While a necessary part of business growth as companies scale and work to maintain competitive market share, mergers and acquisitions present a multitude of challenges.
Among these challenges are maintaining workforce management, team productivity, and internal communications.
Does your company have the right communication tools to emerge victorious?
For leaders bringing companies together under M&A there may be dramatic actions along the journey.
Putting two companies together involves a certain amount of risk, including blending potentially incompatible company cultures (Bain & Company), and contending with workforce disillusionment and subsequent departures – both of which are especially costly to remedy.
One of the main components of establishing a common culture starts with providing clarity to employees about the WHY of the merger and where the merged company is headed.
Navigating this process requires consistent and intentional communication with your workforce to avoid misunderstandings, assumptions, and attrition as employees ponder their future within the newly-organized, post-merger configuration.
With a unified communication strategy deployed by easily-updated and mobile-accessible workplace software, your company can handle acquisition without losing trust and transparency.
Below, we share some guidelines for mitigating some of the most common situations companies face with the help of digital communication tools.
1. Practice transparency with employees by providing a communication tool for feedback and questionsTiming is everything. Without thoughtful, resilient leadership and an intentional strategic plan to announce and manage this impactful company event, employees will be left to their own conclusions. This can breed and contribute to the spreading of misinformation. It can also cause problems further down the road as you work on integrating colleagues, opening new offices, and other common activities that follow an acquisition or reorganization on that scale. It’s therefore critical to prioritize a communication strategy to get the trust of both workforces in the acquisition equation.
With an operational communication platform, leaders can get ahead of the above challenges with transparent, two-way communication with their workforce. Using mobile technology and a dedicated communication stream designated just for questions about the merger, provides a virtual sounding board. Some of the most common questions companies receive in the event of an acquisition or merger are:
- Is my position changing or being eliminated?
- What is my role in the merger?
- Will any of my benefits be affected in any way?
- Are there career counseling opportunities for me should I not have a job in the new company hiring plan, and what does that look like?
It’s vital to seek the colleagues' input as doing so, will help them feel included in the process and more engaged with the upcoming changes.
2. Use workplace software equipped with mobile technology to follow up during and after to assess the transition
Using an operational communication platform, leadership can post the latest information, such as new office locations or workforce reporting structures, while your employees can ask questions that pertain to their scope of work.
Making sure the workplace software is compatible with mobile technology is an important of any unified communication strategy to ensure expediency. Delivered directly to their mobile device, this means your employees - whether desk-bound and non-desk - receive the most current information and notifications and can respond in real-time.
Through a mobile team app, leadership can initiate public polls, personalized surveys, and chat-based campaigns to assess how daily operations, employee engagement, and workplace morale are going throughout the transition.
Topics include new commutes and related company travel policies, or forming committees to handle the logistical aspects of moving offices, furniture, and ensuring processes don’t fall through the cracks.
3. A digital hub as the go-to online resource to share new policies, hires, important documents, and other relevant company communicationsThink of a team app as an always-available method of providing a virtual introduction to your company. As personnel shifts occur, centralizing any new policies, procedures, and HR-related information provides a digitally-accessible way to announce promotions, onboard new hires, and keep everyone informed about your company culture.
This goes for your entire team. Goal alignment is more successful and sustained when everyone has mobile access to vital company information at their fingertips via communication tools.
Considering these components when embarking on an acquisition or merger, and ways to use a digital tool in the process, will help companies to successfully navigate change management.
As we move into a truly global economy, it has become increasingly important to focus on seamless communication with all employees of the new company. By planning well and being as transparent and open as possible, it’s possible to make the process respectful, positive and empathetic.
With that focus on people and organizational issues some of the biggest reasons why mergers or acquisitions fail could be pro-actively addressed.