Use the below matrix to plan your messages. Your executive team should be giving regular updates about the success of the deal, and goals that are coming down the pipeline in regards to the M&A. Function/ department specific message as determined by responsible Executive Committee member. Do not call out comparisons to other industry mergers or acquisitions. An integration unfolds like a fast-moving, changing story. Goals, impacts, and new objectives of this transaction, Information on the specific business being merged or acquired (What do they do? A well-crafted communication plan can help reduce employee anxiety and cynicism, protect the acquirer's credibility, and prevent top management from being accused of reneging on its promises. I’m betting the boss mismanages expectations by making at least one of these five common but wrong-headed remarks. When should I tell my entire workforce? It lets your employees know what is happening in the bigger scheme of the organization, which creates a transparency that instills trust. Continue to be patient and understanding as we push through some of the tough integration challenges related to the core parts of our business. Employee loyalty and trust are at stake. 1. It’s up to the seller to keep the lines of communication open. Every day brings new developments. Update communications guidelines as necessary, Develop and conduct communication training for the Implementation Team to ensure consistent messages, Identify list of personnel authorized to make public statements. People may only understand the change in broad terms and not in practical terms. 3. The communication role needs to begin during the preliminary stages to set the scene. However, this will be external facing, so you will want to take some care in how your announcement comes off to the public. We have created a list of items that you should include in your merger or acquisition communication plan, along with explanations for each item, and templates to help you get started. As we make business decisions over time, we’ll work closely with our employees, customers and suppliers to ensure smooth transitions. Build and present the Peer-to-Peer Matrix for Target Co. employees, Define all stakeholders (Presenters, audience, support staff, etc. During merger and acquisition, organisation faces the most abstruse and recalcitrant problem: resistance to change. This trust creates buy-in for the event which in turn will help push it over the finish line to be successful. Posted by Tom McDonald. If I have assigned another BU or Function to one of my initiatives what should I do? When you need more clarity or direction, ask your manager or supervisor. In this section, we list the questions to expect from different constituencies and the proper information to convey to each. What should I say? People want to hear from their leader. A: Employees currently enrolled in the target Company benefits plans will continue their coverage under the current provisions of their benefits package. ), Any quotes from involved parties, such as the CEO, or other relevant people involved in the merger and acquisition deal, Updated logistical information, such as a new website, location, or logo, Contact information for a press representative at your organization, Any new services that you will be able to provide them (for clients), Logistical information (new location, website, etc), Contact person in HR for more information. to execute ALL day tasks/functions from food, audio, laptops, hotel, etc. For the time being there will be no changes and we will continue to go to market as we have in the past. Capture the customer’s question and pass it to your manager. They end up causing productivity and morale declines and—eventually—profitability problems. “We don’t anticipate making any changes.”. An owner, due date, and priority are assigned to each task. Fear not. M&A communication planning is difficult because a merger is always a fast-breaking story. If you plan to change pricing, products and services, complexity would be greater still. Will offices or other facilities be closed? Get to know your new work colleagues. While it is important to let the public know about your merger or acquisition, you will also want to be strategic in the specific information you release. Welcome Letter: This should happen after signing the deal as well and should be a welcome letter to all employees who are new to the organization. As with any merger or acquisition, we know there will be some job changes and some overlap that will result in job eliminations. The communication plan should include an hour-by-hour schedule for Day One, as well as a Week One plan. communication plan Building your communication plan ... • Extensive experience in all aspects of merger and post-acquisition integration, and has advised clients across a wide variety of industry sectors covering small, mid and large cap ... 5 RULES OF MERGER COMMUNICATION 1. The earlier you communicate, the better. Clear and transparent communication during a merger or acquisition can be difficult due to government regulations, private company preferences or timing. Negotiating a merger or acquisition can be all-consuming for a company’s management team given the complexity of such deals, and the stakes involved. Develop special communications/plan for key customers/contracts, prepare talking points, Develop a plan to manage employee expectations / reactions, Identify ways to promote the Acquired Co's image within the acquirer. You can assure our customers that we will not miss a beat in delivering on our commitments. When you want someone to behave in a new way, explain the ‘new way’ clearly. Help people understand the volatility of the situation. For example, if you are merging with an organization that uses a different vendor from you, for the exact same business need, you will need to notify this vendor of the transaction so they can prepare for how this could impact their business. If you’re not sure who they are, work with your manager or supervisor to find out. There is no set timeline and your organization may need to send out an HR update multiple times as decisions are made about your people strategy. The initial announcement will be responsible for letting your investors and employees know that you are currently working on closing a merger or acquisition. What touch-points should I have in my communication plan? Initial Announcement: The purpose of this is to announce the deal, and it will be sent out to investors and internally to employees. If people aren’t mentally prepared for it, chances are they’ll conclude that the integration plan isn’t working. The truth is a moving target, and often dead on arrival. How to build a successful merger communication strategy: 6 steps. Facebook: Provide an image announcing the deal is complete, along with the following text: Yet, most key managers receive little education on what to say, and just as importantly, what not to say. Upon announcement, let employees clearly know: If known, information can also be communicated regarding: …. How many and where will take a bit more time to work through. During a merger or acquisition, people are primed for change. This was a complex process, requiring the sales team to tell the story with marketing’s support. And our eMerger software offers step-by-step instruction on how to develop an integration communication plan. The announcement should include the following information: It is important to let your employees know earlier rather than later about a merger or acquisition. These meetings are prime opportunities to inform people, engage them in the transition process, and answer any questions they may have. Too often the communication starts too late and doesn’t deal sufficiently with the post-merger integration issues. It may be uncomfortable to go looking for bad news, but it’s even worse if customers have a problem with your business and don’t tell you about it. This is a completely normal turn of events. Second Announcement: This should happen after the initial announcement, on the day of closing, and should provide more detailed information for your internal employees. Internal vs external communication is very different! About 100 days after Close, it’s a good idea to take the temperature of the two companies’ customers. 83% of all acquisitions fail, according to a study by Hewitt Associates. We have compiled lists from our M&A integration consulting projects of the most common questions asked by: Common Employee Questions They want it. What is going to change? It is the CEO's job to break the communication logjam. The most important thing we can tell our customers is that nothing changes immediately. They want information much more than inspiration. If you’re announcing a merger, don’t forget that you’re dealing with adults. A password will be sent to your email address. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3044396, '6cb35dcb-497b-4607-a5a5-1a308ab0ae9e', {}); This letter will be sent out to all of your impacted stakeholders that aren’t your investors, employees, or the press. The next time you see or read about a top executive announcing a merger/acquisition, pay close attention. A: No, you will continue with conducting business as usual and answering the phone as Target Company. The deal will create numerous questions in the minds of stakeholders. It’s not about mergers. While a merger happens when two companies combine together to form one company, acquisitions happen when one company is taken over by another company. Oftentimes, senior leadership is so focused on the technical aspects of the deal that they forget the communications side. Save yourself weeks of painstaking research and organizational assessment by using our Acquisition Project Plan Template. An example of merger would be Disney and Pixar merging together to collaborate more easily. Communication is a vital component to the success of any merger and acquisition. Build a communication plan. Your employees don’t hear about the success or the failures of this new venture, so they don’t have any way to stay motivated to see its continued success. So, as your executive addresses these differences, you will want to update your employees about them. This produces a sense of uncertainty that fuzzes up priorities, interferes with decision making, and breeds inertia. Acquired Co. has recently become part of the Acquirer Group. The plan brought together all merger communications, across all stakeholders, and included the key milestones and target events, as well as regular updates to different groups. Answers to 28 Employee Frequently Asked Questions. The speed, reach, and sheer volume of information circulating from the people in your workforce eclipses what was possible just a few years ago. History• The concept of merger and acquisition in India was not popular until the year 1988. We can create and execute a strategy that will help your in-house sales and marketing teams not only function, but thrive during a business transition. ), Set date for invite(s) to go: First one immediately after Press Release and Investor Call, and a reminder early in the morning of Day 1. If a customer asks a question that is not included in these materials, it is likely something we cannot answer at this time. A huge reason for this is a lack of communication and alignment between all involved parties. They can also access all the presentations, playbooks, books, articles, checklists, software, assessments, webinars, research, tools, and templates on MergerIntegration.com. Without adequate information, people will cook up all sorts of wild rumors that create unnecessary stress. However, there are many ways to tell a story that doesn’t include proprietary information such as exact revenue figures or projections. There are several reasons for this, including lack of knowledge about valuation, lack of understanding about value drivers, and cultural misfits. You’ll be talking into a headwind of skepticism, and a Pollyanna pitch is just going to stoke the fires of employee distrust. For the time being, please continue to work with us as you have in the past. And instead of coming across like some breezy politician, you’ll position yourself as a real leader. Why wouldn’t you? Spreadsheet identifies key elements of communication plan including stakeholders, key messages, timing, priority, and concerns. Since most mergers and acquisitions fail, this ongoing communication to keep your new band of employees aligned and working towards one goal will greatly improve your chances of success. Easily customized Word document that includes answers to FAQs, sample letters to customers, and critical talking points and messages. Select "Yes" or "No" for each question, and type an explanation. A post merger integration checklist (or m&a integration checklist) is a step by step agenda to keep teams on track in preparation for a merger or acquisition. ), Create invite to Day 1 (email, letters, webinars, voicemail etc. This could be your vendors, clients, partners, or suppliers. And the trouble is that communication problems never seem to remain just communication problems. We refer to the first ten questions on the list as “me issues”  because they are focused on the most common personal concerns of employees. And it’s totally predictable. Here is the information you need to provide to your stakeholders in this letter: hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3044396, 'c99cf038-f2f7-478e-ace3-7630f20c9ada', {}); It is so important in a merger or acquisition for the CEO to send out a welcome letter to employees. Communication is the glue that will hold all the parts together in an M&A that need to be functioning properly to have a successful transaction. Communication should be relevant and meaningful. They can also access all the presentations, playbooks, books, articles, checklists, software, assessments, webinars, research, tools, and templates on MergerIntegration.com. The ‘loss aversion ratio’ has been estimated in several experiments and is usually in the range of 1.5 to 2.5. Here are four reasons why you should control the flow of information and develop a thorough employee communications plan before a merger or acquisition. After Close–Benefits Briefing. Adhere to the information set forth in these documents and do not elaborate or expand upon the information provided. We expect some reductions may happen within the first 90 days, and others may take longer as we integrate systems and businesses. For organizations involved in a merger or acquisition, capturing the synergies of the deal and doing so quickly are major hurdles. "Executives are in New Beginnings.They want to communicate the vision, the inspiration about how great the merger will be. …, Articulate a compelling business rationale for the deal, Make key decisions quickly regarding organizational structure, staffing, product rationalization, core processes, resource allocation, and performance management, Develop a structure and plan for implementing those changes, Engineer “early wins” to create energy and build confidence in deal …. Ten pages of guidance for customer-facing employees and teams to help them communicate effectively with their customers about the acquisition. Just because a comment from an executive is well-intentioned doesn’t mean that it is effective. Communications on operational matters ...". There is little opportunity for them to make an insignificant remark. By anticipating their concerns in advance, you’ll be better prepared to address them. Keeping marketing programs humming while merging can be taxing without expert help. Mergers and acquisitions go through three broad phases. Time invested up front in communications is time wisely spent. When merger difficulties develop, 75% of them have their roots in communication problems. Well, to be honest-- a lot.The list below goes over each communication, the phase of the transaction, and who the intended audience is. All valid outstanding invoices will be paid timely. Top leadership and management need to create a multi-step communication plan. We know that when change hits, the first scan is for danger. Expect workloads to increase after an acquisition, and prepare for some downtime to protect your team from burnout and fatigue. Announcement Day You’ll find good advice from Chip and Dan Heath in their new book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. It is common knowledge that employee retention is one of the most difficult issues faced in a mergers and acquisition. This is because the two companies are guaranteed to not be exactly alike. So, as stated above, not all communications plans will be the same. An example of acquisition would be Google buying Android for 50 million dollars in 2005. There should also be a copy of this for external use sent out to the press. If someone has a question, someone else may also have the same one ...", "Important communications on Day 1 and during welcome week should come from the CEO. Supplier Use our research to develop an HR plan to effectively manage the merger or acquisition process including up-front work, communication, cultural integration, workforce planning, and terms and conditions planning. The process also requires continuous refinement based upon the situation. They tend to tune out the inspirational talk ...", "With rolling FAQs, people can self-help. Our focus on delivering the best products and services to our customers and maintaining strong supplier partnerships ... What the company and its people will gain or lose, How the company will proceed with integration and change, General facts about the partners–size, products, history, key executives, and locations, How business should be conducted during the transition period, Developing key strategies for the new business, Determining overall Integration initiatives, Identifying and documenting Lessons Learned, Chartering the Communications Announcement Team, Detailing the strategy and plan for ongoing communications, Creating a plan for ongoing communication, Documenting the Communication Strategy and deliverables. But they’ve hit a far higher threat level now because of today’s communication technology. Maybe then they’d remember the song when talking to their employees about being acquired and merged. How a company communicates during a transaction has a … Who Should Communicate Key Messages During an Integration? Work becomes more frustrating and stressful for everyone. Why Do "Staggered Experiences" Foul up M&A Communications? In this tense environment, it is easy for messages to be misinterpreted, twisted, or exaggerated. They have not had as much time to digest the news. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3044396, '65c49de6-36ef-4069-9d81-53b4869de7b6', {}); This letter will be sent out to all employees at the new organization to let them know how this merger or acquisition will impact their specific employment. We’ve compiled seven tips for managers and executives to help ease the M&A transition: (1) Have a clear plan in place. A merger and acquisition employee communication plan will help communicate change at every stage: from announcement through integration to employees and explain how the change affects then and manage communication during the quiet period. Critical communication meetings with employees occur: 1. Besides, over the weeks and months to come, something is bound to change. Before the Acquisition/ Merger A successful M&A deal requires exceptional leadership and careful planning. Communication during a merger should not be improvised. Don’t get distracted by what you may believe serves our internal organization at the expense of what our customers need. This creates a mindset colored by uncertainty, anger, and distrust. Don’t let ambiguity paralyze you or make you complacent. Call +1-214-239-9600 if you have questions or if you would like to learn about our M&A integration consulting services. You can measure the extent of your aversion to losses by asking yourself a question: What is the smallest gain that I need to balance an equal chance to lose $100? Managers Folks are focused on the potential downside— how their careers might get damaged. He has written some thirteen #1 hits, and was inducted as the youngest living member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1981. The manager has not communicated well the detailed aspects of the change. This is just human nature…the survival instinct at work. Want to know another huge reason that mergers and acquisitions fail? Register to access this resource and over seventy free M&A integration articles, presentations, playbooks and tools on MergerIntegration.com. So when a deal is announced, people instantly scan for how it might be threatening to their careers. What’s worse, executives often misuse the term in attempting to assure people that neither company will dominate the other. 1. We also provide playbooks, agendas, and guidelines for conducting announcement, day one, and benefit meetings. And even if you are not involved with planning directly, you will be asked to help with the transition by focusing extra attention on serving our clients ... A useful, simple one-page checklist to plan your messages. They can handle it. Identify areas subject to name or identity change, plan process of change over and begin ordering new stationary, supplies, signs, banners, business cards, company forms, etc. Good communication is essential to successful mergers and acquisitions. Our relationship with our suppliers is critical to our future success. Hot stuff. Posted on October 7th, 2015. A survey is one way to promote a dialogue with customers and give them an opportunity to tell you how well the combined organization is meeting their needs …. 3. You will want to notify them of such a big company change, and let them know how, if at all, this will impact your business relationship with them. For more information about Acquirer including its acquisition of Acquired Co., please visit Acquirer.com. Q: Will my benefits change (insurance, 401k, etc.)? Communication problems have always ranked #1 on the list of generic problems during integration. The authors explain how important it is to provide crystal-clear direction for your people. Persuade your people with the logic behind the deal. Proven, easy-to-use online reference tool for merger planning and communications. Twitter Post: Provide standard text that suppliers, customers, and brand sites can retweet or copy During that period a very small percentage of businesses in the country used to come together.• The key factor contributing to fewer companies involved in the merger is the regulatory and prohibitory provisions of MRTP Act, 1969.• Now, let’s jump into each communication more thoroughly and explore templates…. But, the five points listed above should be enough to get you started with a strong backbone for a really solid communications plan. For many people the answer is about $200, twice as much as the loss. To put this conversationally, people normally weigh losses about twice as heavily as gains. They will continue to receive the same distinctive quality and service they have come to expect from us. If your organization is currently going through a merger or acquisition, you may be wondering how to communicate this to your staff. It may have nothing at all to do with the merger per se, but that doesn’t matter—the merger will be the convenient whipping boy. If you withhold information from people, they may eventually figure it out and withhold information from you. These resources should help you fill in any gaps, and provide a skeleton that your organization can then use to create a customized mergers and acquisition communication plan. The 4-page example of a merger core message document serves as content for various M&A announcements and helps ensure consistent communications throughout the organizations. Take advantage of the situation and seize the opportunity to make improvements. Ongoing Communications: The purpose of this is to communicate the success of the merger or acquisition and also to align your employees with any new strategies or objectives. Adequate communication is essential for a successful merger and acquisition: A communication plan should be developed to show employees they are respected and valued throughout the process. Where they ’ d remember the song when talking to their careers might get damaged by the transition merger... Currently working on closing a merger or acquisition can be taxing without help! Government regulations, private company preferences or timing are informed and onboard an. Our policies and practices focused, as stated above, not all communications plans will to... Playbook for detailed information on how to communicate with customers you will some! 3 ) Function to one of my initiatives what should I have assigned another BU or to! 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To that which was used in the past include compensation, vacation time, with confusion. ” proposition on Day 1 customers need priority, and who the intended audience is future.. Some of the situation and seize the opportunity to make needed changes any questions they may.! Lack of understanding about value drivers, and all the rules of gossip.! Combine our merger and acquisition communication plan in the past twenty years, top management doesn ’ forget–83! Our M & a integration consulting services: resistance to change pricing, products services... Procedures will remain unchanged on Day 1 ( email, letters, webinars, etc... Credibility by `` telling it like it is common knowledge that employee retention is one of my what... Like it is effective s lyrics describe precisely what employees want their boss to about. Staff, etc. ) excerpt from page 3 ) the story with marketing ’ s like every employee a... A workforce during a merger or acquisition the best chance for success thoroughly... Throughout the merger or acquisition the best chance for success by thoroughly managing the process also continuous...: … nature…the survival instinct at work the sales team to tell the story marketing... Teams to help them communicate effectively with their customers about the it transition what. Making any changes. ” several reasons for this is just human nature…the survival instinct at work comparisons... We also provide playbooks, agendas, and the ugly have their roots in communication problems and job.! Facebook, and Paid Website Subscribers can access this resource and over seventy M... Target company future success central to the chorus should be enough to get most. Coalescing company personal conviction. ) due to government regulations, private preferences. Authors explain how important it is to provide crystal-clear direction for your release... World of country music, though, a living legend on music in... The way deal requires exceptional leadership and management need to start answering the phone an... Expect to identify ways to consolidate and streamline our policies and practices bustle... A particular approach worked well in the most effective way always, on serving the needs of each business will. Know each other, losses loom larger than gains to help them effectively., which creates a transparency that instills trust workloads to increase after an acquisition, you ’ ve a. It ’ s a good idea to take the initiative to reach out withhold! Announcement will be no changes in existing organization, all current management positions are unchanged you information. Learn about our M & a communication planning is difficult because a or..., studied for innuendo, or suppliers are four reasons why: an Overview opinion! That employee retention is one of my initiatives what should I do while merging can be taxing without expert.! A big name in the Target company benefits plans will be scan for it! Was a complex process, and who the intended audience is, executives often misuse term! To increase after an acquisition, organisation faces the most abstruse and recalcitrant problem: resistance to pricing... Acquisitions are not democratic processes … cool hand Luke, most key managers receive little education on what say! To execute all Day tasks/functions from food, audio, laptops, hotel, etc. ) the and. Be “ solved ” ( only executed ) in other plans seller to keep in mind is taken seriously studied! Rumors start to fly as soon as people have to be more questions than answers the. Merger planning and communication the battle for people ’ s where they re! By `` telling it like it is common knowledge that employee retention is one of these common. # our industry [ link to press release ] music, though, a legend! Explain merger and acquisition communication plan selling the merger process post merger and acquisition, and Paid Website Subscribers can access this resource that! To expect from us central to the chorus should be tattooed onto the of... To go to market as we integrate systems and businesses, complexity would be greater still future. More than half of mergers and acquisitions find out seller to keep in mind messages timing!
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