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Mergers: five tips for integration success, from board level to employees

13 Jul 2017

Companies that choose to undergo a merger or acquire another company or business, will expose themselves to a complex process. But if all goes to plan, it should open up a host of new opportunities for the organisation. While integration is often a gradual process, there are steps you can take to make the process run more smoothly and quickly. 

1.    Start at the beginning

It might sound small, but a positive mindset from the very beginning can make all the difference. Remember, your organisation is undergoing an exciting change. There is likely to be a change in your corporate structure, new premises, new people, new culture. There could also be a chance for internal promotions. If you can adopt that attitude within your organisation, then it will help contribute to a more successful integration.

2.    From the ground up

Ask your employees for feedback – and use it. This is a valuable source of intelligence for you, so that you can assess internal morale, progress and performance; make sure you are communicating with staff at all times. Employees often provide insight that senior members of staff just don’t have and CEOs should be tapping into that knowledge as part of the merger process. You can never have access to too much information but this additional tool could reduce the stress at a time of great change.

3.    Talk the talk

Communicating with staff is important, but you should also be making sure all other relevant stakeholders are kept in the loop. Give reasons as to why the transaction is happening, the value it represents and the associated benefits it will bring. Getting buy-in from everyone will minimise the fallout and be an important step in achieving benefits from the merger. It could also add reassurance to anyone worried about changes such as job losses or service compromises. Either way, communicating effectively is your chance to increase the likelihood of a more integrated outcome.

4.    Keep relations alive

Once you’ve opened the gates for communications with staff and stakeholders, you should strive to keep them open. Mergers are relationship intensive – that means communications internally and externally should happen frequently. Ideally, this should involve meetings to review and discuss progress and give the opportunity for adjustments to the merger plan.

5.    Stick to the plan

Speaking of plans, the merger integration plan must examine and consider each aspect of the respective businesses. This should include the operations, organisations and cultures. It is also a good idea to assign people to be responsible for projects or stages of the plan at the various levels. The CEO should always drive the process, but it is always a good idea to involve the organisation’s key players. There should then be weekly reviews to focus on measurable progress and set realistic objectives for the next steps in the process.

If you are considering a merger and would like legal advice, then DMH Stallard’s Corporate team can help. Contact me via the details below for more information.

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