The process of acquiring a company is long and complex, so you could be forgiven for thinking that once the deal is done, you have crossed the finish line. Unfortunately, there is still half of the marathon left to run –now you have to make sure that the acquisition was worth the time, effort, and money by successfully integrating the company into your organization.
Here are our top tips for a smooth and efficient integration.
1. Communicate honestly, openly, and frequently
When a company is acquired, the employees are often left in the dark about what changes will happen. The uncertainty and doubt that arises from this can lead very quickly to a mass exodus of staff –when all it would have taken is some reassurances and some clarity about what the future holds. Make sure to communicate your plans for the acquired company, how the organization will be expected to acclimatize after integration, and what steps you expect individuals to take
2. Embrace the different
Integrating your newly acquired company into your existing portfolio is essential, but you should be careful not to negate the differences that made the newly purchased company successful enough for you to want to buy them in the first place. Instead, embrace those cultural differences as much as possible –you might find that there are elements of the acquisition that you want to roll out across your broader organization.
Very early in the process of acquisition, you should define to yourself and your leadership team exactly why you purchased the company, and what you expect to get out of it. This way, you give a definite target that everyone should be aiming for and you minimize the risk of losing out on primary sources of value.
Inevitably, you will benefit from combining some functions of your new, larger company. This might be consolidating the human resources, payroll, and accounts departments, or it might be sharing technologies across the company. However you choose to make savings or improvements, it is better to do so as soon as possible –that way you do not feed into the uncertainty of your remaining employees if you need to make some roles redundant. Getting the bulk of the bigger personnel changes completed fast means that those that remain can feel more secure about their futures.