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From Uncertainty to Unity: Communication Techniques for Successful Mergers and Acquisitions



From Uncertainty to Unity: Communication Techniques for Successful Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are strategic moves that can jumpstart growth and expand the potential output of your company. M&A’s can also be a time of great change and uncertainty for employees. According to WIReDSpace, 67% of organizations felt a merger or acquisition impacted staff morale and motivation. 

Given the prevalence of morale issues during and after M&As, your encouragement of open and effective communication is essential to keeping everyone rowing in the same direction. Effective communication ensures everyone feels assured about their role in the new organization. 

But what more can you do to keep everyone in the company engaged?    

Challenges Employees faces during M&A

During the M&A integration internal communication process, employees often navigate a maze of challenges. Those may include:

  • Job insecurity: Employees may worry about losing their jobs or potential role changes.  
  • Culture clash or identity crisis: Employees could experience clash of cultures or feel loss of identity. According to Harvard Business Review, 70%-90% of culture clashes result in a failed M&A.  
  • Communication breakdown or information overload: Employees may not have enough information or be overwhelmed by information.  
  • Impact on morale: Employees might feel left in the dark, impacting their morale.  
  • Disconnect & Isolation: The M&A process brings changes in the reporting structure which leads to a sense of separation from team bonding, connections, causing disconnect and isolation. 
  • Career Path Ambiguity: M&A changes lead to uncertainty about career progression and growth opportunities within the merged organization, potentially impacting employee motivation. 

These challenges are not only detrimental to the employees’ well-being and performance, but also to the success of the mergers & acquisitions communication. Every team – from IT to HR – bears responsibility to ensure these challenges are addressed effectively, empathetically, and proactively. 

Preparing for Change

From crafting a solid M&A communication  plan to identifying potential challenges, here are a few essential merger and acquisition communication strategies that could help you prepare for the change.  

Communicate early, clearly, and frequently: Be transparent and honest about the reasons, benefits, and implications of the deal. Use multiple channels and formats to reach your diverse audience.  

Provide support to your team: Offering personalized counseling support and career guidance will empower employees to embrace change and be sensitive to cultural differences.   

Be consistent and patient: Make sure that all employees receive the same information at the same time. Also, keep in mind that it may take some time for employees to adjust to the change.   

Be prepared for tough situations: Be ready to answer tough questions. Things may not always go according to plan, so be prepared to adapt as needed.

Mastering M&A Comms: Your Essential Merger Integration Communication Checklist for Success

Encouraging Collaboration and Team Building through Intranet

An intranet can be a powerful tool for you, weaving its digital magic to encourage collaboration and team building during an M&A. As companies unite and cultures mix, an intranet offers advantages that include:  

Centralized Communication Hub: The intranet links leaders and employees, providing transparent updates, announcements, and insights on the merger’s progress.  

Conveying Company Values: The intranet acts as a virtual compass, guiding employees towards shared values, vision, and mission through posted content.  

Celebrating Successes: Broadcasting achievements and milestones on the intranet fosters a culture of recognition and motivation.  

Employee Directories: The intranet’s employee directory helps people connect more easily. . .  

Interactive Forums and Feedback: The intranet’s forums and channels give employees a place to post ideas and interact with their colleagues.   

Cross-Departmental Collaboration: The intranet serves as a digital bridge that enables effortless M&A internal communication between departments, sparking innovation and problem solving.   

Learning and Development Opportunities: The intranet offers a trove of learning resources, including training modules, webinars, and workshops, to support continuous growth and adaptability.  

More merger and acquisition communication  tips:

Here are some additional tips to help you master the M&A tango:

  • Support employees through integration with transparent, honest, and clear communication, and provide support and counseling.  
  • Be patient and understanding, acknowledge employees’ feelings, and help them overcome resistance.  
  • Create a culture of learning and development and provide opportunities for employees to grow and develop their skills.  
  • Retain talent by offering competitive salaries and benefits, creating a positive work environment, and providing opportunities for career growth.  
  • Help employees feel appreciated by recognizing their contributions.  
  • Create opportunities for peer bonding and collaboration, like organizing social events or virtual hangouts.  

A Roadmap to Follow

For an example of how you can use an intranet to solve communication challenges post-merger, read our case study about a leading US accounting firm which did just that. If you’d like to learn more about how PeopleOne’s intranet platform could help you, schedule a demo. 

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