Team mergers happen often in business, but can also cause a lot of confusion among employees if you don’t properly communicate the change with them.
Employees may worry about how their roles and tasks will be affected by the merger, and may even be concerned that their job is at risk in some situations.
To avoid this confusion, and to prepare for a smooth team merger, it’s important to keep your employees informed every step of the way.
Based on my experience, here’s some advice on the best way to prepare your staff for a team merger.
Understand current working practices
One of the most common reasons for team mergers failing is a difference in culture. Even though the teams are in the same business, they may have very different ways of working. If these ways of working don’t mesh well together, it could be a recipe for failure.
Talk to both teams separately to get a good understanding of how they work, this way you can look for compromises and solutions to the potential conflicts before they even arise.
The next step is to make sure both teams are aware of how the other works, so they can also prepare themselves for potential changes in their working routines.
Miscommunication is another cause of team merger failures. As a rule of thumb, I always say that once you think you’re communicating too much—communicate a little bit more, and then you’re on the right track.
Team mergers can mean big changes to employees so they want to be kept informed and updated on the merging process and how it will affect them.
Define the changes
The key to preparing employees for mergers is explicitly defining the changes that they can expect to experience.
Be focused on the process and make sure you have a clear understanding of what’s going to happen. Here are some of the key questions that you may need to define:
- How will employees’ jobs change?
- Who is in charge and who has responsibility for the teams?
- How will the merger affect the overall organisation chart of your company?
- When will the merger take place?
- Will the merger take place in small stages, or all at once?
Ask for feedback
There’s no better way to prepare employees for mergers than by sitting down, giving them information and then asking for feedback.
Take the opportunity to talk to your employees and see how they’re feeling, what they’re worried about and if there are any roadblocks you didn’t foresee.
Doing this in advance of the merger means you can prepare for issues, and hopefully find solutions before they become too much of a problem.