Mergers and Acquisitions Best Practices: Part 3
| Collin Passman | Nov 1 2022
This article is part three of a three part series.
In this final installment of our Mergers and Acquisitions series, Collin Passman addresses considerations for when your agency is acquiring another agency.
1. Employees Coming From Another Agency
Understand that the employees coming over from a new agency are going to be nervous. They are most likely coming into a totally new work environment whereby their day-to-day processes are going to change completely. They are nervous about working in a new environment with new rules and are most likely fearful of losing their jobs. They need to be reassured that everything is going to be ok and that nobody expects them to adapt overnight. Be up front and honest about expectations. Its better for you to tell them then for them to assume.
2. Have a Definitive Plan in Place
Make sure your acquisition plan is as structured as possible. Set goals and timelines and do your very best to adhere to those. Have someone that will oversee each phase of the process and have one person that they all report to. It is too much for one person to handle everything and do their own work at the same time. Delegate responsibilities to strong personnel. Let your current leaders be leaders and give them a chance to shine. Have regularly scheduled meetings about what is going on and make sure everyone who is actively involved participate in these meetings.
3. Have Patience and Communicate
This is not going to be an overnight process. Have patience with the people on both sides of the process and remember “there are no dumb questions..it’s just dumb not to ask a question.” Encourage back and forth communications between upper management, agency managers and employees. A good place to start would be a meet and greet between current employees and new ones coming over. Put someone in charge of the “social” part of the process.
4. Have a Post-Acquisition Plan in Place
Now that the merger and acquisition has taken place, you still need to make sure that all employees are comfortable. Encourage people to talk to each other. Set up team building events. Employees of each agency are going to tend to flock to people that they know so you need to make sure that they become more at ease with people that they don’t know. Management and ownership must maintain visibility and likeability and cannot retreat to the ivory tower once the process is complete. Don’t be afraid of criticism and take as many suggestions as possible. You never know when something will be said that could alleviate a lot of tension.
When Being Acquired by A Large Corporate Agency
Be honest with your current employees and let them know exactly what they should expect..good, bad or indifferent. The worst thing you can do is tell people that nothing will change when you know it will. Expect back chatter from your employees but try to cut it off before it becomes cancerous.
2. New Company Definition
Let people know what direction the agency is going in and why it is being acquired. Let them know why it is good for both them and the agency itself. Project the future for them. Don’t let your employees guess and guess wrong. Let them know is not just a money deal but it is a deal to ensure their future.
Provide regular updates along the way of the acquisition process. Give employees timelines of when they can expect to see changes. Don’t just surprise them! That angers people.
4. Don’t Ignore
Employees are going to be nervous about the change because that is human nature. Don’t ignore these feelings. Attack and alleviate them. Remember, these are you employees and these feelings, if ignored, can lead to assumptions about what the future holds and will also lead to a decline in productivity.
5. Patience, patience, patience
Don’t expect everyone to be calm. Don’t expect everyone to “get it” right away. Don’t expect everyone to accept the change all at once.
Tags: Commentary , Mergers and Acquisitions