While a necessary part of business growth as companies scale and work to maintain competitive market share, acquisitions and mergers present a multitude of challenges. Among these challenges are maintaining workforce management, internal communications, and team productivity. Does your company have the right communication tools to emerge victorious?
Putting two companies together involves a certain amount of risk, including blending potentially incompatible company cultures, and contending with workforce disillusionment and subsequent departures – both of which are especially costly to remedy. 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 communication tools for feedback and questions.
Timing is everything. Without thoughtful, resilient leadership and an intentional strategic plan to announce and manage this impactful company event, current employees, not to mention the ones from the company being acquired, 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 digital workplace software, such as an operational communication platform, leaders can get ahead of the above challenges with transparent, two-way communication with their workforce. Using mobile technology in the form of digital communication tools, such as 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? If changing, how?
- 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?
- Is working remotely now an option if office locations shift?
2. Use workplace software equipped with mobile technology to follow up during and after to assess the transition and plan for the future.
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 receive the most current information and notifications and can respond in real-time.
Through a mobile team app, leadership can initiate public polls 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 can be a go-to online resource to share new policies, hires, important documents, and other relevant company communications.
Think 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 and onboard new hires or promotions 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.