An acquisition entails a lot of moving pieces—from the announcement of the intended sale to the closing day and beyond, there are many communication needs that require careful coordination. A well-thought-out strategy will ensure that you are disseminating the appropriate information to key stakeholders at the right times. Among these key stakeholders are your acquisition’s internal teams. What information should you communicate and what materials should you have available to them? Consider these three deliverables to support an effective acquisition communications plan.
Depending on your specific situation, news of an intended acquisition may reach the public prior to an official sale going through. If this happens, employees from the soon-to-be acquired company may learn about the acquisition before you get a chance to communicate with them directly. Identify your key stakeholders and determine if it’s appropriate to address any teams or individuals prior to closing the sale.
The message can be short and sweet, and delivered via video, email or other medium. It can serve as a teaser to your new employees for what is to come and what they can expect from you as their new parent company. For example, tell them briefly who you are and why you are looking forward to the pending change. An outreach like this can go a long way in calming the fears of employees who aren’t familiar with your company and what the acquisition means for them moving forward.
Once the sale is final, be sure to welcome your new employees. Officially introduce who you are, what attracted you to their company, and provide any history or background information that may be useful. This would also be the time to distribute any important employment and benefits information that may have changed as a result of the sale. Let employees know when they can expect to receive additional updates from you.
- Avoid the most common pitfall: telling people that nothing will change. Change is inevitable. If you tell people nothing will change, business as usual, they will not trust you after something changes.
- Put together information about who your company is and what you are all about and distribute it to the team. Set the tone for what you expect from a team and what they can expect from you.
- Consider developing FAQs for stakeholder groups: Supervisor FAQs for questions that may come in from internal employees, and external FAQs for questions that may come in from customers or the public. Having these available will help control the message, and empower your leaders and employees to answer any questions that arise.
Ongoing Change Communications
Ongoing communications are a must as you and your acquired employees get familiar with one another. Some items you may need to provide are:
- Changes to policies and benefit plans
- Leader change announcements
- Changes to processes or technology
- Ongoing areas of opportunity (plan for future changes)
Make your internal communications helpful for employees by crafting them thoughtfully and with intention.
- Think about your intended audience
- An inch of preparation avoids miles of confusion
- Answer the 5 W’s and H (who, what, when, where, why and how?)
For details on these best practices, click here.
These acquisition deliverables are just a piece of your overall acquisition communications strategy. Click the link below to learn more by downloading our Ultimate Guide to Acquisition Communications. Or, drop us a line—we’d love to chat about how we can support your team during your upcoming change.