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Culture / 18 Jun 2019
How to Manage Corporate Culture During Mergers

Mergers and outright acquisitions are becoming more and more common, especially in the world of small tech businesses. Even under the best of circumstances, they cause a lot of stress. People want to know if they’ll still have a job, how this will sideline their projects, and what it will do to their day-to-day control of their work life. Here are a few ways to manage that concern:

1. Take frequent surveys.

The best way to know what’s going wrong and what’s going right is through surveys and questions. People may be afraid to tell the truth, especially if they think the survey is being used to measure who gets to stay, so don’t just use online answers. Get a general feel for each department and team through live meetings. You might not know specifically what’s wrong through the atmosphere alone, but you can certainly tell if something is wrong.

Use a combination of surveys to gauge the feel of the company over time, too. The answer will keep changing as you zero in on the right way forward.

2. Don’t make patronizing changes to decor or the layout.

It’s a common cynical joke online: millennials don’t want beanbag chairs, they want benefits. If you’re going to redesign the workspace, make sure it’s legitimately helpful rather than gimmicky. This can include opening up narrow cubicles or tight shared spaces, improving the network, and using results of any survey questions about layout and office design.

3. Don’t let layout changes linger.

When nervous employees see reconstruction underway and they don’t know if the company is downsizing after a merger, they’re going to be nervous. That nervousness always translates into negative predictions and worse culture. So post your layout plans, make adjustments transparent, and then make the changes happen quickly.

Go to Studio Other for more ways to use office design to help manage company culture during and after a merger or acquisition.