For a business owner, a merger can be great news, as it is a chance to grow the business, open up to new markets and increase profits. But, for employees, the news of a merger can be scary or off-putting. They may wonder what the future holds for them personally and for the mission and business focus that they have grown to expect. Here are some communication tips for Oregon business owners faced with sharing news of a merger with their employees.
Be timely about the communication
If employees find out about the merger through gossip or another source, there could be trust lost. They also may get a different version of the story than the one an owner would prefer be communicated, which can be problematic. Therefore, announcing as soon is possible is a good idea.
Announce the merger in a personal way
Sharing the news of a merger through a memo, letter, or email can put business owners at a disadvantage. Firstly, they lose the ability to communicate through body language and intonation as well as the words themselves, which can lead to miscommunication. Second, it can seem impersonal and cold. An in-person meeting is ideal to announce the merger, but at minimum, a video meeting where non-verbal communication can come through can improve how the message is received.
Answer the concerns on everyone’s minds
Most employees will be concerned about how a merger will impact them. Could their job be made redundant? Will processes change? What about the operating location? Ideally, the announcement will address these concerns in some way.
While these tips apply to everyone on a team, there may be individuals who require specific communication during a merger. For example, those who are key to the team may appreciate a one-on-one session to discuss any person concerns. Human resources also will need clear guidance on many matters, as staff will typically contact them with questions. It is also important to discuss merger-related matters with an experienced Oregon business lawyer and get clarity on the plans and requirements before sharing information with employees to ensure everything is correct and legally sound.