Mergers and acquisitions usually occur for financial reasons. However, in the process, they also bring together people, processes and cultures that are so different that not only do they not necessarily mesh well, they often actually clash and are downright dysfunctional.

Executive Synergies worked recently with a company that had been formed as a result of a series of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. In some parts of the business things seemed to be functioning reasonably effectively. In other parts just the opposite was the case. Morale seemed dangerously low and management feared both loss of key employees and an assault on their management prerogatives.

After careful analysis, Executive Synergies recommended as a first step, a company wide employee attitude survey. We created a customized, bilingual survey to accommodate the two key language groups in the employee population, administered the survey and performed a highly detailed analysis of the results.

Next, the assessment results were presented to the entire executive team. In addition, each department head received a detailed report on his or her own function. We worked closely, especially with those function heads whose results suggested problems, assisting them in delivering the results of the survey to their full departments. In the process, we obtained employee comments and suggestions about potential actions to be taken to improve specific situations indicated by the survey.

We also helped the management team craft a series of action plans designed to respond to the issues identified, and worked closely to ensure those action plans were implemented. As a result, several potentially dangerous situations were turned around and employees felt a new sense of ownership and buy-in to the corporation.