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How Do I Keep Morale Up During a Merger?

Our hospital company is forming a joint venture whereby two hospital labs will run independently. This means about 200 people who now are classified as hospital employees will become employees solely of the new lab company. This has created anger and morale problems among these employees. They don't want to be part of the new lab company. What can I do to make this arrangement work? —Morale Booster, HR manager, health care, Bloomington, Indiana
June 19, 2012
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Related Topics: Employee Communication, Mergers and Acquisitions, Dear Workforce
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Dear Morale Booster:

Explain the rationale for the consolidation to your employees. Tell them what it means for the organization and, in particular, the workforce. Will the move lead to an increase in strength or opportunity for the company? Acknowledge the employees' uncertainties and give them answers, as best you can while sharing the purpose behind the combined organization.

Articulate what the change process consists of, what the workforce should expect on an organizational and operations level, and listen to their comments. It is critical to understand them and address any and all concerns in a timely and efficient manner.

Consider providing a process that allows employees to understand and express their emotions and move forward. This might include a change-management workshop or a discussion forum.

Provide support to managers so that they are equipped to work with employees to address their concerns. Consider holding a meeting to discuss this process and ensure that all managers are communicating consistent messages.

Communicate internally before communicating externally. Nothing is worse than hearing news about your organization from an outside source before hearing it from management.

SOURCE: Ron Elsdon, Elsdon Inc., author of "Affiliation in the Workplace," editor of "Building Workforce Strength," Danville, California

LEARN MORE: Also remember to gauge your workplace soon after the merger is complete, and live up to any actions your organization promises.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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