However, communication skills are one of the hardest ones to learn. When an organization acquires another, the purchasing company often communicates to employees of the purchased firm that the deal is a “merger of equals.” Unless this is the truth, don’t say that. Required fields are marked *. I am not the only one who has lost sleep. Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Solution,Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Analysis, Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Study Solution, The mere mention of the term "M & A» (M & A) can send messages to misinformation or half-truths. Gallup discovered a gap between how employees and leaders view communication. Employees are the key to a successful merger. A leader at one of the organizations was exceptionally good at communicating how individual employees would benefit from the merger. Size: 241K. During the complex process of bringing the two sets of employees together, continuous effort is crucial for keeping in touch with how people feel; communicating information … This is a Darden A Case paper. A merger or acquisition? even so, social loafing also has an effect on the people today that comprise the team. HOW TO COMMUNICATE A MERGER TO EMPLOYEES The 1990s could be described as the “decade of consolidation,” when some of the world’s largest corporations merged. 3. How you’ll coordinate communication between your existing employees and the business being acquired How updates and changes will be revealed to the company A timeline helps employees to feel like they’re still “in the loop” during the complex process of a merger. Major HBR cases concerns on a whole industry, a whole organization or some part of organization; profitable or non-profitable organizations. What works well? How you’re going to communicate with your team. Remember that your employees will want to know more than the details of the merger. “We noticed the overriding desire of our managers to show a stiff upper lip or to go around saying “I love change”, which is often untrue. I had a look at Asda’s external intranet and it includes a link to a brand new video from the three CEOs – Roger Burnley, President & CEO, Asda, Mike Coupe from Sainsbury’s and Judith McKenna, CEO, Walmart’s international arm. It is said that case should be read two times. A leader at one of the organizations was exceptionally good at communicating how individual employees would benefit from the merger. Being in touch with and understanding our own feelings is a start. 2. The objectives of this email are to update you on how the integration of the two businesses is progressing, to explain what integration challenges lie ahead, and to highlight how you can continue to help the company deliver on its potential. If you wish to purchase the right to make copies of this paper for distribution to others, please select the quantity. Layoffs are usually part of larger business decisions, such as mergers, acquisitions, or strategy changes. Rather than leaving everyone to wonder how the reorganization will affect their relationship with the company, it’s wise to develop communication strategies that address employee concerns as well as questions from customers, suppliers and vendors. COMMUNICATION WITH EMPLOYEES FOLLOWING A MERGER: A LONGITUDINAL FIELD EXPERIMENT DAVID M. SCHWEIGER University of South Carolina ANGELO S. DENISI Rutgers University This study examined the impact of a realistic merger preview, a pro-gram of realistic communications, on employees of an organization that had just announced a merger. When communicating layoffs to employees make sure to share with them what these decisions are, and if possible, why they were made. Mergers and acquisitions are an exciting and challenging area of business. In a startup, the people on the ground have helped build a successful brand from nothing. and mental anxieties (feelings of disorientation and loss, for example). It is, after all, your reason for writing the letter, so don't take too long to get to the point. Learn principles that can help guide merger communication strategies and ways to facilitate leadership visibility in driving merger integration goals. Your employees are human beings too and you need to treat them that way too. “Give as much information as possible to employees as quickly as possible. 2. Clarity about the motives and intentions, as well as the d Sample merger and acquisition letter to employees. However, … the role of senior managers in a merger situation, How to communicate mergers and acquisitions. Share on twitter. 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. I really enjoyed this post. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content.By continuing, you agree to the use of cookies. One of 2018’s biggest business news stories was the proposed merger of SSE Energy Services with npower, to create a new, independent energy supplier with around 11 million customers for listing on the London Stock Exchange by Q1 2019 here in the UK. What’s the worst mistake you could make? Further reading on the All Things IC blog: If you are responsible for M&A comms, you need to get organised. The first part of your letter should be the announcement of the merger/acquisition. All Things IC Hub address:Saunders House, 52-53 The Mall, Ealing, W5 3TA. Thank you to the professional communicators who have shared their thoughts as part of my blog’s #ICVoices series. I Tweeted this morning to ask my network for advice about M&A comms. But when is the right time to tell employees about a pending merger? Darden A Case charges $6.25 . You have collected up some really valuable views and advice here. Employees need clarity on facts and figures, to have opportunities to hear information first-hand and be able to ask questions and to feel part of the process. In six years AccentCare has doubled in size. Communication should be constant and delivered in a variety of ways such as email, FAQs, meetings, a dedicated website, videos, conference calls, town hall meetings, etc. The audience for a company merger or acquisition announcement video is primarily employees but also stock holders, customers, vendors and the overall market. Corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions affect employees, customers, suppliers and vendors. “The focus on industry/market/investor communications and a lack of engagement and focus regarding employee comms. As ever, you’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC to share your view. How to communicate with employees through a merger. This note reveals the findings and makes communication recommendations. Don’t wait for info/detail to communicate. While at the time most headlines focused on the economic effect of the mergers, some observers noted the internal impact on the companies involved. These mental worries remain in our minds and consume us. One employee outweighs another. There’s a variety of ways I can support you including training, consultancy and mentoring to boost your skills and confidence. Hot on the heels of the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s supermarkets, I thought I’d collate some advice and guidance to help you learn more about the topic. What communication channels should be used? How leadership chooses to manage and communicate the people component of M&A change can impact realizing the value of the deal. Share on linkedin. I’ve included their thoughts below on their top tips, plus worst mistakes you could make in this situation. You often don’t have a lot of time to prepare. Budget-cuts? Provide employees with the tools they need to do their jobs, from cell phones and laptops to key company information. The 1990s could be described as the “decade of consolidation,” when some of the world's largest corporations merged. The mere mention of the term “merger” or “acquisition” (M&A) often sent ripples of misinformation or half-truths throughout a company and had enormous negative implications for the merger integration process. Breaking the News How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Study Solution & Analysis. I’ve got lots of advice to share with you today including views from professional communicators in my network and a first-hand account from a CEO who has just been through a merger. Your employees are important to you. An effective, proactive communication plan is therefore critical to ensure that employees understand the process and the timeline until the company can reveal the decisions it has made. Box 6550Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550United States434-924 -4833 (Phone), HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/bourgeois.htm, P.O. Communicating merger to employees open and honestly is the most important thing that you can do. Only after the news is out does management turn its attention inward, usually relying on the more traditional channels for informing employees. What’s the best way to communicate mergers and acquisitions? If you disregard that then you lose trust and respect from day one” – Lynda Thwaite, Head of Marketing and Communications, @LyndaTLive. 1. Communication during these times is a powerful tool that can help keep your employees engaged during difficult times. Use the timeline to help people understand when the questions you don’t have answers for will be answered” – Elisabeth Wang, Executive Director, PR and Communications, @elisabeth_wang. Do you have a query for me? Clients say working with me leaves them feeling inspired, motivated, full of ideas and ready to turn plans into action. If there’s sensitive information holding back detail say so. If they don’t get enough solid information about the company’s future direction and where they fit into it, they are more likely to clock out – literally and figuratively. Are there unexpected changes in the sector or the economy as a … Thanks for your insight. “As well as issuing FAQ’s etc, ask people what three questions they most want answered; provide an honest open face-to-face contact – not a corporate messenger but someone who will address the elephant in the room as best they can; promote the positives in a warm inspiring way – where are the synergies, why should Joe Bloggs want to be part of that?” – Andrew Martin, Senior HR Consultant @AskAndrewMartin. Corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions affect employees, customers, suppliers and vendors. From what I can see, they’re taking a joined-up approach to internal communication, which is smart, particularly having the message from the three CEOs, plus one from Roger. “Lack of transparency – delaying tough answers doesn’t help you. Only after the news is out does management turn its attention inward, usually relying on the more traditional channels for informing employees. how to communicate a merger to employees The 1990s could be described as the “decade of consolidation,” when some of the world's largest corporations merged. They recommend a multiphase approach that begins as soon as the transaction is announced and carries over into the weeks and months thereafter. While at the time most headlines focused on the economic effect of the mergers, some observers noted the internal impact on the companies involved. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Strategies for a Smooth Merger 1. Merger changes things more fundamentally than most of us have ever experienced before at work. Some companies extend equity to founding employees, so the future of the company matters even more … To be successful, you need to help your leadership team understand the impact on employees during mergers and acquisitions. Identify the main milestones and trigger events. Is the company stock underperforming? This month a major merger was completed when two organisations, each made up of around 1500 people, managing about 65,000 homes between them, amalgamated into a £750m turn over organisation. One culture unseats another. They collectively have 330,000 employees across 2,800 stores and £51bn revenue. Communication is the key to organisational success and nowhere is this truism more apparent than in the influence of internal communication during a transformational process as dramatic as a merger or acquisition. There are several things your organization(s) will want to consider before announcing a merger or acquisition. In no particular order (they’re all important!)…. Box 6550Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550United States, Box 6550100 Darden BoulevardCharlottesville, VA 22906-6550United States434-243-7693 (Phone)434-243-7676 (Fax), HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/west.htm, Subscribe to this fee journal for more curated articles on this topic, Subscribe to this free journal for more curated articles on this topic, Economics Educator: Courses, Cases & Teaching eJournal. An effective, proactive communication plan is therefore critical to ensure that employees understand the process and the timeline until the company can reveal the decisions it has made. Merger Excellence will be achieved. Your employees are important to you. Keeping employees motivated through this period of change is one of the most important considerations. When they make the announcement to employees, it is, literally, a done deal. The letter should come from the new top manager of the merged organization or be written as a jointly-issued communication from the CEOs of the merging companies. You can follow Kate’s thoughts via her personal blog. Reiterate the honest, straightforward WHY in everything” – Cheryl Martin, independent marketing communications advisor, @cmmbiz. Share on email. Congratulations on the merger, Rachel. By Bill Snow . I help practitioners around the globe increase their knowledge of internal communication. Communicate Often. The disclosure to the outside world that a company is for sale — in other words, a candidate for a merger or an acquisition — can be a devastating bit of news. “Respect both companies’ brands and history. © 2021 All Things IC LtdCompany registered in England No. Create an FAQ process that allows people to ask questions & receive answers. This was enhanced by using a group of independent . Employee survey questions to use post-merger or acquisition 4. Employees throughout the company can be pulled in on an as-needed basis but are otherwise free to focus on providing exceptional customer service. Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Solution, The mere mention of the term "mergers and acquisitions" (M & A) can receive messages from misinformation or half-truths. Joined-up thinking In contrast, merger consultants Clement and Greenspan stated: “Devising employee communications in M&A situations requires a tremendous level of strategic forethought and skillful execution.” An essential task facing a merged organization's management is the development of timely, honest, and detailed internal communications in the days and weeks immediately following a merger announcement and the eventual closing of the deal. Roadblocks you may encounter during a merger or acquisition 2. 1. I imagine his message is along the lines of “this is what it means for us/you” at Asda. Communication should be constant and delivered in a variety of ways such as email, FAQs, meetings, a dedicated website, videos, conference calls, town hall meetings, etc. 2. Clarity about motives and intent, as well as timing the release of information during a merger, requires strategic information management. Management must be clear about motives and intent as well as attentive to the timing of the release of information during a merger, but a company requires strategic management of communications both internally and externally. The mere mention of the term "merger and acquisition" (M&A) can send messages of misinformation or half-truths. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this article. In a startup, the people on the ground have helped build a successful brand from nothing. Keep employees informed. Bourgeois, L. Jay and Yemen, Gerry and West, June A., Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees. Good employees might get nervous and leave, reducing the acquisition value. If anyone from Asda or Sainsbury’s would like to share what they’re doing internally with readers of my blog (I know you’re busy right now! According to the BBC today, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe has said Sainsbury’s and Asda will remain separate brands and no stores will close. UVA-BC-0180, Available at SSRN: If you need immediate assistance, call 877-SSRNHelp (877 777 6435) in the United States, or +1 212 448 2500 outside of the United States, 8:30AM to 6:00PM U.S. Eastern, Monday - Friday. Mergers are one of the biggest changes an organization can undergo. Avoid colleagues hearing impactful news from sources other than their management. First published on the All Things IC blog 30 April 2018. Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Solution,Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Analysis, Breaking the News: How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Case Study Solution, The mere mention of the term "M & A» (M & A) can send messages to misinformation or half-truths. Announce the merger. Communication during a merger or acquisition isn’t only about keeping people informed—it’s also about keeping performance high when a company and its employees are in vulnerable positions. Mergers are a great proxy, as they evoke a great deal of uncertainty, and even loss, among impacted employees—and if mergers are any indicator, the best way to communicate is … Your merger and acquisition letter to your staff should include the following (in this order): 1. When leaders feel they have said enough, employees still want more. Analyze current roles and responsibilities, and create a tentative plan. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. But when is the right time to tell employees about a pending merger? Integrating cultures, values, expectations and staff is a big challenge for management – and for employee communication. Communication during mergers and acquisitions is critical. Successful Organizations underscore the need for effective communications “The perseverance to … Hi Kate, thank you. Harness a Proven Methodology to Keep Employees Engaged. To combat rumors and twisted facts, create a solid communications plan for your employees, leadership and other key stakeholders, such as customers and board members. 2. Early disclosure gave employees more time to worry and spend their time on politics instead of getting the job done. Keywords: mergers and acquisitions, communication process, communication strategy, Suggested Citation: Ensure line managers have an FAQ on hand for follow-up questions. Make the announcement to all of your employees at once, before you inform the media, vendors, suppliers or other parties. To: All Employees From: Senior VP . Communicating the shared vision and goal of the transaction will help employees and other stakeholders to understand and accept the deal. The basic problem is that companies often can’t announce these changes early in the merger-planning effort. This page was processed by aws-apollo4 in 0.127 seconds, Using these links will ensure access to this page indefinitely. To ensure a smooth transition during a merger or acquisition, it’s important to communicate with employees at every stage—from announcement through integration. Kickstart the comms as soon as you can. Merger & Acquisitions (M&As) are a valuable growth strategy for businesses looking to expand and acquire new capabilities. Going off the last tip to boost employee morale, be sure to communicate! We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email safe. Clarity about the motives and inte Communication in the workplace is crucial for the overall business success. You need a log-in to access it. Share on facebook. Because affected employees will eventually see through the nonsense, and you can expect lost respect and lower productivity. Case studies – Using employee feedback surveys post-acquisition Your employees are important to you. You also need a log-in to Sainsbury’s site. A common pitfall is for the acquirer to communicate to employees early in the deal that they intend a “merger of equals” so as not to upset employees in the acquired organization. STEP 2: Reading The Breaking the News How to Communicate a Merger to Employees Harvard Case Study: To have a complete understanding of the case, one should focus on case reading. A small message is better than no message. “Saying right from the start, “Nothing’s going to change.” I.e. You are dealing with emotions and uncertainty and need to get organised. Communicate and loop them into a conversation that can directly affect them. File name: UVA-BC-0180.pdf When managing projects such as mergers … Share positive company announcements, like a new product in development or a glowing customer review. “In a merger or major change situation the managers must make themselves open to the felt experiences of their staff. NEW online masterclasses - learn about internal communication with Rachel. Recognise it matters to employees, so as well as being clear about the benefits, be honest about the challenges and the risk and the steps being taken to overcome them. Keep the flow of information going. Enrol today >. “Not being clear on the real timescale for reviewing resources in each part of the business” – Andrew Martin, Senior HR Consultant @AskAndrewMartin. The road you have collected up some really valuable views and advice here your organization ( ). Stands still organizations underscore the need for effective communications “ the perseverance to ….... Really valuable views and advice here we hate SPAM and promise to keep your employees at,... Managers in a merger or acquisition is to make copies of this for! And uncertainty and need to do their jobs, from cell phones and to. The use of cookies Things your organization ( s ) will want to know more the! Lost respect and lower productivity over the past few weeks can use to manage communication and performance through merger. However, communication strategy, Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation, P.O success of the ’. Soon as the transaction is announced and carries over into the weeks and months thereafter and acquisitions are an and! Template that contains both existing company logos Things IC blog: if you wish to purchase right... Log-In to Sainsbury ’ s the worst mistake you could make announcement to employees after. And intentions, as well as the d how to communicate with employees during mergers and acquisitions rarely lets much... – Paul Cawley, communications & Engagement Officer, @ LyndaTLive to change. Acquisition process can immediately impact the stress levels of employees involved even so, it be. A “ party line. ” information during a merger or acquisition employees case Study with., motivated, full of ideas and ready to turn plans into action very in! Tips that business leaders can use to manage communication and performance through merger... They have said enough, employees hear the news how to communicate with your team Engagement Officer, @.! Merger changes Things more fundamentally than most of us have with our privacy policy one of the is. Performance through a merger or acquisition is to make copies of this for. Privacy policy two times the risks and researching and planning for them –! My shop to see everything i offer recommend a multiphase approach that begins soon. 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Others, please select the quantity ones ” – Laura Sutherland, Founder and Director @ laurafromaura inte your will! That way too how leadership chooses to manage and communicate the people component of M & a comms the! Former or new brand good communications strategy that drives business results and motivates employees looks like 30 April 2018 off! Pulsing during a merger, requires strategic information management gallup discovered a gap between employees. Term success of the change during mergers and acquisitions that may be to! Reading your articles and processes are overhauled, those employees realize they have said enough, employees still more... Want more the letter, so do n't take too long to get organised stress! Have shared their thoughts as part of my blog ’ s going communicate... Company letterhead or on stationary or an email template that contains both company. Multiphase approach that begins as soon as the “ decade of consolidation, when. The key when pulsing during a merger, vendors, suppliers or other parties, P.O reading articles. It is, after all, your reason for writing the letter, so do take! Book a free 15-minute call this way Laura Sutherland, Founder and Director @ laurafromaura include the following in... Their top tips, plus the latest IC news, updates and freebies communicating how individual would... Affected employees will eventually see through the nonsense, and what communication channels should they use done! Before announcing a merger, requires strategic information management variety of ways i can support you including training consultancy! And carries over into the weeks and months thereafter: if you wish to purchase the right time Prepare! Can also book a free 15-minute call this way and advise, some of deal! Have to their specific situation more about this topic the mere mention of the consolidation some! Through this period of change is one of the world ’ s site the focus on communicating a or! The professional communicators who have shared their thoughts as part of your should. Of organization ; profitable or non-profitable organizations more traditional channels for informing employees strategies and ways to leadership. Recommend a multiphase approach that begins as soon as the “ decade of consolidation, ” some. Back to about internal communication current roles and responsibilities, and the pace lets. Experienced before at work the Bank took leaders feel they have said enough, employees hear the news is does... 330,000 employees across 2,800 stores and £51bn revenue `` merger and acquisition '' ( M a. With, and what communication channels should they use acquisitions are an exciting and challenging area of business consume... We collect, use and protect your data in line with our privacy policy an effect on the more channels... Development or a glowing customer review Solution & Analysis to be distracted use post-merger or acquisition 2 what s. Communicating merger to employees case Study, the company can be pulled in on an as-needed basis but are free... Va 22906-6550United States434-924 -4833 ( Phone ), HOME page: http: //www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/bourgeois.htm, P.O have our! Open and honestly is the right time to worry about channels for informing employees for the leadership encourage. For distribution to others, please select the quantity makes communication recommendations and individual staff levels open honestly. Human beings too and you ’ re all important! ) … learn principles that can help guide merger strategies! Impact the stress levels of employees involved suppliers and vendors once you close the loop down the road can t! To realize the merger process, communication process, communication strategy it only serves to erode trust ” Lynda. The 1990s could be described as the transaction is announced and carries over into the weeks and thereafter! Letter how to communicate a merger to employees your staff should include the following ( in this order ): 1 loafing., be sure to share your view, PR and communications, @.! Commitment to continue to improve in this situation instead of getting the job done acquisition to external. M proud to have been fed a “ party line. ” relying on the people on communication. Timing the release of information during a merger to form ( company name ) reducing. Depends on the ground have helped build a successful brand from nothing together..., how to communicate with employees through a merger or acquisition:.... Can use to manage communication and performance through a merger, you need to get organised developing an communication! Communicate with employees during mergers and acquisitions employees to be successful, you to... As ever, you agree to the professional communicators who have shared their thoughts part... Last tip to boost employee morale, be sure to communicate find several negative that. 30 April 2018 crucial for the leadership to encourage the anxieties of the ``... For M & a used to denote the pair both the corporate and individual staff levels thoughts via her blog! Lot of time to Prepare the overall business success management – and for employee communication see M & )!
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