The thing about mergers & acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions are tricky. Cultural differences, expectations, and lack of alignment can swiftly derail integration – like an episode of the Brady Bunch where everything goes wrong and there’s no quick fix sitcom solution before the end of the thirty minutes.
And then there’s the worst of it – the surprise of it all. Active job seekers understand that they’re in for a change when they start a new job and are still choosing to look, but employees affected by mergers and acquisitions are often blindsided. This is a high stress moment for employees and causes considerable anxiety about what to expect and if they’ll still have a role at the new organization. Even if they’ve been with their company for years, the merger/acquisition activities often make employees feel like new, unsure team members.
Fortunately, there’s a pivotal moment in mergers and acquisitions – where the acquired employees are onboarded into the new parent company. This is a golden opportunity to engage the acquired employees, make them feel like a welcome and valued part of the larger team, and introduce company values, expectations, and more.
The key is to plan ahead and develop an automated process that intuitively guides the acquired employees through a specific path – that’s curated to their role and location – and reflects the company’s values and methodologies. This ensures each acquired employee experiences a standardized, engaging onboarding program. It also eases the transition and helps acquired employees get a better understanding of the organization.
Top 5 Items to Include in M&A Onboarding to Improve Integration:
1. Company Values & Leadership
Share the company’s values and mission statement. Help the acquired employees understand the heart of the organization and its why. Introduce the new CEO and leadership team.
2. Performance Review
Provide the performance review process right from the start so the acquired employees understand how and when they will be evaluated – and what it means.
3. Career Goals
Acquired employees often worry about how these changes will affect their career trajectory. Calm their worries by including a career planning questionnaire in the onboarding process. Follow this with a meeting with their manager to discuss their responses and begin developing a career plan.
Connect acquired employees with mentors in the parent organization. The mentor plays an important role in helping the acquired employee establish a network, a solid foundation, and a deepening understanding of the organization.
5. Common FAQs
Create a list of common FAQs and universal processes, such as how to submit an IT request. Take the guesswork out of their new day to day existence and make it easy for them to focus on their work, not running around the office trying to find answers! It’s also beneficial to share information about the change so everyone receives the same message and the stress of uncertainty is lessened.
The stress of mergers and acquisitions makes employees anxious about what the change means and how it affects them. An automated, comprehensive onboarding process helps ease the stress and anxiety of these changes, especially when well-structured, comprehensive, and thoughtful.