Acquisitions, Transitions & The Employer Brand: Scene 1
We were frankly somewhat puzzled when the leadership team of this company invited us for an exploratory conversation. But as the story unfolded, the pieces fell into place
Seek a little patience while we sketch the landscape for you.
TK Foods Inc. (all names are fictitious) had decided to sell their business in India (TK Baby Feed). They had their reasons for wanting to consolidate their global footprint. The buyer was a company called Floyd Transformers Ltd. Floyd was looking at sector diversification and the foods business seemed like a good bet. One last data point and an important one – TK Baby Feed would cease to be called by its existing name and would be rechristened Floyd Baby Feed. Phew!
So now we’re sitting across the CEO & HR Head; the words come pouring out:
“Post the buyout we want to continue to operate the Baby Feed business as a separate unit, but we are concerned about what might be cooking in employees heads
Many feel that the culture of our company will change to reflect that of Floyd. We have carefully built a family like, career-oriented, inclusive environment over the past few years – will some of that evaporate?
Floyd being a core manufacturing company, does not have the kind of people practices of a consumer sector company like ours; there is a fear that some of what exists could be taken away in the interest of a lower common denominator
We also anticipate speculation amongst the middle layer that Floyd will make some senior leadership changes; there has already been some chatter on that front
It’s at times like these the competition tends to hover and pluck out prized talent. We need to ringfence our prime leaders, as the best tend to jump ship first
Finally, the uncertainty can lead to a loss in productivity and focus; we can’t risk not meeting our numbers for the next 2 quarters. The credibility of The Baby Feed leadership is at stake with the new owners in terms of how we manage the transition
This leads us to believe that it might be a good time to reassure our people that we stand strongly by our ‘employee promises’ and if anything, strengthen their experiences around our propositions. We have painstakingly built this talent pool and we do not want to lose even one person
How can you help us?”
The CEO’s preamble made it abundantly clear as to why he was buying into Employer Branding at a time of selling the company.
The ball was now in our court…