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Endings and Beginning: Navigating Your M&A Gracefully

     
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No matter where you are in the process, starting or finishing a merger & acquisition requires the right strategy so that your organization can profit, grow, and thrive. There can be awkward adjustment periods on both sides of an M&A, on the part of the acquiring firm, and the firm being acquired. About half of all mergers and acquisitions ultimately fail, so handling the transitional periods with grace could lead to a better rate of success.Here are some helpful tips for success when it comes to mergers & acquisitions.

Communication is Key

In all aspects of business, excellent communication can make any transition even better. That definitely holds true for an M&A. While the company being acquired has some responsibility to communicate information about the deal to their teams, the onus for communication generally falls more on the side of the acquiring company who is welcoming new employees. You must announce the deal to more than your own teams and investors. Include new employees in the welcoming process by sending them each a letter or e-mail, and make sure they have all the necessary HR updates about their benefits.

Be a Team Player

Whether you are acquiring or being acquired, being a true team player will help all transitions go smoothly. It's essential to avoid an "us against them" mentality. Managers from the company being acquired should encourage enthusiasm and curiosity among employees about their new coworkers and teams. Managers from the acquiring company should make a concerted effort to learn about new employees to create the best possible new teams. Different corporate cultures are to be expected, but by moving slowly in merging actual teams, you can actually learn a lot and incorporate the best points of both company's corporate cultures to keep everyone happy.

Be Tech Savvy

An M&A is about so much more than just integrating teams and acquiring a business. Now, there is a whole technical component too. Employees will likely have to learn new systems and one company's technology infrastructure will have to merge with the other's. Coming up with a comprehensive and detailed plan in both IT departments and implementing it promptly is key in creating a smooth transition experience for employees of both companies. There are now some smart solutions for this problem that help to manage the different applications and permissions requirements in both companys' territories.

Manage Expectations

With M&As comes "redundancy" and some employees and executives do get put on the chopping block. Be realistic and transparent when starting the merging process about what percentage of a company's team is going to be able to stay and what positions may be more likely to go. Make the staffing process equal and effective. Focus on building teams made up of the best employees for the job - regardless of which company they were with initially.

There are many tools that can help you achieve a seamless transition, including virtual data rooms (VDRs). Keep important files and communications relating to your M&A safe and use it as a "deal room" to keep everything about M&A in one place so that information is easily accessible to those who need it. 
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