How to Appreciate the People During an Acquisition
Acquiring a company and merging it with an existing company takes a lot of work. In fact, it can be one of the most daunting business tasks you undertake. With a failure rate hovering around 50%, it’s important to understand how to achieve a successful merger. One critical step you can take when acquiring a company is to recognize and appreciate your most valuable asset: the people.
Factors for a Successful Business
There are many factors that contribute to a successful business including a good product, the right tools, and talented people. Oftentimes, if one or more of these factors are overlooked the success of the company is hindered. If you don’t have knowledgeable and talented people to produce and market your product, the newly acquired business is likely to fail. Likewise, if you don’t have a remarkable product or the tools to produce it, the company will struggle. During acquisitions, it’s especially important to appreciate the people from both companies.
Since it’s clear that there are many factors that contribute to a successful business, and thus a successful merger, it’s best to focus on the people first. People are the living and breathing portion of your business and creating a strong company culture is critical. Acquisitions are stressful on all people involved including everyone from high-level managers to entry-level employees. When merging two companies it’s best to establish a strong company culture immediately by defining goals, standards, and values. Writing out a company mission statement and training employees about what makes the company tick is vital.
A big mistake that many companies make is to think of training as a one-time event. During acquisitions, there will be plenty of training. Employees coming from the newly acquired company need to understand the goals, standards, and principles of the new company. Current employees also need to understand what is expected of all employees going forward. After the initial training, it’s important to remember that training is never done. A wise manager understands that people are prone to forget and that individuals perform their best when they are reminded of goals, ideals, and standards. Ongoing training is also a great time to express sincere appreciation to employees.
Merging two companies is difficult for incoming team members who may feel like the new kid in town. Strong leaders understand this common feeling and do their best to offer sincere praise and open communication. Strong leaders know that happy employees are productive employees.
When acquiring a company, it’s important to understand that people are one of your most valuable assets.