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Fixing employee retention issues during a business acquisition

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | Business Law

Buying another business can be a major investment for your company. You can gain infrastructure, facilities, market share and talent all in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, talent is one of the hardest things to retain after the acquisition of another business.

It is common for a significant percentage of employees to move on when the company that employed them merges with another business or becomes part of a different company. How can your business prevent the best and brightest from fleeing when you buy the company that employs them?

Identify the most valuable staff members early

Requesting transitional support from the executives, owners or management of the business that you acquire can help make the process easier. You can rely on these professionals to help you identify the staff members in different departments who make outsized contributions to the company’s success.

Make sure you look at all the talent, not just the highest-earning workers. An executive assistant can be as crucial to smooth daily operations as the engineering team is to the launch of future products. Recognizing talent in all of the different departments of the company that you acquire can help you keep them at your company.

Understand the limitations of retention bonuses

Perhaps the most common way companies address staffing losses after mergers and acquisitions is to offer retention bonuses. Workers who stay for at least a year or another fixed period after the merger can receive a one-time bonus or possibly a pay raise.

The problem with this approach is that it gives workers a deadline by which to find another job. They can claim a bonus and then leave your company anyway. Keeping your workers engaged and helping them understand that they still have job security can go a lot further than just offering a lump-sum reward for staying with the company for a specific amount of time.

Integrate their culture with yours

You cannot bring dozens of new workers into your company without altering the culture a little bit. Rather than forcing everyone who once worked for the acquired company to change everything about their daily work, it may be better to find a middle ground that combines the two workplace cultures.