You are about to set off on a journey that will radically change your business – a merger or acquisition. It’s a daunting prospect and for managers and employees alike, the uncertainty leading up to the deal and the integration afterwards is worrying and uncomfortable.
During this time, setting out to reassure employees and other stakeholders will not only build trust and credibility but will create lasting engagement for your new business. What’s more, communicating both honestly and transparently with your stakeholders, managing your message and the timing as well as handling speculation will give you the upper hand, ensure your employees are not distracted and help key talent have faith in your future. So, building a strong and clear approach to communications during a merger seems sensible. And keeping close to stakeholders can give you a direct link to understanding what isn’t working and why.
But it doesn’t always happen. Good communications can be one of the most challenging elements of any M&A as the uncertainties and constraints around a deal will conspire to keep you quiet when what you really need to do is talk. Like so much in this activity, the actions taken pre-close – while seeming sensible – can seriously undermine your ability to succeed in delivering the promise of the deal once it’s all signed and sealed.
In this paper developed jointly by Beyond the Deal and Connectwell, we highlight ten ‘communication myths’ in M&A, explain the danger in following them and provide some simple ways to ensure that in planning your communications before, during and after the deal you give your acquisition – and the integration that follows it – the best start.