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Using the digital workplace to manage M&A

Written by Kerstin Roubin

Kirstin leads the customer engagement team at AddIn365 to organise events, webinars and face-to-face sessions to communicate how AddIn365 products increase value and ROI on investments made in Office 365.

10th September 2019

Knowing that up to 90% of mergers fail and on average an acquired firm will lose 40% of their top people, mergers and acquisitions can feel quite a stressful and unstable time for the workforce of an organisation.

There are a lot of strategies that can be adopted to make your merger, or acquisition, a success. A strong internal communications and productivity platform, that helps employees to understand the new corporate vision and ways of working, is one of them. A digital workplace can bring clarity and structure to a period characterised by change and uncertainty. As David Kaganovsky, CTO at Wavemaker, an agency recently born of a merger, remarked, “the bringing together of two sizable agencies posed an operational challenge to the team, but also presented a huge opportunity for us to standardise our ways of working, to drive greater efficiency and productivity for our customers.”

A report from Deloitte has gone even further and stated, if you create a highly engaged workforce then not only will you create a loyal workforce you’ll also experience a 3 year revenue growth rate 2.3x greater than average.

AddIn365 have helped a number of organisations to manage their merger scenario using Office 365 digital workplace technology. From MEC and Maxus, that merged to become Wavemaker in 2018, to Wunderman and JWT, that merged in 2019, to become Wunderman Thompson. AddIn365 have also managed complex merger scenarios, for example when TSB bank demerged from Lloyds and simultaneously merged with Sabadell.

“The key is to communicate a plan, mission and expectations about standards from the get-go” AddIn365 CEO Suzy Dean has said of organisations undergoing a merger. “Once the deal is done it is time for the corporate communications and operational communications teams to step in.” AddIn365 use a mixture of communications channels in Office 365, such as SharePoint news, Yammer, Stream video and Microsoft Teams announcements to share regular updates about organisational change. This is complimented with AI driven dissemination of best practices for operational functions.

When considering a digital workplace to support your M&A vision, AddIn365 advise these four scenarios are satisfied:

Give employees a voice
If people feel like there is no opportunity to be heard within a business undergoing change, then they are less likely to stay with you. An Office 365 digital workplace enables a number of different methods of communication such as surveys, Live Events, or question and answer sessions with the C-Suite. Listening to the opinion of employees and engaging with them will help to create an inclusive buzz around the change, rather than a fear-factor.

Speed is key
Nine times out of ten speed of information sharing is key to employee satisfaction. It helps to create an air of opportunity rather than loss, with the advantages that come from two entities bringing together their best practices and people. In a M&A context, having a communications platform from the get-go is a must-have for communications and the articulation of new brand values.

Adopt a consumer grade experience
Increasingly, employees are on the go rather than behind a desk. To keep up with the changes that M&A brings, information needs to be available from any device at any time. This is quite outside of the expectation that employees today want their 9-5 work experience to reflect the quality experience they get from consumer apps they use in their personal time. It is essential that any digital workplace experience is mobile ready and delivers an engaging, consumer-grade experience to attract and retain the best talent and help improve the productivity of employees.

Use AI Bot technology to create a single organisational brain
Personalised self-service offers a significant opportunity to improve the productivity of employees, especially when what they do and how they do it, is in flux. New AI platforms offer the opportunity for businesses to make rapid productivity gains by aligning functions working practices to the models that have delivered the most business value, when harnessed.

AddIn365 offer Office 365 digital workplace technology for organisations going through M&A, from communications platforms to AI and bot tooling for intuitive workplace productivity. Get in touch to find out more.

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