The importance of internal communications becomes heightened during an acquisition—but also after the deal has closed.
Timely and informative change communications are crucial during a consolidation of two organizations. Once the dust settles, employees will be looking for consistent cultural and strategic messages.
Providing such communications can help new employees feel welcome and assimilated into the company, while easing legacy employees back into their normal routine.
Here are four tips to prepare for your post-acquisition internal communications:
1. Double-check your channels. Now that two organizations have become one, it’s important to evaluate the current channels and confirm that post-acquisition internal communications reach all employees, both old and new. Have new employees been added to the mass email list? Do they have digital signage, and if so, are the messages consistent with the new brand? Fixing channels before they become a problem is key.
2. Emphasize the mission, vision and values. Because there may be a large audience that is new to the company, it’s a great time to showcase how the mission, vision and values are exemplified in employees’ day-to-day work. Featuring employees living the values in a newsletter spotlight, or creating an updated Vision Book after the convergence, are both effective means of communication. No matter how you do it, the goal is to show that the mission, vision and values are woven into all aspects of the organization.
3. Continue building the culture. Though your organization may have had a strong culture before the acquisition, don’t forget to carry that culture over into the new offices. Engage employees by focusing on what sets your company apart from others. If you’re wellness-focused, include everyone in an upcoming wellness challenge. If you’re heavily community driven, organize a volunteer initiative that encourages local participation.
4. Offer a place for employees’ voices to be heard. Employees will continue to have questions once the staff integration is complete. Having a well-known channel for two-way feedback can help avoid frustration from employees and an abundance of emails for HR. Bonus points if you can build an ongoing FAQ site for employees to visit.
Amanda McClay is an account manager at Tribe, an internal communication agency based in Atlanta. A version of this post first appeared on Tribe’s blog.