Tip Sheet: Changing times: 7 tips for communicating with employees during mergers and acquisitions

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Some experts are predicting another active year of mergers and acquisitions. For leaders and employees involved in these transactions, it means more change management, more shifts to navigate, and added anxiety and distractions to potentially deal with, even if the mergers or acquisitions are positive.

While no two mergers are alike, there are common principles to effectively communicating a merger to employees and handling internal change management. Based on communication best practices, and our work with companies going through these transactions, here are seven strategies to help employees emerge from the merger engaged and energized.

Tip 1 – Speak with one voice
Prior to any formal announcement, the two companies need to agree on the positioning of the acquisition and stick to the messages, e.g., incorporating the same language in internal and external materials, agreeing what to say (and what not to say), and setting up internal processes to review and approve messages. This helps create clear, consistent communications to employees.

Tip 2 – Communicate the “why” and what’s next
Clearly articulate (in everyday language) the rationale for the merger or acquisition to put the deal in context for employees. The business direction, goals, vision and values should also flow from the “why” to help explain where the company is going, how it will get there, and how everyone acts and operates in accordance with the shared culture. It can be powerful to define and communicate what core values of each company are complementary and will guide the words and actions within the workplace

Download the quick-read Employee Communication Tip sheet to learn more

About Linhart PR

Founded in 1996, Linhart PR is a national PR, corporate communications and digital media strategy firm serving clients nationally and internationally. The firm was recognized as one of the best of its size in the nation by PR Week in 2012, was a winner of the 2011 Top Small Company Workplaces award sponsored by Inc. Magazine, and was named 2011 Small Business of the Year from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

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