To win hearts and minds, it takes more than a t-shirt and a coffee mug.
John Egan is President of Egan Energy Communications, Inc. (www.eganenergy.com), based in Lafayette, Colorado – a national communications firm that works with utilities to improve messaging and communications with employees and stakeholders.
I sensed trouble right away, on the morning of Day One, when my colleagues and I started gathering to meet in the company auditorium. My employer had been acquired by another company, and we were going to hear all about it - both from our former supervisors, and from the new management that had taken us over.
On entering the auditorium, I was given a golf shirt with the logo of the acquiring company (whose name I will not share, but it should be well known to Fortnightly readers.) The size of my shirt was XL. That would fit me, but my female colleagues who weighed 100 lbs. less than I did also received XL-sized shirts. Maybe that was an oversight or a logistical snafu. Or maybe our new bosses had embraced a "one size fits all" view about the workplace - they would determine the metaphorical "size," and we would either learn to fit in that slot, or we would leave.
And my concerns only increased when I found my seat. There, placed carefully on the chair, was a coffee mug with the acquiring company's logo on it, plus a similarly adorned baseball cap and pad of paper.