Communication Plans in M&A

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #58056
    Sharon Hood
    Participant

    I believe it’s a delicate balance on what you communicate to your employees while going through an M&A transaction. I’m curious on your thoughts on what is the right balance of communication and what you’ve found most effective!

    #58091
    Dalia Abushulaih
    Participant

    it’s actually quite difficult to manage the right balance, in my view is found by preparing extensive, time sensitive, concise and accurate timelines and statements that would answer all employee questions regarding the company future strategy and structure, and the general labor impact. M&A’s will also conduct one to one meetings with employees, where each employee expects to find out what their situation, and compensation offer will be. Sometimes, rumors come about the transaction prior to the official announcement, which results in employee anxiety will rise. If the company has not yet made its final decisions, and therefor must be careful to not communicate any specifications as to ensure they do not provide promises they cannot keep. making the right balance be somewhat actually an extreme decision to not communicate at all.

    #58213
    Michael Fortunato
    Participant

    I see the balance problem as actually occurring on two fronts – both outgoing and incoming or feedback. First, a balanced communication plan utilizes a cascading approach to delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time by from the right source. If we are communicating from the top down AND arming middle management with the right information to continue the conversations on a more personal level, then we are meeting the basics of good communication. But it is important to have a strategy for how you measure the effectiveness of your plan. Only by receiving regular feedback on the quality, timing and content of your messaging can you respond in a way that will move you further toward the right balance.

    #91707
    Veronica R
    Participant

    I think you should be as clear, transparent, and thorough as possible to the point of over-communicating during M&A. Something we’ve found helpful is establishing a page that exists within the intranet or internal pages. If this is a full merger and integration, it can exist in the target company and transition over or be build immediately in the new org and be available for all. This is a great way to provide resources, refer back to Q&As, post recordings, house feedback forms, and more. There may come a point where some employees are good, have the info they need, and don’t want to go to another townhall to hear the same questions. At the same time, some folks may be catching up, have new thoughts, and want to seek out that information. Keeping a communication page with all the timelines and details enables the employees to get answers when they need them.

    #93870
    Anita Davis
    Participant

    I think there are phases to timing, type and audience of a potential M&A opportunity. Typically during the DD phase/pre-sign phase, there is a limitation of what can be shared due to confidentially. However, I think limited information needs to be shared with core team members for the purpose of planning.
    For the employees that will be affected by the deal, I think the best time is really between the signing and closing. However, there is a risk there of losing some critical employees due to the anxiety and uncertainly of employment. So yes, it is a delicate balance.

    #95968
    Lisa Hall
    Participant

    I absolutely agree with it being a delicate balance. We are often subject to strict confidentiality, even during post-merger integration, that limits the planning and engagement with team members we are able to do. What I’ve found effective is really ensuring we have as detailed of a communication plan as possible working within the limitations set.

    #96232
    Chris
    Participant

    Hi Sharon,
    .
    We implement a full transparency policy, and get the information to all employees as soon as possible. We include the messaging along with the rationale and how it ties to the current strategy of the company. That’s the how.
    .
    Choosing what to communicate is different. Typically, we communicate information that is essential or that employees will find out anyway. If a room of 10 or more executives are aware of some information, you can almost guarantee the rumor mill will start. If the information is restricted to a few people, it is less likely that this will happen. So choosing what to communicate is not as important as who knows the sensitive information.
    .
    Chris

    #96567
    Brant Miller
    Participant

    I suggest the approach that Chris follows. Communicate with full transparency, as quickly as possible. Messaging should be tailored to the audience and delivered through appropriate channels. The communication content here in the change management program is very consistent with best practices. Have a good team, separate internal from external from marketing and branding but coordinate everything and make sure employees are first to hear.

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