This was originally posted on td.org in March 2019.
Mergers are a cautionary time in the development of any business. Practices change, roles shift, and employees are concerned about the state of their employment. Employees have to get on the same page quickly to feel secure so they can perform their new tasks to standard. Companies need to invest in their training. Mergers present opportunities to show employees that their development matters, plus it gives L&D professionals a chance to evaluate old policies, and to take the strengths of new ideas and incorporate them into the business’s new paradigm.
The transition from multiple companies into a singular entity is a highly visible time, and your customers are curious about the future success of your business. Customers can sense when a business is struggling, and that can lead to a lack of confidence. However, if your employees are confident in their new roles, they will reflect your business in a positive light, emphasizing your success as they continue to excel. Early development in training benefits your employees, but also retains customers and can attract interest in your growing company.
Creating training during a merger does not have to be a radical change. Successful businesses, when building a new training program, can look at all their material and perform updates where they are needed. The revision process should focus on the concepts you want to strengthen and should remove procedures that are no longer relevant. But this process doesn’t have to stop here—there have been several advances in training delivery that you could use to your advantage. By making your training easily accessible, it reinforces the importance of providing your staff with the right skills and allows them more opportunities to succeed.
There are many successful ways to train new employees, and these employees have the benefit of added industry experience. Treat their expertise as something valuable and call on their skills to help direct the course of your revised training. These new employees have insights into what worked in their previous roles and can share the skills they adapted to your new business. Mergers don’t just mean that a business has acquired another business; it also means they are inheriting the skills and experience. Capitalize on every benefit you have at your disposal and show your added team members that their contributions are important to you. Valued employees are more likely to be motivated, and it is in your best interest to recognize your new employees as valued members of your team.
Mergers are an exciting time for business development, but they also present a prime opportunity for employee development. The best way to be profitable in the future is to invest in the present and to train your staff to an effective status as quickly as possible. The cost to provide training is substantially cheaper than the cost of confused and unproductive employees.