During the whirlwind of changes that impact employees during integration (after an acquisition), it’s important to establish and promote a primary channel/vehicle for regular updates to core leaders, i.e. managers and above.
My colleagues and I found that a common complaint is that there are too many discrete memo-announcements on individual HR and IT subjects during an integration, and managers and staff get overwhelmed as they accumulate the various information.
After the initial overview-of-the-integration communication is released early in the integration, move quickly to a weekly roll-up update for core managers. Keep each item brief with links to more information or related resources. This should greatly reduce one-off memos. Reminders should be a balance of verbal communications (from managers during staff meetings, for instance), posted notices, and reinforcement on the organization’s intranet . Minimize the repeated “push” communications via email; instead, tune managers into reading the weekly roll-up update.
A great way to format the weekly update is to divide the notices and information under three headings: “Take Action” or “Action Needed” (when the reader needs to do something), “Need to Know” (for information the reader should pay close attention to), and “Other Updates.” A fourth section often is a calendar of upcoming milestones and go-lives.
A weekly e-newsletter “roll up” update to managers helps to keep everyone on the same page during integration, and minimizes excess email traffic. Here’s two (above and below) I developed for recent integrations.
This series of blog posts explains what worked well (or didn’t) during the integration of about 2,000 clinicians, support staff and affiliated physician, at a prestigious hospital that became a part of our 33 hospital, 5-state health care system.