Communication plans are imperative in business when needing to establish objectives and to reach goals. In the process, effective methods of communication can be used to facilitate that the messages will arrive to target audiences. In the present scenario, it was confirmed how strong communication plans are the tools to better facilitate processes as sensitive as merging companies. This merger is by itself stressful to employees and management.
However with proper communication strategy, the process can became as smooth as possible. Communication Plan BACKGROUND Some companies need to go to restructuring and changes in their models of conducting business. One of the major ways to do so is through mergers and acquisitions. Mergers allow companies in a particular industry to grow rapidly without the necessity to create another organization. Even though, Mergers is an aspect of business strategy aimed to help grow a business, it can damage management in target organizations.
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In a study conducted by Krug, et al. (2008), it has been found that organizations lost 21 percent of top leadership each year for at least 10 years after the deal. This turnover is expected if the line of production of both emerging companies overlap. During the process of a merger, many uncertainties and emotional changes can be experienced. Thus, it is of vital importance to conduct a communication plan that encourages executives and employees to stay and maintain high quality of production.
In the Princeton File Cabinets – Sauer Incorporated merge scenario, I will structure a communication plan to manage the situation through this scary and emotional transitional period. OBJECTIVES The objectives will be oriented to the human element in the merging process. This is an aspect that has been continually neglected, since the financial aspect has taken most of the attention. As Reh (n. d) argued that for merging companies to be successful, it is required that the management of the personnel involved is successful.
For this, I will consider both stakeholders: The internal (executives/ employees, and external (customers). * Officers and middle management personnel. To put in practice aspects of effective communication and leadership to establish and implement a plan that will help this personnel in the transition process. * Customers. To maintain customer loyalty by assuring them an extended and diversified product line. * TARGET AUDIENCES (STAKEHOLDERS) It is important to determine the people who have interests and influence in the merger.
Stakeholders analysis is the process that allows identify those key individuals to evaluate their understanding of the process, their positions, and influences in the project. Talking about the importance of stakeholder analysis, Baker (n. d. ) mentions in her article “Communication Plans”, that without this strategy, “the communication plan will lack force and direction”. Two stakeholders can be identified in this merging situation. These are the same individuals to whom the objectives are directed to: Executives/employees and customers. These are the people I need to communicate with during the project transition.
MESSAGES AND COMMUNICATION PROCESSES DIRECTED TO STAKEHOLDERS As mentioned above, I will stress the importance of effective communication and leadership in directing messages to stakeholders. Executive management personnel . As the chief executive officer, I need to commit myself to effective leadership and ongoing communication to explain to middle management personnel what is known and what needs to be clarify. However what is more important is to maintain an open communication line to sustain a positive atmosphere within these stressful times.
With this approach, even when most of the staff will fear change, they will appreciate openness. One theory that promotes this open communication and individual empowerment is the Path-Goal Theory (Merger and Acquisition Transition Plan, n. d. ). According to this theory, leadership should be conducted in such a way that the process of the transition should be carried out in simplest way possible. So that it will help reduce anxiety of change, which in turn will allow the staff proceed through the changes without promoting negative feelings toward upper management or the organization.
It is my responsibility also to be honest about the facts and not minimize or hide certain issues. This is to avoid misconceptions. Under this item, it is imperative to interview the previously identified stakeholders to learn about their role and importance in the organization, their competencies, interests and the way they can influence the business. Using this information, I will decide which individuals will be released and which ones will be maintain in the organization. The necessity to reduce the number of people is to no overlap positions with the new incoming personnel from Sauer Incorporated.
When faced with restructuring personnel, I will consider the possibility to personally speak with each affected employee about their specific skills and goals. Therefore looking for the possibility of reassignments instead of letting them go. They could be assigned to new divisions created in the merger, or to encourage them to attend training classes so they can fit properly in their new jobs. Therefore, As an effective communicator, it is vital to give employees and managerial staff the chance to speak out their opinions and help them take their own decisions. Customers
When two companies merge, it is perfect able understandable that this process will impact customer loyalty in some way or another. The article entitled “Merger Effects on Customer Loyalty” (n. d. ), describes that the effects of emerging companies on customer loyalty has two impacts on business results: First, the final number of loyal customers depends on the kind of product line evolved in each participating organization. For example it the emerging companies are synergistic in their production line, then the classic scenario 1 +1 = 3 occurs. Therefore the customer loyalty is stronger in the merger than in each individual company.
However if the synergy is negative (different production line), the net effect is weaker that in each company. Second, since the number of customers is partially based on the number of each participating company, if customer loyalty is grater or lesser than the combined entity, means that this evaluation is incorrect. The important aspect on customer loyalty is to determine the impact of the merger on this issue before committing to the project. As Princeton File Cabinets’ executive manager, I will ensure that the transition to the merger company should be as smooth as possible.
One way to accomplish this is through periodical written communication with customers. By providing continued information about the merging process, customers will be aware of what to expect and what kind of products will they get from the emerging organization. If there is a very important customer, personal communication should also be considered. It is also important to ensure that the two companies shared values before merging. By making sure of this, the new combined entity will conduct business in the way customers are accustomed to.
Under this scope, it will be my responsibility to suggest to customers the best products to meet their needs, At the same time, I will offer business customers an extended, improved and diversified product line that was not available before the merger. PROPOSED TIMELINE Here, I will communicate stakeholders when the merger will take place. Due to the intense emotional time that the merger implies, I will use three distinct phases that Sawyers (n. d. ) suggests: The big bang This phase is when the merger is announced. Rumor and fear will be expected. For the first two weeks, I will visit different location and meet as much employees as I can.
At the same time, I will be open to hear what they thing of the merger. The communication used be clear and concise. Smoking As the consolidation is taking place, my role as executive manger will be larger. There will be the need to explain issues and decisions to employees. Still hot This is the period of adjustment to the new company. Employees will need to engage to the new processes. It is important to understand that people will still feel fear and emotions that will need to be overcome through effective and sensitive communication. COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PLAN The costs are specially the ones related to the fear factor.
The biggest obstacle is fear of the unknown. This include job loss, general uncertainty. The financial costs to implement the merger is exorbitant and there is always the need for capital for starting up. MEASURING THE SUCCES By making use of effective leadership and communication, I will assure that the high stress and low morale will be overcome by giving employees the opportunity to voice their concerns and opinions. This way the transition will be as smooth as possible which will make it much easier. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS I expect this approach through effective communication and leadership will lead to the desired goals.
Reasonable options are given to officers and middle management personnel and costumers to help them overcame turmoil times during a merger. A good communication plan is needed in business to get attainable goals in a process of emerging companies. This evolve changes that inevitable leads to conflict. However, with a concentration on effective communication methods and leadership caused employees not only trust in managerial decisions but also to make the changes simple and minimize any obstacles on the way. References Baker, N. M. (n. d). Communication Plans. Retrieved from http://www. righhub. com/office/project-management/articles/16931 Krug, et al. (2008). Merger and Acquisition Lead to long term Management Turmoil. Newswise Retrieved from http://www. newswise. com/articles/view/542588/ Reh, F. G. (n. d. ). Managing Mergers Successfully. Retrieved from http://management. about. com/cs/megersma/a/Mergersuccess. htm Merger and Acquisition Transition Plan (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. essaychief. com/free_essays. php? essay=306566 Merger Effects on Customer Loyalty (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://wwwgenroe. com/component/content/article/1-public/58 merger