A merger or an acquisition of another organisation represents a very scary time for people and the statistics are even scarier. It can take 2-3 years for highly engaged staff to recover to baseline after a merger or acquisition (Managing employee engagement during times of change, Aon Hewitt, June 2013) The challenge for senior staff is two-fold: what are the best processes for making the new organisation function most efficiently  to enable growth and how can we ensure we have the best people to aid in achieving the strategic objectives of the new business?

There are 5 key areas which must be considered if the organisation wants to prosper:

  1. Stakeholder engagement
  2. Communication
  3. Business process review and design
  4. Customer engagement
  5. Risk mitigation


  1. Stakeholder engagement
  • Who are the key stakeholders?
  • Who will drive the changes across the organisation?
  • How will the stakeholders be engaged?
  • How often and what format does that look like?
  1. Communication
  • What will be communicated to the organisation about the new merger/acquisition?
  • What forums will be put in place to allow for staff questions and feedback? Hotline, spreadsheets, 1:1 meetings etc
  • How will information be communicated? Notice boards, newsletters, 1:1 meetings with managers, presentations, social media etc
  1. Business process review and design
  • Engage the staff through cross functional workshops to design the new process
  • Nominate process champions that are change leaders (a high acceptance for change and active influencers that will drive the new process through to implementation)
  • Ensure a strong change management plan is created and championed by a senior leader in the business
  • Ensure the future roles and responsibilities of staff are defined, documented and communicated
  • Develop key performance indicators to drive accountability
  1. Customer engagement
  • Advise your customers that the merger/acquisition is occurring
  • Engage them as often as you would your internal staff and ask for their patience as the transition occurs
  • Ask for regular feedback and follow up any questions in a timely manner (set a key measure as to what this should be)
  • Celebrate the successes with your customers and reward them for their loyalty (non-financial and financial options to be considered)
  1. Risk mitigation
  • Ensure your risks are clearly identified
  • Understand the triggers across your staff (language, actions) that are the pre-cursors to the risks that the organisation has recognised
  • Put an action plan in place to mitigate the risks
  • Ensure the risk plan is communicated to relevant stakeholders and reported on regularly

If done well, a merger or acquisition can be a time of high excitement as the organisation sets itself up for expansion with a clear process to enable a successful transition from old to new and the right people to help drive the organisation forward.

Interested in chatting further? Don’t forget, the coffee is on us!