By anticipating their concerns in advance, you’ll be better prepared to address them. If I have assigned another BU or Function to one of my initiatives what should I do? Frequent, consistent, transparent, honest and efficient communication before, during and after a merger or acquisition is incredibly important if a company plans to complete a large scale transaction and accommodate the resulting organizational changes effectively. This was a complex process, requiring the sales team to tell the story with marketing’s support. Bobby is the only living songwriter who’s had at least one song reach the top of Billboard’s country chart in every decade for five decades running. 1. If you’re announcing a merger, don’t forget that you’re dealing with adults. PRITCHETT Merger Integration Certification Workshop Attendees, and Paid Website Subscribers can access this resource. When directly compared or weighted against each other, losses loom larger than gains. Oftentimes, senior leadership is so focused on the technical aspects of the deal that they forget the communications side. The communication role needs to begin during the preliminary stages to set the scene. It’s official! These transactions can be as transformational as an IPO — more so, in some cases. Don’t assume the new moves are obvious.” It’s not good enough to ask your team to “adapt to change” or “support the merger.”  Say specifically what you want them to …. Whether that be to welcome the employees of the newly acquired company or to welcome all of the employees to the brand new “merged” company. An example of acquisition would be Google buying Android for 50 million dollars in 2005. Therefore, these sessions should be planned carefully. Help people understand the volatility of the situation. To put this conversationally, people normally weigh losses about twice as heavily as gains. What touch-points should I have in my communication plan? Employees decode it to mean that both companies will be treated as equals so far as integration decisions are concerned. While a merger happens when two companies combine together to form one company, acquisitions happen when one company is taken over by another company. Persuade your people with the logic behind the deal. People want to hear from their leader. 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. In this tense environment, it is easy for messages to be misinterpreted, twisted, or exaggerated. Get to know your new work colleagues. Q: Do I need to start answering the phone as an Acquirer employee? 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. Just because a comment from an executive is well-intentioned doesn’t mean that it is effective. Build a communication plan. The most important thing we can tell our customers is that nothing changes immediately. Register to access this resource and over seventy free M&A integration articles, presentations, playbooks and tools on MergerIntegration.com. 3. For many people the answer is about $200, twice as much as the loss. Be tolerant of cultural differences. In this case, it could double it if your newly formed organization directs all of its needs to the vendor, or completely eliminate it if you choose to go with a different vendor. 83% of all acquisitions fail, according to a study by Hewitt Associates. Don’t let ambiguity paralyze you or make you complacent. Every day brings new developments. After Close–Benefits Briefing. Time invested up front in communications is time wisely spent. Protect your credibility by "telling it like it is," no matter how painful "it" may be. Plus, our presentations and articles (more than twenty) explain M&A communication planning best practices. Until these “me issues” are resolved, people are …. If a customer asks a question that is not included in these materials, it is likely something we cannot answer at this time. He has written some thirteen #1 hits, and was inducted as the youngest living member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1981. Q: Will my benefits change (insurance, 401k, etc.)? A: No, you will continue with conducting business as usual and answering the phone as Target Company. For your internal employees, the information should be very similar to that of the initial announcement, but with more information about the actual closing. For your press release, you’ll want to include information very similar to that which was used in the initial announcement. 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? 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. For the time being, please continue to work with us as you have in the past. 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. Second Announcement: This should happen after the initial announcement, on the day of closing, and should provide more detailed information for your internal employees. They prefer truth over dubious promises. to execute ALL day tasks/functions from food, audio, laptops, hotel, etc. Practically everything they communicate is taken seriously, studied for innuendo, or held up to the light for subtle implications. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3044396, '864e2ad8-52d7-4970-ae42-bb36a9be967d', {}); Even though your communication plan will be different from plans that other organizations create, it will still be as equally important to the success of the M&A transaction. Branding: Develop and execute plan depending on brand decisions – depending on scope, may need to be integrated, standardized (with graphic standards) and communicated broadly internally and externally. Want to know another huge reason that mergers and acquisitions fail? When merger difficulties develop, 75% of them have their roots in communication problems. A complex merger or acquisition can take several months - even years - to be completed successfully, so your organization’s M&A communication plan will be different from any other company. When should I tell my entire workforce? 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. Communications on operational matters ...". Maintain the very highest ethical standards and remain focused, as always, on serving the needs of our customers. 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. But all communications plans will have similar things in them…. The document makes the job of sharing accurate, timely, consistent information with employees much easier. But the words to the chorus should be tattooed onto the brain of executives. If you withhold information from people, they may eventually figure it out and withhold information from you. It’s an awkward time, with more confusion, communication problems and job stress. 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. Information Technology: Day 1 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. As we make business decisions over time, we’ll work closely with our employees, customers and suppliers to ensure smooth transitions. Work with Human Resources and Communications counterpart to develop key HR strategies for the communications group ... Our mission is to create a great place to work for our team members, great products and partnerships with our customers and suppliers across the markets we serve, and a great business that supports local economies. It also detailed all deliverables, listing the audiences, the owners, the deadlines, the required preparation times, the content-approval processes, and the interdependencies. Besides, over the weeks and months to come, something is bound to change. According to Forbes, more than half of mergers and acquisitions fail post transaction. The truth is a moving target, and often dead on arrival. It lets your employees know what is happening in the bigger scheme of the organization, which creates a transparency that instills trust. Acquired Co. has recently become part of the Acquirer Group. The CEO must actively promote the benefits and necessity of information sharing. This is high drama. M&A Integration Planning Software (Includes 20 steps, 107 tasks, and 45 tools), Objective: Creating a blueprint for the integration, M&A Communication Planning Software (Includes 15 steps, 55 tasks, and 39 tools), Objective: Developing a consistent process for communicating. Take advantage of the situation and seize the opportunity to make improvements. And our eMerger software offers step-by-step instruction on how to develop an integration communication plan. Actually, the term “merger of equals” is a technical term used in M&A to indicate, for example, that the deal qualifies for a specific tax treatment. Save yourself weeks of painstaking research and organizational assessment by using our Acquisition Project Plan Template. You can assure our customers that we will not miss a beat in delivering on our commitments. 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. As with any merger or acquisition, we know there will be some job changes and some overlap that will result in job eliminations. Here’s the 4-step sequence that works best: 1. The ‘loss aversion ratio’ has been estimated in several experiments and is usually in the range of 1.5 to 2.5. Our commitment to you is that we will outline a high-level process and timeline for finalizing the organizational structure within the next 30 days that will help people know what to expect ... Sixteen page document that includes answers to seventy-five employee FAQs, plus communication guidelines, and important talking points and messages. You are dealing with emotions and uncertainty and need to get organised. What should I say? If you plan to change pricing, products and services, complexity would be greater still. Communication should be relevant and meaningful. Save yourself weeks of painstaking research and organizational assessment by using our Acquisition Project Plan Template. There are no changes today; however, if there are changes as we work to integrate the two companies, we will inform you as quickly as possible. Our relationship with our suppliers is critical to our future success. Here are ten reasons why: An integration initially produces more problems than solutions. These meetings are prime opportunities to inform people, engage them in the transition process, and answer any questions they may have. I’m betting the boss mismanages expectations by making at least one of these five common but wrong-headed remarks. Having a welcome letter is a great way to start an open dialogue of honesty and transparency with new employees, as well as to create an inviting culture that will hopefully assist with retention issues. Posted on October 7th, 2015. There are several reasons for this, including lack of knowledge about valuation, lack of understanding about value drivers, and cultural misfits. Work becomes more frustrating and stressful for everyone. Here are four reasons why you should control the flow of information and develop a thorough employee communications plan before a merger or acquisition. Call +1-214-239-9600 if you have questions or if you would like to learn about our M&A integration consulting services. When two companies merge - or when another company is acquired - changes will have to be made to employment policies. How can you counter this business slowdown? Everybody has an opinion, and all the rules of gossip prevail. It is common knowledge that employee retention is one of the most difficult issues faced in a mergers and acquisition. I’d bet a lot of money you’ve never heard of a guy named Robert Valentine Braddock. All valid outstanding invoices will be paid timely. This is just human nature…the survival instinct at work. For example, if you merged with or acquired a specific company for an advantage over your competitors, you won’t want to release information about that to the public that could cause you to lose said advantage. A clear and thoughtful communication plan can go a long way in easing concerns, distrust and resistance as employees are challenged to go from the known to the unknown. ), 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. Hot stuff. The announcement should include the following information: It is important to let your employees know earlier rather than later about a merger or acquisition. Use the below matrix to plan your messages. Communication during a merger should not be improvised. Chances are they may have experienced some turbulence caused by the transition. Fight the urge to sugarcoat the story—give people the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you need more clarity or direction, ask your manager or supervisor. There is little opportunity for them to make an insignificant remark. For example, in my second acquisition, we created a new umbrella brand, making sub-brands of the original company I had founded along with the two I acquired. Will I lose my job? 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. It’s up to the seller to keep the lines of communication open. They end up causing productivity and morale declines and—eventually—profitability problems. Folks are focused on the potential downside— how their careers might get damaged. Just the same, it looks bad. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3044396, 'ec9ce763-9304-498f-b5a3-b872c5b8ddce', {}); The second announcement will be twofold in that you will be letting your internal employees and investors know that the deal has closed, and you will be alerting the general public (through the press) about the deal. What’s worse, executives often misuse the term in attempting to assure people that neither company will dominate the other. The truth is a moving target, and often dead on arrival. 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. Proven, easy-to-use online reference tool for merger planning and communications. Why wouldn’t you? After you deliver the messages, answer the last two questions to help with future communications. The grumbling gets louder, and the merger loses steam. So you should use this window of opportunity to make needed changes. Take the initiative to reach out and introduce yourself. During merger and acquisition, organisation faces the most abstruse and recalcitrant problem: resistance to change. Many of you will be asked to help with this planning task personally. 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 …. Answers to 13 Supplier Frequently Asked Questions Give your merger or acquisition the best chance for success by thoroughly managing the process from due diligence well into the first year post-deal. The next time you see or read about a top executive announcing a merger/acquisition, pay close attention. Put our customers and the business first. Easily customized Word document that includes answers to FAQs, sample letters to customers, and critical talking points and messages. 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. (Sell the rationale for the merger, using compelling facts and personal conviction.) Build and present the Peer-to-Peer Matrix for Target Co. employees, Define all stakeholders (Presenters, audience, support staff, etc. Country artist Toby Keith recorded the biggest hit of his career with the Braddock song that I want you to keep in mind. Too often the communication starts too late and doesn’t deal sufficiently with the post-merger integration issues. History• The concept of merger and acquisition in India was not popular until the year 1988. 5 Things You Should Never Say in Announcing the Deal, Top 10 Reasons Why More Employee Communication Is Necessary When Merging Companies, Make A Sales Pitch For The Deal And Point Out The Warning Label, The 15 Most Common M&A Integration Communications Mistakes, Sample Letter: Employee Communication During M&A, Noise: The Communication Crisis in Corporate America, Ignore Social Media at Your Own Peril During Merger Integration, Day 1 M&A Playbook: Customer Communications - $1.6 Billion Acquisition, Customer Communications M&A Integration Playbook - $2 Billion Acquisition, Employee Communications M&A Integration Playbook - $3 Billion Acquisition, Day 1 Employee Communications M&A Playbook - $1.6 Billion Acquisition. The communication plan supporting the acquisition was tailored to the identified audience and was segmented by customers and partners types: customers, partners, system integrators, OEMs, distributors, JVs, supply chain partners. All current contracts remain in force and will be honored. 2. In executives’ defense, the symptoms of this breakdown are subtle and indirect, because communication problems never remain just communication problems. Continue to be patient and understanding as we push through some of the tough integration challenges related to the core parts of our business. Twitter Post: Provide standard text that suppliers, customers, and brand sites can retweet or copy The deal will create numerous questions in the minds of stakeholders. Does the message cover all pertinent issues regarding the topic ... FTC gives indication that clearance is likely, Confirm all final communication documents are uploaded to SmartSheet. Yet, most key managers receive little education on what to say, and just as importantly, what not to say. Top leadership and management need to create a multi-step communication 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. Most people’s jobs won’t change, but others may end up with new or different responsibilities, or may report to someone new. We expect some reductions may happen within the first 90 days, and others may take longer as we integrate systems and businesses. What is going to change? 3. Are there any mandatory time parameters I should use for organizational structuring initiatives? They want it. ), 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. As people have to break their familiar routines, performance weakens. Our commitment is to make decisions and come to conclusions on a comprehensive integration plan by [month, year]. Don’t get distracted by what you may believe serves our internal organization at the expense of what our customers need. 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. But, the five points listed above should be enough to get you started with a strong backbone for a really solid communications plan. We will act with purpose, focus and transparency to integrate our two companies working closely with our stakeholders every step of the way. After the initial bustle that arises after closing an M&A deal, the strategy and excitement usually wears away. He’s a big name in the world of country music, though, a living legend on Music Row in Nashville. Upon announcement, let employees clearly know: If known, information can also be communicated regarding: …. Goals, impacts, and new objectives of this transaction, Information on the specific business being merged or acquired (What do they do? You’ll be talking into a headwind of skepticism, and a Pollyanna pitch is just going to stoke the fires of employee distrust. Pre-Close Briefing to M&A Integration Teams, Answers to FAQs from Integration Planning Teams, Example of Completed M&A Core Message Document and Core Message Template, Day -3 Through Day 1 M&A Communications Plan, Stakeholder Analysis Template for a Post Merger Integration, Communications M&A Integration Playbook - $220 Million Acquisition, Day 1 M&A Playbook: Supplier Communications - $1.6 Billion Acquisition, Communications Playbook for Media, Social Media, and Websites - $760 Million Acquisition, Supplier Communications M&A Integration Playbook - $3 Billion Acquisition, When and What to Communicate to Employees in a Merger and Acquisition, Employee Meetings: Announcement, Day One, and Post-Close, M&A Insights Drawn from a Nobel Prize Winning Psychologist, Sugar-Coated Merger Announcements Leave a Sour Aftertaste, Post Acquisition: Customer Survey and Letter. Month, year ] webinars, voicemail etc. ) information, people are for... 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