5 Things to Do if Your Company is Acquired
One Friday morning last spring I was consulting with an oral surgeon when I received a shocking text. My co-worker told me the owner of our company was selling. Although we knew the sole owner was looking towards retirement it was an unexpected surprise since his son had steadily risen in the company power structure and seemed primed to take over. Fortunately, my appointment soon ended and I rushed to the office for more news.
That day we had three meetings about the acquisition. The first was when the owner shared the news directly with staff and I learned my boss, who had started the company with him decades earlier, was also retiring. Many tears were shed.
The second was with a team of leaders from the new company giving us a brief background and assurances. Lastly, we had a session learning about our future benefit plans. It was a lot for one day!
The acquisition was finalized in one short month. In the following weeks I had five key takeaways.
Evaluate Your Financial Situation
At the first hint that your current company is on the market or has been sold assess your current financial situation and adjust. It’s important to slim down the budget as much as possible and maximize savings. You don’t know if your position or salary will be cut once the deal is final.
If you don’t already have a fully-funded emergency fund, start beefing it up as much as possible. Look at other savings that you could pump up.
I increased my 401K contribution to 50% of my salary those last few weeks. This helped offset a smaller employer match plus the six weeks we would be unable to contribute to the new company’s plan after the sale was final.
Maximum Health Benefits
Take a look at your existing health benefits. If you’ll save money by getting care with your old company’s plan do it! Don’t forget to think about dental and vision in addition to medical benefits.
That oral surgery appointment I had was after waiting months for referrals. Instead of taking my time to get the surgery I rushed to get it authorized and completed before the benefits change. It ended up costing me $25 out of pocket instead of $1500 with the new insurer.
Research New Company
The new employer was an unknown to me. I learned as much as possible about it by researching the history, their products and the leadership team online and in written materials.
It gave me a feel for the culture, mission and values of the company and was reassuring. I could see from previous acquisitions that this was a company that valued the staff and products they acquired.
Even though we were all assured our jobs were secure, it’s still important to update resumes. You might need it to submit with the new employment packet or in worst case be on the job market soon.
Don’t forget your online profile. Sites like LinkedIn are the first impression many of the leaders and fellow staff members at the new organization will get. If they see something that hasn’t been modified in years or worse has unprofessional images, it’s not going to get you seen as an asset or star.
It doesn’t matter if you like the acquisition or not, change is going to happen. It will make your life a lot easier if you embrace that change. Benefit changes, boss change, and policy changes were just the beginning in my experience.
Overall, I think the changes are great for the company, our products and our customers but it is hard at times to keep up and learn the new terminology, methodology and expectations. Being positive and seeing the big picture are important for successfully making the transition.
Seven months later, the transition is still in full swing and I expect it to be for at least another year. What is the first thing you would do if your company is acquired?