Jamie Walsh from Lookers looks at the acquisitions and how transition a business’s existing staff into your company culture.
If your business is in the process of an acquisition, it’s a brilliant time for you and your team. While it’s important to celebrate your success, it’s also no time to rest on your laurels. If you don’t handle it properly, merging with another corporation can cause countless issues within your organisation. However, if you lay the right groundwork early on, an acquisition is sure to propel you to bigger and better things.
In this article, I’ll explain how you can get one of the most important elements of a merger right — transitioning the business’s existing staff into your company culture. Do this well and you’re setting yourself up for the best possible chance of success.
So, read on to find out my top tips for helping your new staff hit the ground running after an acquisition.
See things from their point of viewIf you want your new employees to hit the ground running, it’s important that you see things from their point of view. By communicating with your new staff in terms of what’s important to them, they’re sure to find the transition as easy as possible.
According to a survey of over 2,000 people by E.ON, starting a new job was ranked joint-second on the list of life’s most stressful events. For the employees of the business you’ve acquired, being made redundant and having to go through the ordeal of finding and starting a new job is a very real possibility, and you can’t expect them to give you their best work until these fears have been put to bed.
If you are planning on making redundancies, make them quickly instead of leaving your workforce to speculate. Remember that the people you’re letting go are friends of the staff you’re hoping will progress your business to the next level, so it’s important that you’re as transparent as you can be at this stage. Explain to the remaining employees why the redundancies were made, and take the time to answer any questions they might have honestly and openly. This will get you off on the best footing possible with your staff during a difficult time.
Don’t overhaul everything overnightThe staff of the business you’re merging with might be used to years of stability and very little change, and it’s important that you keep this in mind as you forge ahead with the changes you want to make to the business. Instead of overhauling the entire way they work overnight to a one-size-fits-all system, it’s a better idea to work with them over a period of months to develop processes that work in tandem with the systems your business already uses.
To make the transition to a new way of doing things as easy as possible, it’s wise to brief the existing senior managers on what you’re trying to achieve and have them convey the message to their team. This continuity will help the staff become accustomed to the changes you’re bringing in, as well as making it more likely that they’ll bring up important questions about the new way you’re doing things.
CommunicateThe most important thing to keep in mind when you acquire a business is the importance of communication. If you get this right, the rest is sure to fall into place.
You’re not going to get the best work out of the staff you’ve acquired if they are being told to make changes to the way they work, their colleagues are being made redundant, and they’re unsure how secure their own future is. Clear and honest communication will go a long way to prevent speculation and alleviate their fears, so make this your main aim whenever you acquire a business.
Keep these three principles in mind when you acquire a business and your new employees are sure to hit the ground running. This will set you up for the best possible chance of success long into the future.
Jamie Walsh, in the Recruitment Manager at Lookers