is announced, but you generally won’t be able to give them access to your intranet until the transaction closes. That’s why we often recommend a password-protected external site to help prepare those employees being acquired. We build these sites very quickly as the go-to source for information regarding the transaction, and update them with new information as it becomes available.
Here are five reasons this is an important step in a successful acquisition:
They need info before the deal closes
The time between the announcement of an acquisition and the closing is way too long to keep employees in limbo. It’s very helpful to give them a site that provides background on the acquiring company and its leadership, as well as information about what’s changing and what isn’t. There will be many details that have not yet been decided, so share what you do know and promise to update as more info is available.
You need to tell them why it’s a good thing
Not every acquired employee will automatically assume that they’ll want to stay with the acquiring company. They’ll need to know the reasons this will be good for their careers, their livelihoods, and possibly their work-life balance. The onus is on the acquiring company to build a convincing case for future success and to engage conveyed employees in the excitement of their new leadership’s vision for the future.
They have questions you need to answer
Nature hates a vacuum, so if you’re not giving employees answers to their many questions, the rumor mill will fill in the blanks for you. It’s human nature to assume the worst, so it’s important to give them accurate information as soon as possible. When you don’t yet have the answer, say so, and be sure to update the site once you do. It’s also helpful to offer an opportunity to submit questions they don’t see listed on the FAQ.
You want to inspire them with the vision
Start as soon as you can to engage the acquired employees in the vision of the company they’ll be joining. Help them get to know the executive leadership team and be inspired by their plans and strategies for moving the company forward. Give them evidence that this company is making positive contributions to the world. And help them see how their individual job roles will contribute to the company’s vision.
You want to reduce stress about the change
Change is scary, even if it’s a positive change. Help employees feel less uncertainty by giving them as many details as you can — as soon as you can. When there’s the possibility of some negative impact, our research suggests that employees strongly prefer to know the bad news rather than be kept in the dark. When you communicate transparently, you build trust. And trust will be critical to employee engagement through the transition.