The employee that maintains situational awareness reads the news and processes the possibilities with an eye to preparedness. Once again, we find published reports of two major wireless carriers entering active merger talks. It appears that T-Mobile’s parent, Deutsche Telecom, and Sprint’s majority investor, Japan’s SoftBank Group, may be contemplating a deal – although there is no guarantee that such a deal will be struck between the two parties. If the all-stock transaction is completed, SoftBank would be the large minority shareholder in the process with T-Mobile’s Chief Executive, John Legere, in charge. Of course, nobody is directly commenting on the deal.
What does this mean for the employees?
Like many mergers and acquisitions, one company attempts to improve their balance sheet by shedding expensive personnel prior to the deal, and the after-acquisition purging of duplicative functions is a given. Therefore, employees in key administrative functions with a high degree of duplicative service should be wary. As should lower-level employees that work in the same locations as the acquiring company. Forewarned is forearmed. The prudent “at risk” employee might start reducing their standard of living, updating their resume, and developing contingency plans. Assurances of higher-level management are no guarantee of survival unless you have a contract with substantial severance provisions. Key indicators of imminent actions include cancellation of new projects, suspension of all promotions and raises, and a higher number of consultants walking through the organization.