Many enterprises will, at some point in their timeline, undertake merger or acquisition activities. The rewards of an intelligent, well-executed merger or acquisition can be immense for all parties involved. By necessity, much of the groundwork is done under a cloak of non-disclosure. However, once the decision has been made to progress, and the necessary announcements are made, the biggest challenge to the success, or otherwise, of the activity begins in earnest. Instantly, awareness of the plans expands from dozens of employees to potentially thousands spread across both organisations. Each one a human. Each one with a different viewpoint and a different set of concerns. Each one, in their own way, critical to making a success of what was until just now, an agreement and a set of plans. Now it is a significant issue in all their lives and how they are engaged by the senior management steering the project will have a major impact on the likelihood of success.
Research shows that uncertainty and feelings of vulnerability can impact employees located at both ends of the existing engagement scale. Those who have been highly engaged can start to lose that connection whilst those who weren’t that engaged in the first instance can drift even further into complete dislocation and drag others down with them.
During these times, employee engagement is absolutely vital. Employees from both sides need to be convinced that, despite the inevitable degree of uncertainty, there will be bigger and better opportunities within the new structure. To achieve this, they need to understand the rationale behind the merger or acquisition. Without a clear narrative they will begin to create their own and, in the absence of a convincing alternative, this alt truth will start to take hold as fact.
The potential downsides of employees disengaging are manifold and alarming in equal measure. Good employees are lost to competitors who use the uncertainty to further unsettle them. Productivity takes a dive as motivation is whittled away by persistent and pernicious water cooler gossip. New hires are deterred by negative feedback on the situation. Worse still, customers are spooked by the uncertainty and disgruntlement emanating from existing contacts.
Adding to this mix is the challenge of how to get the required messages across to the swathes of employees in both organisations who are non-desked workers. Many of these will be without a corporate email account or access to the Intranet.
How does senior management convey consistent, accurate, timely, on-message communications that engage all employees and trumpet the upsides and opportunities presented by the merger or acquisition?
That’s where the StaffConnect mobile internal engagement platform plays an absolutely critical role. By selecting StaffConnect as your employee engagement tool you have a ready-made solution in place to help ensure your mergers and acquisitions activity has the best chance of success. Right from the get go you can communicate directly to all your staff. Information comes straight from senior management. Any rumours can be addressed, refuted and quashed immediately on a 24/7 basis. You set the agenda by providing all the information the workforce requires. Strict approvals processes can be put in place to guard against off message communications.
StaffConnect isn’t just a tool for telling people news. It enables workers to raise questions and for responses to be shared. Feedback can also be analysed to understand how effectively the communications strategies of both impacted organisations are landing, as well as highlighting any disparities in mood and perception between the two workforces and what changes are required to even that out. It provides a central point for the kind of information that makes mergers and acquisitions smoother – each company’s reference documents, both sets of staff directories, transparent timelines and clear process maps. Everything that employees need to feel positive about the change and to engage positively with it. Both workforces can be easily segmented by both region and function. This enables both sets of senior managers to implement a multi-faceted campaign that ensures that specifically tailored content and messaging is delivered to exactly who needs it. For example, a regionals sales team can be provided with crafted and approved responses to customer queries that specifically address the impact the planned merger and acquisition will have in that territory. Your customers hear the corporate answer, free from the effect of office gossip, delivered consistently by their local contacts.
StaffConnect’s management console can also provide analytics and metrics that let you know how staff are being impacted. This can be broken out by role, location or other subsets allowing you to send out targeted remedial messages where the wider message isn’t landing as intended. You can run polls or quizzes to monitor employee positivity and quickly address any areas of concern.
The StaffConnect platform also features AppSuccess. AppSuccess is a program that consists of customised consultations with domain experts to define a winning internal communications strategy, whatever your challenges. AppSuccess is designed to ensure a successful program and app launch, accelerate user adoption, and provide a pathway for feedback to continuously maximise app and program performance. We know that a new tool, on its own, isn’t the answer to your challenges. AppSuccess is there to ensure you get the utmost return on investment from the StaffConnect platform, whilst also ensuring that your merger and acquisitions activity, bouyed by the best in class employee engagement platform, has the greatest possible opportunity to succeed.
In short, StaffConnect puts you in the optimised position to make a success of your mergers and acquisitions activity. It enables you to set and control the agenda, for every employee, no matter where they are or what role they fulfil. No fake news. Just highly engaged employees who understand why this a great opportunity for themselves, their current and future colleagues, the newly formed organisation and, importantly, its clients.