Covid-19 has drastically changed the workplace, causing “essential workers” to contemplate what they essentially want from their jobs over and above decent pay and benefits. High on their list of priorities is gaining greater autonomy, an opportunity to learn, and to achieve a sense of purpose on the job. As this week’s guest explains, cast aside, therefore, workplace myths such as the following: that the employee experience (EX) is about perks, that HR “owns it” alone, that attracting and retaining employees covers the bases so far as EX is concerned, and that EX applies only to privileged, high-end employees working remotely as opposed to on the frontlines or in warehouses. EX can’t wait because EX is happening everyday – whether in good, bad or ugly ways.
First impressions really do matter, and the merger and acquisition (M&A) deals that receive a positive reaction on Announcement Day tend to outperform, over time, those deals where due diligence wasn’t practiced up front. Indeed, as Mark Sirower notes, in two-thirds of cases a negative initial reception is a sign that the deal will never gain momentum. What leads to success? Among the key elements is focusing on the employee experience. Smart companies get “ahead of the pain” by acknowledging that during M&A activity workers will have moved from the highest rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (self-realization) to fearing for their material well-being, their security, i.e., the lowest, most basic rung of the ladder. In short, at a time of vast, globalized M&A deal-making, emotional intelligence has never been more important as companies navigate the emotional earthquake most employees are going to experience.
Mark L. Sirower is a leader in Deloitte’s M&A and Restructuring practice and was, previously, a global M&A leader at the Boston Consulting Group. He teaches M&A at the NYU Stern School of Business and has also authored The Synergy Trap prior to partnering with Jeffery M. Weirens on this latest book.