integration managementThis blog post is the second in a series on Post-Acquisition Integration Management. It follows the first posting titled, “Post-Acquisition Integration Management – The First Week is Key.

Now that reality has settled in, we need to get to work.

Your second week, and the weeks to follow, should always start with a Monday morning Q&A session. This session should address all of the staff’s questions from the previous week. After these questions have been addressed, a Friday morning meeting should follow to gather up and answer any remaining questions.

The Week 2 Q&A session should address questions such as:

  • Who do I go to if I have a question?
  • Will I lose my job?
  • Will my job change?
  • Who will I report to?
  • Will my salary change?

A plan should be set in place each Monday morning to let everyone knows exactly what needs to be done. Once this has been achieved, each week becomes apart of a 30, 60 and 90 day plan.

By the end of Week 2, the following should be accomplished:

  • A staff selection process developed with HR for integration.
  • Designation of a hired outside Project Manager to spearhead the integration.

This is an important exercise to perform at this early stage because you want to make sure you’re business is on track and is accomplishing the tasks at hand.

Not all acquisitions result in letting employees go. If this is the case in your scenario, please do announce this news to your staff to relieve them of their anxiety.

For post-acquistion integrations that do result in letting employees go, you’ll want to:

  • Sit down and determine who are the best people to keep.
  • Ask yourself, who has to be let go and at what stage?
  • Assess who are the best people to help you through this.
  • Ask yourself, what is the cost for each individual’s severance?
  • Identify the needs versus the gaps.

This task will take weeks to complete but at this stage you’ll need to identify the ‘for sure’s’ that are going to happen now.

This is an intense process and it’s going to be hard to emotionally detach yourself. After all, being the VP of Operations, you’re going to have a certain degree of pride in what you’ve accomplished, and now that you have to take down what you’ve built, it’s going to be hard to deal with the reality of the situation. You just have to remember that this is a major change that has to happen. What you did yesterday will not be what you are focussing on today. Times have changed and you have to move forward and do what’s best for the business.

Here’s what you need to focus on now:

  • Focus on trying to eliminate the emotional side.
  • Focus on what needs to be done.
  • Treat this as acquiring new experience.
  • Keep in mind, that in any business environment, continuous changes do happen.

As a good leader, you will need to be as transparent and honest as you can be. These are emotional times that affect people’s lives and you have to remind yourself, and everyone else around you, to keep positive. Try to eliminate the gossip and stick to the facts.

This is how I handle it:

  • I always put myself in the group, “We are all in this together.”
  • I treat them with respect and kindness (This is serious stuff ).
  • I never minimize what’s happened.
  • I give them big doses of empathy and understanding.
  • I am always positive about the constant change.
  • I emphasize all of their accomplishments and learning and encourage them to utilize them in their next job.

These blogs are a snap shot on how to handle these types of situations. Hopefully my insight will assist your planning and help you put together a plan for your Post-Acquisition Integration Management.

I welcome your comments and questions below.