Wow – you just acquired another business. Whether that was a merger with a related business or an acquisition of a non-related business in order to expand your “footprint” in the business world, you are probably pretty excited. This is a defining event for you, your team, and the team you are about to inherit/incorporate into your “culture.”
It’s time to stop and take a deep breath. If you have never been involved in an M&A, you have not experienced first-hand the drama that may be coming – drama among your team, the “other team,” and even customers/clients. And make no mistake about it. Your competitors are watching too. They are looking for the potholes you may step into so that they can take advantage of your mis-steps and move in on your market share.
Getting Organized For the Task Ahead
You have a lot to do, and you really need a structured and sequenced plan to get through this transition as smoothly as possible. You need a checklist that will guide your steps. Here is that checklist, along with some additional tips.
Put Together a Transition Team (and Sub-Teams)
This is a big change for you, your team and the team that is moving in. Leadership will be necessary through every phase of integration. The team must include executives from both sides (if the companies are large enough to have multiple executives) and line managers who are “in the trenches” and can provide valuable insights.
This team should be responsible for mapping out the plan for the transition and integration of all facets of the two businesses – operations, structure, sales/marketing, HR, finances, etc.
There should be smaller sub-teams for each facet of the plan.
Are You Staying Involved?
You as you owner/CEO must be directly involved as progress moves along. You must meet with those teams to ensure that progress is occurring on the timelines that the transition team has established.
Set Up Communication Channels
There is a lot of anxiety among the “rank and file.” Remember, successful M&A’s are achieved by building relationships, and relationships are built through communication. There should be at least monthly communications, in some form, so that all employees can develop a higher comfort level. The worst thing that can happen is that people feel they are in the dark. Morale suffers; productivity suffers.
Have a Plan to “Bridge” Cultures
In addition to top-down communication, there must be cross-communication among those who share some of the same positions within their respective companies. Certainly, there can be formal meetings and discussions about strategies for “coming together.” On the other side, there should be informal and social gatherings outside of the work settings, again because relationships are key to successful M&A’s. Failure to successfully merge culture is a prime reason for failure.
What Channels are in Place to Get Employee Feedback?
Employees need to be able to voice their issues but also what they are observing as successes and challenges. This is valuable information, and there needs to be a channel for them to provide this feedback, privately if Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community