I am an absolute shopaholic. I spend a lot of time patronizing literally every type of business under the sun. As an avid consumer, I believe that I have advice that I can give businesses that can help them become more successful and serve there customers better. Even though I am the only one working on this blog, much of what I write comes from endless conversations with friends and family members who have experienced frustrations when patronizing businesses, big and small. My name is Alice Stark and I hope you enjoy the journey that we will be going on together!
Are you merging two or more companies into a single entity? This period of transition is crucial to the success of the new business and to keeping your customers and employees satisfied enough to support the new endeavor. And one of the most critical moments of all is day one. How can you make day one a success? Here are five key steps.
1. Start Planning Early
The more you plan what will actually happen when the merged operation goes 'live' for employees, the better you can address potential obstacles. As soon as the merger is confirmed — even long before the contracts are officially signed — your steering committee should begin working on the integration plan. Work with a professional in business integration if possible.
2. Involve Employees
Employees are 'on the ground' workers and some of your biggest assets during the transition. Employees help identify smaller, practical obstacles such as how to answer the phones, who to approach with certain questions, and how procedures are currently done. If you fail to involve employees on every level of the business, the steering committee will not have the answers they need when you physically merge.
3. Detail the First Week
Success when bringing people and departments together is the result of careful and detailed planning. Perhaps the most detailed time in the entire transition should be the first week of physical merging. Little should be left to chance. Create an hourly timeline that includes such elements as large and small orientation sessions, one-on-one time with employees, physical layout setup, and teaching new processes.
4. Pay Attention to Culture
The point of day one is not to get as much done as possible but rather to do the important things well. If you're merging two different business operations, combining processes is only half the battle. You also need to combine the culture. Ahead of the day, brainstorm ways that the two companies' attitudes and approaches differ and how you can address that with employees. Create a new culture that marries the two but defines this as a new endeavor with a new attitude everyone can be part of.
5. Keep It Positive
There may be a lot of challenges and potential conflicts during day one and the surrounding week or two. Counter this by creating an atmosphere of positivity. Promote the new combined business, design some games, have group lunches, do team building activities (with rewards), and keep meetings focused on solutions. The more everyone enjoys this period, the less that their stress will get to them.
Do you need help getting your organizations ready to face day one of the new operation? If so, start by consulting with an M&A Integration planner in your area today.Share
20 May 2020