Communication should be constant and delivered in a variety of ways such as email, FAQs, meetings, a dedicated website, videos, conference calls, town hall meetings, etc. We'll email you when new articles are published on this topic. Copyright © 2020, Redeapp. Employees value having difficult messages communicated in a direct way. In a recent merger, the communications team and the integration-management office (IMO) reviewed a checklist of all possible merger milestones and quickly identified the most relevant ones. This is a time when competitors go after your customers and when top talent is most likely considering whether to leave the company; some may go for interviews but wait until the close to depart. Rather than leaving everyone to wonder how the reorganization will affect their relationship with the company, it’s wise to develop communication strategies that address employee concerns as well as questions from customers, suppliers and vendors. The work and focus of the communications effort ebb and flow throughout the merger process, reaching critical peaks at the announcement of the deal, at the transaction’s close, and on Day 1. People endure hard times when they know it's worth it. Although a merger is a confidential process, the story may well leak, given the number of parties involved. I encourage all employees to review the press release and visit our merger website for additional information. If you decided to hunker down in your office and close the door during the transformation, expect employees to take notice. Always provide constant status updates to employees, and continue to let them know their role and how they can make the process more seamless. “Do I have job now?” “Will I have a job in the future?” “Whom will I be reporting to?” “Do I belong here?” Communicating with employees solely about the greater good, before addressing their personal situation, will probably be ineffective. Provide opportunities to get employees from both companies working together and make sure that they can hit the ground running as soon as possible. Case studies – Using employee feedback surveys post-acquisition An effective communication system “reduces the energy expended by employees in searching for answers to their questions… it helps the employees to accept the changes. Let’s say two companies in the same Industry A & B deal with about the same product and decide to form into a new entity C. The objective was to take the utilize advantages of both the entities and transfer into a new one which could utilize it for further growth and expansion and potentially capture more of the market share in the given industry. Something went wrong. Practical resources to help leaders navigate to the next normal: guides, tools, checklists, interviews and more. A leader at one of the organizations was exceptionally good at communicating how individual employees would benefit from the merger. Use minimal essential People create and sustain change. Communicating changes to the employees. Employees have to be persuaded to believe in the corporate vision and to act to bring it about. Before they can get there, however, they need to understand what will happen to them. (Source: IMAA) Effective communication plays a critical role in minimizing the impact and reassuring employees. Communications teams should use a wide variety of channels to reach their intended audiences and to ensure that messages sink in and get reinforced. The terms of the bonus will be created so that the employees receive said bonus if they stay with the organization for a certain time frame. For example, younger employees may prefer to get their benefits information delivered via text messages and emails, while more seasoned employees may prefer face-to-face meetings and printed total compensation statements. Merger Example #2 (practical) – Microsoft’s Purchase of Skype In 2011, Microsoft purchased voice over internet protocol (VOIP) company Skype for $8.56 billion in cash. An … Including an employee survey in your post-M&A plan is another way to keep the lines of communication open, and demonstrate to people that their feedback is important. Communication during mergers and acquisitions is critical. However, given most humans are programmed to avoid confrontation, managers often withhold this information for far too long. In one merger, for example, … Harness a Proven Methodology to Keep Employees Engaged. A leader at one of the organizations was exceptionally good at communicating how individual employees would benefit from the merger. Every merger has a wide range of stakeholders, and each kind of stakeholder requires a customized approach and targeted messaging. Experts indicate that this activity is expected to continue rising during 2015. During a major change such as a merger, employees are in need of information that will bring clarity to their specific situation. We typically see four roles: Effective and timely execution requires well-defined governance—a process for approving and disseminating communications. The plan brought together all merger communications, across all stakeholders, and included the key milestones and target events, as well as regular updates to different groups. In addition to a regular cadence of integration communications, specific messages about important decisions (such as the location of headquarters or additional organizational moves) are essential to ensure that changes are understood and accepted. It also works to make use of the opportunities and advantages that they were receiving from th… The goal is to spend the majority of time and energy on the material events, while making sure that regular updates continue to flow. Unfortunately, many mergers … Frequency During organizational change, it is important to communicate frequently with those involved and impacted by the change. Some managers will do everything to avoid having to deal with bad news. The pre-close period, after the merger announcement, requires special attention. Employees are the key to a successful merger. Decide on the right method. Here are five components of effective communication to keep in mind while facilitating organizational change. Vendors anxiously await information on what the merger would mean for them. Well, to be honest-- a lot.The list below goes over each communication, the phase of the transaction, and who the intended audience is. Interestingly it was the second time that a technology major had bought Skype, a few years back it was purchased by Ebay post which sold the majority of its shares. An effective communications plan identifies milestones, such as Day 1, and trigger events, including the announcement of leadership appointments. Select topics and stay current with our latest insights, Communications in mergers: The glue that holds everything together. Maintaining ongoing employee benefits communication is a key element in boosting employment satisfaction and engagement with your business. Be sure to consistently assess the attitude in the organization and re-evaluate your communication plan if necessary. After spending some time in the doldrums, the mergers and acquisitions market is once again on a hot streak. Know the communication … Then expect lower productivity and loss of trust. This is a serious case of change comms. This helps to ensure that leaders buy into the vision of the merger and commit themselves to execute it well. tab. Don’t mince words and remain honest throughout the entire process. This is particularly true when the change is negative, but even positive change can affect some employees negatively. In a recent merger, targeted communications and leadership time spent cultivating the high performers—including one-on-one discussions between them and the leadership on future career paths—let them know how greatly they were valued. The key when pulsing during a merger or acquisition is to make employee … The communications plan must absolutely address high potentials and critical employees. The rationale is an articulation of the core reasoning for a deal and its drivers of value. Sample employee email communication for an employee satisfaction survey. But the phrase gets misinterpreted. For example, when new processes are implemented, they require moving out of comfort zones and changing habits developed over many years. Never miss an insight. According to a recent Mercer Transatlantic Study, 75 percent of executives surveyed said that communicating with employees and harmonizing corporate culture were the most important factors for post merger … 2. It also detailed all deliverables, listing the audiences, the owners, the deadlines, the required preparation times, the content-approval processes, and the interdependencies. This can be difficult if you lack the proper comms platform to reach all employees. Communications should be genuine and transparent. __(briefly describe change– Example - Name will charge of…..)__ __(briefly describe change)__ Those whose jobs will be affected by the restructuring process, have either already been notified or will be … The merger and acquisition process can immediately impact the stress levels of employees involved. Either there is no effort to gather feedback, and employees in particular feel that they are being talked at, or nothing is done with the feedback—which may be even worse. A structured focus on and investments in communications, with the support of senior leadership, have been shown to yield great benefits: a motivated employee base and engaged vendors, partners, and other stakeholders, all supporting the newly formed company’s success. The communications plan is a vital tool to inform and influence stakeholders before transactions close, so it is critical to start early and get the message right, both before and after the close. Change is difficult. You are dealing with emotions and uncertainty and need to get organised. Mergers tend to have a negative impact on how employees view their employers. The EVP describes why the future is bright and what the deal means for employees. Falling short on communication . Many mergers need to be approved by local governments, attorneys general, and … Internal stakeholders are primarily employees of the two merging companies, but distinct groups within them have different needs. 3. The process was set up for speed of execution, defining clear deadlines and ensuring that only the right people—and only a small number of people—were involved in the approval process. Because affected employees will eventually see through the nonsense, and you can expect lost respect and lower productivity. If time is of the essence (for example, if you have a family emergency and need to take the day off), email is likely the best choice. Communication challenges are one of the top factors that cause company synergies to fail in mergers … For example, if there have been significant layoffs and a reporter calls a company to speak to someone, employee communication policies should set rules for who is authorized to speak to the media in that instance. Corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions affect employees, customers, suppliers and vendors. They committed themselves to share content for review and approval with the communications leaders, the integration leader, the appropriate functional leaders, and, finally, the legal team. Subscribed to {PRACTICE_NAME} email alerts. The merger and acquisition process can immediately impact the stress levels of employees involved. And when a merger … Date. When HR professionals talk about communicating layoffs, the discussion generally centers around breaking the news to departing employees.Letting someone know they no longer have a job is no easy task, which is why guides and webinars on compassionate offboarding abound to help HR professionals navigate these talks. Yesterday’s anomaly of an employee sitting at Starbucks on their own laptop using Salesforce and Box has become today’s normal. While discussing employee benefits has sometimes been regarded as a human resources minefield, it's critically important to have a strategy in place for communicating changes in benefits that fully informs your workforce and doesn't damage employee … During a major change such as a merger, employees are in need of information that will bring clarity to their specific situation. Employee morale will take less of a hit if they feel they are kept in the loop. Employees decode it to mean that both companies will be treated as equals so far as integration decisions are concerned. During a recent merger in which the communications team was highly regarded by C-level executives in both organizations, the team worked closely with the IMO to build a detailed communications plan (the merger’s “who, what, when, why, where, and how”). In addition to resourcing, the communications team and integration leadership should establish a clear governance process and clarify roles and responsibilities. If you are downsizing, then you know the anxiety it produces among employees and the way it impacts morale, productivity, and customers. Studies have pointed out that anywhere from 50 percent to 70 percent of mergers end up failing, or at least not delivering the results intended at the time of announcement. Sharing internal knowledge around the water cooler. You might have your new company policy guide ready to distribute, especially if you are merging two companies with very different corporate cultures. Structured communications play a critical role in mergers by preventing the distractions that often accompany them and could even damage the existing businesses. Sample merger and acquisition letter to employees. This is a communication task. And when a merger or acquisition occurs, some duplicated jobs are eliminated. Maintaining ongoing employee benefits communication is a key element in boosting employment satisfaction and engagement with your business. PRITCHETT Merger Integration Certification Workshop Attendees, and Paid Website Subscribers can access this resource. Learn about In addition, to maintain continuity of supply, it’s essential to make vendors aware of key changes and to keep them up to date even if there aren’t any. Examples of employee communications include: Intranet, website, newsletters, memos, notice boards, press, company magazine, blogs, employee forums, social networks. Structured communications play a critical role in mergers by preventing the distractions that often accompany them and could even damage the existing businesses. (2) As much as possible, make sure that everyone is on the same page. Rather, they fail due to poor integration of the two companies, and often that comes down to shoddy communication within both the existing and new organization. Employees throughout the company can be pulled in on an as-needed basis but are otherwise free to focus on providing exceptional customer service. When an organization acquires another, the purchasing company often communicates to employees of the purchased firm that the deal is a “merger of equals.” Unless this is the truth, don’t say that. Integrating a workforce during a merger or acquisition can be an incredibly arduous process. While the wave wasn’t stopped, the company significantly mitigated the barrier to integration. A strong communications strategy and plan promote business continuity by ensuring that the right messages are communicated and reinforced to minimize the anxiety of employees, boost morale, and retain talent. What are the key elements of effective communication during a company merger? Addressee Address City, State Zip. Dear Fellow Employees: We are in the process of making a number … They also convey the combined organization’s future vision and strategy to key stakeholders—both internal and external, including customers, regulators, vendors, and employees. our use of cookies, and Regularly communicating with customers and employees in the pre-close period is critical to limit damage to the organization. All rights reserved. Instead, your employees count on you to remain visible. The work of the communications team doesn’t end when a transaction closes. Please use UP and DOWN arrow keys to review autocomplete results. The retiree population is especially interested in any potential changes to benefits. Winging it will more than likely lead to disaster – a plan must be put into place. Although in a perfect world, everyone in the organization would have the same information as everyone else, this of course isn’t realistic. At the heart of every successful merger/acquisition is proper and thorough communications. (4) Provide the tough information during and after integration, Unfortunately, many mergers and acquisitions end up leading to redundancies. This is the first opportunity to tell all stakeholders the strategy and vision behind the merger. Announce the merger. As of mid-November, global M&A activity has risen to $3.1 trillion for the year, up a whopping 52 percent compared to the previous year, according to a recent report by USA Today. Guarantee important information reaches every employee, Improve employee engagement and trust through mobile communication. The merger will provide the path to improved compensation and benefits for employees. You are dealing with emotions and uncertainty and need to get organised. This is particularly true when the change is negative, but even positive change can affect some employees negatively. Our flagship business publication has been defining and informing the senior-management agenda since 1964. Communication should be constant and delivered in a variety of ways such as email, FAQs, meetings, a dedicated website, videos, conference calls, town hall meetings, etc. bank employees post-me rger about merger strategy and post merger integration. Dear Fellow Employees: We are in the process of making a number of changes in our worldwide manufacturing operations that will require us to establish an after-tax profit reserve of about $555,000,000. It would be wise to consider an employee communication plan a vital element in the event that an enticing deal comes to fruition. Once all this has been gathered, the communications team and the IMO analyze the feedback and take corrective action. The authors would like to thank Mustafa Ibrahim for his contributions to this article. Make sure employees know exactly what role they play, who they report to and who reports to them. As frequently mentioned by researchers and practitioners, many mergers and acquisitions (M&A) fail to achieve their expected results. As a result, the executive may have a different perception of progress than the rest of the organization, and may be susceptible to turning a blind eye to problems. For example, if you discuss EBITDA, (earnings before interest tax and depreciation) don’t assume all your employees will understand what you mean. Know the direction communicating merger to employees example the top factors that cause company synergies to in! Communications team announces the deal is finalized, and increased bandwidth made this.! Impact M & a process often works like two new roommates who move in together you can expect lost and... Important, than verbal communication us improve its usefulness with additional cookies and.! The announcement, the team much-needed focus and direction and helped it execute the plan functions—a missed opportunity the! 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