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How to Effectively Prepare Your Team for a Merger or Acquisition

Many potentially disruptive things can happen within a business, and knowing how to handle them effectively is very important. Preparing properly for major changes and events can help reduce the disruption level, in terms of severity or longevity. One of the more chaotic periods  a business can experience comes during a merger with or acquisition of another company. Preparing your team for this is no straightforward task, but there are a few steps you can follow to ensure that this whole process goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips for preparing ahead of your acquisition or merger.

Communicate With Your Team

In most areas of business, communication is key, especially when regarding your team. The whole process of a merger or acquisition can be extremely stressful for everyone involved, and confusion will likely be commonplace. This is why you should make sure you communicate every step of the way. This can reduce the chances of major mistakes and allow your team to acclimate to the situation much faster than usual. You should consider putting regular messaging in place to keep your team updated on how things are progressing with the merger and continue this for as long as needed afterward to ensure things remain on track. Encourage your team to bring up any issues they might be having with the process. You shouldn’t expect everyone to be happy with something like this, and you should do everything possible to alleviate any stress that a process like this may cause.

Be Transparent About Things

While a merger or acquisition can be  hugely positive for you and your company, it can ruffle feathers throughout your team and even leave people panicked. There might be a fear that some people will be laid off, so it’s important to reduce anxieties as much as possible by being honest with your team. Of course, there might be layoffs, and that’s just an unfortunate side-effect of these things. However, if you inform people how this will be decided and when, as well as what sort of support will be given to those laid off, this can help people concentrate on their work and feel less stressed about things. You could even offer voluntary redundancy to people before you start laying people off. You never know if someone is already waiting for the right opportunity to leave.

Offer Further Training And Development

When merging teams, certain individuals might be under-skilled compared to their new colleagues. To keep everyone in line with each other, you should offer extra training and development opportunities to bring everyone up to speed. You could also offer training to get everyone unified on certain practices. This will help to ensure that each department is doing its work correctly and ineffective methodologies aren’t being brought into your business from the employees you’ve acquired. You might also want to consider further training for yourself or your management team. Consider an online learning course on the law and economics of mergers and acquisitions to provide a useful skill set for helping you and your team to understand the laws and challenges of these complex undertakings.

Make Sure You Have A Plan In Place

It would be wise to have a plan for a major project, like a merger or acquisition, that details every step to ensure that you and your team are prepared for what’s to come. Examples of things to consider in your plan include any new roles that will be created and the new responsibilities your employees will have. As well as this, you’ll also want to include logistical plans to figure out how you will merge teams effectively and with as little disruption as possible. You’ll also want to plan for events following the merger to keep things in order. A post-transition plan will help you monitor your team and the efforts of individuals, reward any positive behaviours, and keep your entire team up to date with further changes.

Be Fair To Both Parties Of The Merger

It’s your duty as a leader to ensure that everyone is getting what they deserve, and this is even more critical during a merger or acquisition. Managing people through a merger or acquisition can be tough. It’s easy for even the hardest workers to get left behind or ignored with so much happening within your business. Keep in touch with department managers and your HR team to ensure that every single one of your employees is being monitored and looked after. You’ll also want to provide this same treatment to the newer members of your team that have joined as part of the merger. This can be a really intimidating time, especially for those that are joining a new business, so you should ensure that everyone is given the attention they deserve so that they feel comfortable and able to do their job.


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