Leadership during a merger or acquisition is a highly visible and challenging task. You must continue to address the day-to-day needs of your organization while at the same time working toward a bigger, more long-range plan.
How do you keep your company moving forward in this turbulent environment? Use these strategies to help your team increase the probability of delivering growth, capturing newfound synergies and retaining top talent.
Keep communication lines open.
How you communicate during this transition is key to realizing the value of the deal. You need every employee on board. They are your foot soldiers in implementing change.
Provide opportunities for team members to voice their concerns without fear. Address these issues in forums including town hall meetings, so employees know their voices are being heard. Act on all feasible suggestions. This is key not only for the sake of improvement, but also to maintain your credibility and the strength of your internal communication program.
Develop a team of influencers.
Your employees’ most credible source of information is their peers. Build a team of influencers – reliable employees who are natural leaders among their peers and can be your eyes and ears as they help share key messages.
Meet with this group formally and informally. This will enable you to keep an eye on your changing organization. Ask them what they’re hearing, and share your updates and viewpoints with them. Make time to address concerns at an early stage so you can quell rumors and clarify and propagate the facts.
Empower your managers.
A cohesive management team that will help capture value and foster collaboration is essential. The end goal is a positive new experience for both employees and external customers.
Within a climate of change, hard decisions must be made. Determining who gets what information when – and how – is essential. Train, support and task your managers to set up their own communication meetings. These should include one-on-one sessions to clarify roles and processes.
Equip your employees with the tools they need.
The sooner you can integrate tools and processes at a systems level, the better. This means equipping everyone to make this happen.
Ensure that everyone has access to shared resources. This includes public folders, a single corporate intranet, and phone and email lists.
Provide necessary tools on day one. Include cell phones, laptops and any new company information that is essential to performance. Get your HR, IT and other support teams working on this in advance so they implement this efficiently.
As you blend diverse teams, find ways to harness the best of their cultures to maximize value creation. Celebrate the victories, using your influencer group to bring successes to your attention.
Understand and respect the best aspects of different cultures. This can be one of your most powerful steps to a successful merger or acquisition. At the same time, expect some discomfort. Really tough calls have to be made – so be prepared and keep your eye on the prize.
Partner with the executive recruitment experts at BrainWorks as you effectively manage your team through the highs and lows of a major restructure. Read our related posts or contact us today to set up a consultation.