Occupational identification

In this article we will understand what is Occupational Identification (OI), why it is key for M&A value creation and how to handle it within the PMI activity.

What is occupational identification ?

Occupational identification refers to the process through which individuals form a connection or identification with their roles, job functions, or professions within an organization.
It encompasses the psychological and emotional attachment that employees develop toward their specific occupational roles and the broader professional identity associated with their work.
This identification involves more than just the tasks or duties associated with a job; it includes the values, norms, and expectations linked to a particular occupation or role. 

Employees who strongly identify with their occupations often find personal meaning and fulfillment in their work, viewing their roles as integral parts of their self-concept and identity.

Why is it key for M&A ?

The concept of occupational identification becomes particularly relevant in organizational contexts, such as during Mergers and Acquisitions and more generally significant organizational changes, such as those required by corporate transformations.

Understanding and managing how employees identify with their roles is crucial for fostering engagement, motivation, and a sense of purpose, which are vital elements for individual and organizational success.

Occupational identification plays a pivotal role in the success of post-merger integration (PMI) for several reasons. Indeed, in the context of a merger or acquisition, occupational identification refers to how employees identify with and perceive their roles within the newly formed entity. 

Why is it key for successful integrations ?

Addressing OI is key for 6 success factors of Post Merger integrations : 

In summary, occupational identification is a linchpin in post-merger success. 

It helps shape organizational culture, boosts employee engagement, reduces uncertainty, retains talent, facilitates collaboration, and enhances adaptability —all of which are critical factors for a seamless and successful post-merger integration. 

Why addressing OI as part of the TOM design ?

The Target Operating Model (TOM) and occupational identification are interconnected within the context of organizational change, such as during mergers, acquisitions, or significant transformations. 

The TOM represents the desired future state of an organization's operations, encompassing its structure, processes, systems, and culture. 

The link between TOM and occupational identification becomes evident in several ways:

In essence, a well-designed TOM considers not only the structural and process aspects of the organization but also the human element. 

When employees can see how the TOM aligns with their roles, values, and aspirations, it fosters a positive occupational identification. 

Conversely, a lack of alignment or clarity in the TOM can lead to challenges in employees identifying with their roles and the organization's future state. 

Therefore, effective communication, engagement strategies, and a people-centric approach are critical when implementing a TOM to ensure a positive impact on occupational identification.

How to put OI at the heart of the TOM design ?

Putting occupational identification at the heart of Target Operating Model (TOM) design involves a strategic and people-centric approach. 

Several methods and best practices can be employed to achieve this:

By combining these methods and incorporating a holistic, employee-centered perspective into the TOM design process, organizations can effectively place occupational identification at the heart of their operational model. 

This approach not only supports a smooth transition during change but also enhances employee engagement, satisfaction, and performance in the long run.