Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Autumn Jane
Workplace Happiness

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Dear friends,
we recently taken over a new company and the employees were older than our parent unit. They have been working for 13 years in that company and the old management being based in north india, all the functions were carried out by the employees themselves namely, the accountant. After we took over, the employees wanted to follow the old systems our repeated reconciliation to tow them with our protocol is failed. we do not want fire anyone. During those 13 years the accountant and his coterie compartmentalised the organisation and no one really knows what is the actual practice and policies followed.
i shall be grateful to you for your suggestions and guidance
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Dear Sreejith Menon,

Yours is a classic case of change because of mergers and acquisitions. In the chapter of Change Management, this subject is discussed in every book of Organisation Behaviour.

My comments to your statements are as below:

They have been working for 13 years in that company and the old management being based in north india, all the functions were carried out by the employees themselves namely, the accountant.

You need to to conduct the training on change management. Tell each employee to prepare action plan for his/her changed behaviour. That includes learning new skill set as well. The change should be measurable.

After we took over, the employees wanted to follow the old systems our repeated reconciliation to tow them with our protocol is failed.

You need to disclose what steps you had taken so that they follow new systems and process. Their behaviour is obvious. What they had been doing all along, cannot be changed so soon. Please remember a famous statement, people do not resist change but they resist being changed.

We do not want fire anyone.

This is your thinking from the heart. Managers need to think from their head. If the situation merits someone's dismissal please go ahead and do it. But before taking this extreme action, you need to give sufficient time to that delinquent employee to change his/her behaviour.

During those 13 years the accountant and his coterie compartmentalised the organisation and no one really knows what is the actual practice and policies followed.

You should have found out this well before taking over the organisation and not after. You should have kept your strategy ready to handle this compartmentalisation.In the coming year obtain as much information as possible from him and get rid of him. This will serve a message to one and all and other will fall in line automatically.

Ok...

Dinesh V Divekar





The situation you are in have nothing to do with "employees older than our parent company". It got to do with the insufficient or lack of due dilligence conducted during pre- & post- take over and also effectively managing change.

Due respect and credit must be given to this Accountant who has kept the company going for the last 13 years by leading the team without old management's intervention. If objective of the take-over was not clearly communicated, coupled with non-involvement with key personnel, the resistance being faced now is natural as employees will fear for their future with the company.

If the Accountant has been identified as a key personnel to retain especially for business continuity reason, you need to determine what motivates him and designed a retention program that motivates him and align him to the key objective of this take-over. Once he is aligned, he will be then be the key-driver of change to the rest of his team.

Also in take-over, it is not necessary (this is one major misconeptions) that the "seller" has to forego or change the way how the business has been conducted by going with the "buyer" policies and procedures. E.g. implementing most current, leading-edge systems or tools, which may be a mistake because the older systems, which usually well-tested and reliable may be the way to go. This may be the case for your situation because "the employees older than our parent company" - which translates to they are seasoned industry player than you!

Investing in people through training to equip them with the necessary skills to manage this post-takeover integration and meet new company's expectation will also achieve "buy-in", and thus lower resistance.

So, instead of puting on a "policing role", actively engaged and consult with the Accountant and employees to finally win them over and finally get the buy-in you are looking for.

Remember, while integration is an important phase in any take-over, managing the climate is the top most priority as it affects the employees, customers, shareholders and utimately the success of the takeover itself.

Regards
Autumn Jane
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