One of the hardest tasks facing the directors of a firm that successfully acquires a smaller competitor is reorganising the two companies’ existing offices in a manner that makes the integration of the two separate workforces into one effective team a much easier proposition. Below are some tips on achieving this aim that I have picked up during my time with firms that were faced with making such changes.
1. Don’t Shoehorn Too Many New People Into HQ
Apart from the fact that it can create many logistical problems, it can result in a sense of resentment among your current workforce as they find their personal space at work getting ever smaller over time. A far better idea is to rent fully-equipped office space at a nearby business centre while you think through your options carefully. It may well be that this is a viable long-term strategy for some companies, depending on the availability of decent commercial space in the surrounding area.
2. Hold A Meeting Involving All Employees
Whatever you decide to do, it is important to make sure that every worker feels like they have a say in the matter, even if, when it comes down to it, they don’t.By listening to the suggestions of your employees you will be able to adapt your plans to address those issues that it is practical to address and to explain why it is not possible to tackle other problems that it might be too expensive or impractical to tackle. At the very least, once everybody has had their say and listened to senior management representatives outline the reasons for various changes, your workforce will think of the whole process as a more inclusive one, and one of which they are very much a part.
3. Make Sure Infrastructure Is In Place
One of the most disruptive aspects of moving workers into new locations is the communication difficulties that can arise when employees are unable to access the internet immediately or pick up a phone and call head office. Ensure that this is not the case by having a first-class technical support team in place before any moves are made. That way, even if there are a few issues at first, they can be sorted out quickly and efficiently without causing too much disruption to your business operations.
4. Public Transport & Local Dining Establishments
One of the most unsettling aspects of a move from your employees’ point of view will be having to deal with unfamiliar surroundings and new work colleagues. You can make this task much easier by ensuring that they have no problems reaching their new offices and plenty of options when it comes to lunch. Food may sound like a trivial matter when dealing with a complex corporate takeover but you would be surprised at the difference a good meal can make to an individual’s mood and their ability to adapt to changes. Saving money by renting an old building far away from the centre of town could turn out to be a false economy for these reasons.
5. Only Enter Into Short-Term Rental Agreements
Whilst you may already have a very good idea of the number of employees that your company will end up with after the reshuffle has been completed and who many of the key members of staff are likely to be, it is impossible to be 100% certain until after the merger has been completed and suitable new accommodation has been found. Making hasty decisions at this stage that could affect the financial position of your organisation for many years to come is an unwise thing to do.
No matter how well you plan for the consolidation period after a successful takeover or merger, there will always be a certain amount of teething problems and this is something with which senior management will have to come to terms if they are to be able to operate efficiently. However, if everybody concerned is aware of the type of problems that may lie ahead, they will be better equipped to deal with them when they arise.