Employee communication Strategy
In HBR case study “Who Goes, Who Stays?” Steve and Kasper lack on important communication with the employees. They should have begun communicating with their employees as soon as possible in the merger process. Should have considered informing them of company desire to merge with, acquire or be acquired by another company before they begun searching for a counterpart to the deal, if possible. They should have given employees plenty of time to provide feedback about the deal and make personal and career arrangements, if necessary. Any type of change is challenging for most employees, and being part of an acquisition or merger can be especially stressful. The uncertainty of whether you will even have job six to 12 months in the future is stressful enough without having to learn a new culture and establish new relationships with those at the new company. Most of the employee have slight to no confidence of the new future company. The most important tool to manage employee anxiety and uncertainly and offer a smooth transition is a well thought-out communication plan. (Merge ahead, 2012) Know your audience - When it comes to communicating change, one size does not fit all. The messages and the tools you use must be tailored to your audience to ensure understanding, acceptance and, eventually, engagement. While a "change blog" or a Web page will work well for some head office employees, it may not make sense for employees who are on the road. Spending the time and effort doing a thorough stakeholder analysis will give you a deep understanding of what your employees are most anxious about and their preferred method of communication (print, lace to lace), and may uncover other issues that could pose a risk to the change. In the end, the analysis will allow you to be targeted and impactful, driving employee understanding and acceptance of the change. Though plan sponsors may face a tough road to change or update their pension programs after merger and acquisition activity, the hard work, communication and due diligence will pay off. Successful post-merger integration requires well-planned, coordinated communication. Improvising communication, just "winging it," can feed the rumor mill, create needless anxiety, and harm productivity. Stress Benefits to Employees
Focus on how the deal will affect employees and their careers in positive ways rather than on how the deal will benefit the company as a whole. Do not neglect to discuss the business needs served by the deal and the benefits to both companies, but make sure that employees can understand the advantages of the deal on a personal level as well. For example, discuss how combining the two companies' distribution channels can cut shipping costs, which in turn translates into higher profit margins, which translates into higher profit-sharing bonuses for employees. Layoffs
Inform employees as soon as possible if you are going to perform layoffs. Communicate the fact that the company will do all it can to help employees to find new employers by providing things like resume assistance, professional references, letters of recommendation and job-seeking assistance. Back up your assurances with action to avoid creating lasting feelings of resentment in your former employees. Make the actual cuts as early as possible in the process to allow cut employees to begin searching for jobs while putting the "survivors" minds at ease regarding their positions. Allow employees to work for several months after being informed of their termination, and provide them with generous flexibility in work scheduling to allow them to travel to interviews.
The following are the typical communication errors made as companies join forces:
Failure to address the “me issues”
Employees cannot focus on work activities if they are consumed...