Try searching Google for “Why Mergers & Acquisitions fail” and you will find yourself bombarded with multiple articles stating different reasons. But there is one that’s common in all of them – Lack of preparation and training! Despite their popularity, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are often poorly executed. No matter the size or scope, M&A are not just about simply signing a contract and moving on. Each and every department of the company requires training to ensure that the transition is completed smoothly.
During a merger, the company's most valuable assets – employees – can get a little frustrated or lost, leading to downtime and ultimately lost sales. Moreover, despite major changes in the company structure, existing customers expect similar quality services – or even better one. To meet these expectations and avoid any loss to the company, quick and efficient training of employees is a must. After all, the faster your company can train new staff, the better.
All the teams – from the acquiring company and also the target company – may benefit from an M&A training before closing the deal and to plan ahead for post merger integration. To develop integration capability, staff of both companies coming together, must learn about the other company’s people, strategy, processes, practices, assets, culture, structure, their own expected roles in transferring resources across the two companies and the roles of others as well, and any other deliverables that may be required during the integration process. The training must also extend to the new technologies being introduced and any work processes being implemented.
Moreover, training is required about mergers and acquisition generally, and the merger at hand specifically in order to manage resistance to change and deal with conflicts that may arise during the post-merger integration. No matter how extensive and effective the pre-merger due diligence process is, it is essential to continue training after the merger to learn about unexpected challenges and how to deal with them. Finally, training is also required for adopting the new practices of the merged company. Investment in post M&A training help develop the integration capabilities and significantly increase the chances of a successful transition.
Summary and Conclusion
Mergers & Acquisitions don’t end when the agreement is signed. It‘s actually when they start. And no value has been really created yet. They are an exciting time for every company, but at the same time, they also present a huge burden and challenge to employees. At the end of the day, the cost of engaging in a training before a deal is substantially cheaper than the cost of puzzled and unproductive transactions.