Can you name the biggest business transaction in history? Chances are your first guesses are some of the recent big tech dealsbetween Facebook and WhatsApp or Google and Android. Or maybe your guess goes just a little further back to the AOL-Time Warner deal or the famous Exxon-Mobil deal. All good guesses, but unfortunately, incorrect. Let’s take a look back at the biggest business transactions in history to see how they stack up against each other.
Major business deals can be dated all the way back to 1708, when the British East India Company purchased their rival, the English Company Trading to the East Indies. This merger was sealed with a 3.2 million pound loan to the government for exclusive rights to British trade in India- a value equivalent to about $722 million in today’s currency.
Later, major transactions mirrored the trends of the time, especially as the Industrial Age dawned. In 1901, U.S. Steel was founded by the merger of the Carnegie Steel Company, the Federal Steel Company, and the National Steel Company, which were bought by J.P. Morgan for $492 million (or $13.95 billion in today’s money). Eight years later in 1909, General Motors purchased Cadillac for $4.75 mllion, or $1.21 billion in today’s money.
As previously mentioned, Facebook purchased WhatsApp in2014 for $19 billion; this sum, however, is tiny compared to Exxon’s purchase of Mobil in 1998 for $80.3 billion (or $116.02 billion in today’s money). Bigger still was the America Online acquisition of Time Warner for $186.2 billion, or an incredible $257.84 billion in 2014.
However, these huge deals are still second to one: the 1999 Vodafone-Mannesmann deal. Vodafone acquired Mannesmann for $185.1 billion, or $263.2 billion in 2014. This transaction created the largest mobile phone operator at the time, with over 42 million customers across Europe in 2000. Tech companies may be making deals more and more frequently these days, but for now, the title of largest business transaction in history belongs to Vodafone and Mannesmann.
Most employers understand that retaining their talented staff members has a significant impact on the bottom line. Recruitment doesn’t just cost money, it can also affect the productivity levels for a number of months as the role is advertised and filled, and the incoming staff member learns the ropes. Unfortunately, often the first notice that employers get that a staff member wasn’t satisfied at work anymore comes when the resignation is tendered. Below are some tips that you can implement to safeguard against it happening with your team.
Outside the annual performance review, how often do you really check in with your staff? Managers should be having regular semi-formal catch ups with their team members to not only go over their performance, but also have a frank and open discussion with them about how they’re feeling and what their goals are. Use these meetings to put an action plan in place to address any issues raised or feedback given by both parties.
Do your staff get regular opportunities to further their professional development with additional study or training? Tertiary education providers like Evocca College offer a range of diploma courses that can be self-paced with deferred payments. Even if your company isn’t in a position to fund the training, can you introduce and encourage a study leave policy or allowance/bursary towards study costs that will directly benefit their role?
Can they do a day or two from home, or set their own start and finish times around their lifestyle? Ask your employees what their dream work day would look like and see what you can do to accommodate them. Maybe they’d like to start a little earlier to get a longer lunch break or bank up additional hours through the week to take a half day off. While business operational needs have to take priority, it can really make a difference to employee job satisfaction if they have some flexibility in how they work.
Negative workplace culture is often a major reason why people are unhappy at work. Don’t forget how a business runs will often be reflected in the experience that their clients and customers have with the organisation, no matter what the mission or vision statement says. Make sure you foster a work environment where people feel that they have what they need to do their jobs, are valued and have the opportunity to contribute to decisions that will impact them.
You can’t have a motivated and productive workforce with unhappy workers. Your people are ultimately the most important part of the business, so investing some time and whatever resources are available into making their job satisfaction a priority is essential. Make sure that you are performing regular ‘pulse checks’ and giving your team’s satisfaction the attention that it deserves. Your bottom line will be rewarded for it.
What’s your best tip to ensure that employees stay happy and motivated?
Moving offices can be a really stressful process for you and your organisation. You’re dealing with personalities who may be ‘part of the furniture’ in the old office, miles of cords from your computers and phones plus a stack of heavy equipment that needs moving. So where do you start? Check out these simple ideas to make moving offices less stressful.
Moving office is like moving house, except you don’t have crazy children to deal with – you’ve got crazy staff. When you move house, all you need to do is find a mate who’ll swap his ute for a carton of beer and you’re good for a day. Moving office? Not so easy. You could call your staff in on the weekend, pay them overtime and risk them injuring themselves. Or you can get in professionals to help. It’s not just the physical moving between offices – it’s wrapping the photocopier, all the computers and electrical hardware and the boss’s beloved bonsai collection that you need to think about. Take the stress out of the physical move and book a professional mover like http://www.yourlocalmovers.com.au/. They’ll be able to do it much quicker and more effectively than you could on your own.
Bob can’t sit near Suzie. Janet gets sleepy if it’s too bright. Jeff wants a window seat. No, we aren’t talking about kindergarteners – this could be your staff! Before moving, take your staff to the new office for a walk around. Have a seating map ready for your staff to preference their seating arrangements. Moving offices can be stressful for some staff. One of the best ways to help remove that stress is to familiarise themselves with the new office – where they are going to sit, what are the sunny spots and most importantly, where is the best coffee at the new office!
Your staff know where they are going and you’ve called in experts to give you a hand with the move – now what? Have a plan for the new office! This may need some co-ordination with your telephone provider, your IT guys and any specialists from HR that need to set up special workstations for the staff.
Let all your clients and stakeholders know that you’re moving office. Let them know that you and your staff will not be as accessible over the next few days as you settle in. This way you can focus on the move, without worrying about last minute changes to accounts and orders. Make sure you let everyone know what your new location is – you’ll want them to be able to find you!
Moving offices needn’t be stressful. Engaging your staff, get the right help and plan for your move – this will make everything much more stress free. Have you found these tips helpful? Have you had experience moving offices? Any horror stories? What has worked for you when you’ve moved offices, and how have you helped your staff settle into their new work home? Post your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.
Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net