should initiate ongoing dialogues to address employee questions and concerns, emphasizing that the initial announcement is just the beginning of continuous information sharing and support.
  • Acknowledge Emotional Impact: Leaders often underestimate the emotional impact of changes on employees who were not part of the decision-making process. Acknowledging and understanding this impact is vital for fostering a positive organizational culture during transitions.
  • Active Leadership Engagement: Senior leaders must actively participate in decision-making during significant changes. Avoiding abdication of decision-making responsibilities ensures alignment of vision and fosters an environment conducive to successful change.

Jonathan’s Top 3 Takeaways for the Audience:

  1. You can’t communicate too often. Decide to over-communicate and schedule it.
  2. Change is hard. Give people the time they need.
  3. Be self-aware about how you’ve dealt with change. You aren’t doing it right or wrong and the folks around you aren’t doing it right or wrong. You’re just doing it your way. Give yourself and others grace and space.

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