Did you know nearly 80% of mergers fail to deliver the value they promise? Talk about stacking the odds against you.
The primary cause is too much focus on where the company is going and the growth it plans to achieve, rather than building the culture to support it.
A dangerous “fault line” is often created within many organizations: us versus them. In some cases, executives on one side and employees on the other, or the members of each merging business, opposing one another.
To close this gap, you must start with an honest assessment of the core value and priorities of each side.
Let’s take the example of executives and employees:
- Financial Performance
- Competitive Compensation
- Business Strategy
Executives are typically more interested in tangible, measurable outcomes.
- Regular Communication
- Access to Management and Leadership
- Defined Values and Beliefs
Employees are interested in positive indicators to mark their successes or failures.
How do we bridge the gap and achieve buy-in?
1. Know your “why.”
A purpose motivates employees; a higher calling for why they’re doing their work.
Profit shouldn’t be confused with purpose; profit is a natural result of successfully achieving purpose.
Knowing your “why” informs your “how ” that is the operations of your business to support purpose. Executives must define, embody and communicate the beliefs and values of the brand to employees.
2. Leadership is a contact sport.
In a study conducted by Deloitte, they surveyed management and employees to assess how effective each group believed social media was in cultivating culture.
41% of executives agreed social media was an excellent tool for promoting and maintaining the culture, compared to just 21% of employees.
“Traditional” forms of culture-building still reign supreme; face-to-face interactions, mentoring, specific, regular feedback and performance reviews can create deeper levels of loyalty and trust.
3. Stay connected.
Keep a keen eye, to make sure everyone remains clear on their mission and role in the organization. Work on establishing an open-door policy, in a way that makes sense to you.
For example, if you can’t actually open the door to your office at all hours of the day, try walk-in hours or making time in your day specifically for employee emails.
Simply showing empathy to their concerns and challenges is major. At the same time, encourage your employees to come prepared with a solution whenever they hit a roadblock.
4. Embrace change.
Sometimes things don’t work out, and we have to go back to the drawing board. Don’t be afraid to scrap an idea or tweak it midway through.
It’s not a sign of failure, but an indication you value your organization enough to put in the effort.
Surround yourself with a team who you can solicit feedback from, and be prepared to take advice.