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Communicate Effectively During a Merger

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12 Effective Merger Communication Tips:

  1. Choose internal messaging systems that can operate across more than one network
  2. Identify and target communications by roles and needs
  3. Target messages
  4. Pre-schedule messages
  5. Define and delegate communication responsibilities early
  6. Support face-to-face communication
  7. Support line managers
  8. Opening up cross-organization communications quickly
  9. Use internal social media to break down silos
  10. Reflect a 'one voice' brand quickly
  11. Opportunities for employee involvement and feedback
  12. Track attitudes and measure your impact
desktop-alert-merger-announcement

Message Cut-through via Desktop Alerts

 

Mergers are challenging for employee communication

Merging cultures, values, expectations, operational teams and so on is a big undertaking. Clear, effective, timely internal communication plays a critical part in a successful merger. However, it often takes a back seat in the chaos that ensues.

 

Impact on productivity and the customer experience

Confusion, uncertainty and the typical reactions to change such as fear and resistance can reduce productivity and customer service. Effective merger communication is a key to minimizing the impact.

 

Separate networks and communications devices

Merger communication can be especially hard due to technical challenges such as multiple intranets, computer networks and email systems.


 

Merger Communication - How the SnapComms Tools Can Help:








Tip 1 – Choose Internal Messaging Systems that can Operate Across more than one Network

screensaver-message-for-merger-communication

Internal Screensaver Communication

 

As long as employees have internet access, your IT team can quickly and easily install a unique software ‘applet’ on every employee's computer. This applet identifies that those staff belong to a single ‘organization’ even though they work on different networks. As a result, you can treat all the staff in the merged organization as a single internal audience and use the SnapComms tools to send them secure internal merger communications.









Tip 2 - Identify and Target Communications by Roles and Needs

 

The SnapComms Registration Alert tool lets you send a registration alert to all employees in the newly formed organization. You can ask them to tell you their roles and the information they want to receive. The SnapComms platform will use these details to set up ‘targeting’ in the content management console.

 

Tip 3 - Target Messages

screensaver-message

Target Screensaver Messages

You can target all the SnapComms messaging formats to specific employees or groups. There are several ways to do this. You can use existing Active Directory network structures, machine based targeting, set up targeting automatically based on users’ requests (see the user registration alert above) and/or set up targeting manually.










Tip 4 - Pre-schedule Messages

 

The SnapComms solution lets you schedule in advance the start and expiry times of your messages. This keeps messages current and channels uncluttered of out-of-date messages. It also ensures staff receive internal merger communications at the same time (or just before) you announce information externally.

 

Signpost information

Multiple intranets and information portals can make it confusing for employees to find the information they need. The SnapComms communications channels are a great way to signpost content with Screensaver Messages, Scrolling Desktop Newsfeeds, Desktop Alerts and User-generated Staff Magazines. Each can contain embedded hyperlinks directing employees to the right information. Read how the SnapComms tools can signpost information to employees.
merger-communication-by-newsfeed

Deliver Important Notifications onto the Desktop

Tip 5 – Define and Delegate Communication Responsibilities Early

 

The newly formed organization may still have two Human Resources teams, two Internal Communications teams and so on. Deciding who sends which information and keeping track of the messages employees receive can become a real challenge. The SnapComms content management console lets you set up delegated administration rights. For example, group A can send merger communications to all employees across both organizations, group B can send to HR teams only, and so on. Reporting functions make it easy to see which communications have been sent and received and by whom.

 

Tip 6 – Support Face-to-Face Communication

merger-communication-rsvp-alert

Desktop RSVP invite

Face-to-face communication is a critical part of effective merger communication. It is particularly important to get senior leaders in front of staff to explain decisions, answer questions and manage concerns. Often you will need to run many face-to-face sessions in many different places. The SnapComms RSVP Alert tool helps make this process easier. It lets you send a desktop invitation to targeted employees with a range of meeting options (e.g. dates, times, venues) and even ask people what questions and issues they want covered. When staff choose their option, the appointment can be added to their Outlook calendar. Reporting from the SnapComms platform lets you see who is attending which sessions, as well as the answers to any additional questions asked.

 

 

Tip 7 - Support Line Managers

managers-internal-social-media-tool-for-merger-communication

Targeted Internal Discussion Forums

Line managers and supervisors are likely to be under extra pressure during a merger. Support them with their own dedicated support and communications channels and measure how well they are communicating. Read more












Tip 8 – Opening up Cross-Organization Communications Quickly

internal-newsletter-for-merger-communication

Internal Newsletter tool

SnapMag is a unique staff magazine that lets users generate their own content. Anyone with the client applet, wherever they are, can submit articles and comments into the appropriate category of the magazine for central editorial approval. This lets staff start thinking, acting and working as one organization. It also lets members of both organizations collaborate and quickly pull together a branded staff magazine for the new organization.













Tip 9 – Use Internal Social Media to Break Down Silos

discussion-forum-for-merger-rumours

Online Rumor Mill

Mergers can cause fear, uncertainty and rumors. The SnapComms templated Internal Social Media channels are custom-built for secure, internal only, employee communication. You can set them up and manage them with very little resource. This lets you provide interactive help desks, Q&A spots and possibly even a rumor mill where staff can post what they have heard, anonymously if they prefer, and the organization can respond quickly to confirm or correct rumors.


Get teams collaborating quickly

Set up multiple SnapMag and Internal Social Media channels and target them by role. This lets teams like HR, IT and Sales start sharing information and working together.

 



Tip 10 – Reflect a 'One Voice' Brand Quickly

screensaver-messaging-to-communicate-internal-merger

Internal Branding on Screensavers

You can brand all the SnapComms channels (Magazine, Newsfeeds, Desktop Alerts, Quizzes and Surveys) visually to reflect your company’s new ‘look and feel’ (even if it is only a transitional brand).

 

Communicate vision and values visually

The SnapComms corporate screensaver lets you communicate visually in a way that gets messages across and avoids their becoming buried in existing (and probably overloaded) communications channels.

“For many, understanding of the world is accomplished not through reading words, but by reading images."
Dr. Paul Martin Lester, Professor of Communications, California State University

 

 

Tip 11 – Opportunities for Employee Involvement and Feedback

pop-up-merger-communication-survey

Desktop Surveys to Temperature Check

The pop-up Desktop Survey tool is a great way to gather fast feedback and keep lines of communication open during a merger. You can set the tool to prompt users who fail to reply. This will help make sure replies represent as many people as possible (i.e. you hear from more than just your organization’s ‘squeaky wheels’).

The out-of-the-box Internal Social Media channels can also provide somewhere for employees to ask questions, provide feedback and voice their concerns.

 

 

 






Tip 12 – Track attitudes and measure your impact

The SnapComms tools and reporting offer a range of ways to pulse check, track attitudes and measure the impact of communications.

 

Related Resources

SnapComms © 2013 • Internal Communications Tools • www.snapcomms.com