In two prior integrations, I have relocated to the primary site of the target organization to help facilitate the subsequent integration. In both circumstances, I’ve subsequently had to overcome a perception of being a ‘corporate spy’ – someone from HQ sent to monitor behavior rather than an asset to the target to help them make sense of the new structure.
Any thoughts or suggestions of how to prevent those kinds of rumors from cropping up in the first place?
I am not sure if you can change people’s perceptions…in my situation folks like you were called “implants”. What I can tell though is that the ones who were able to blend in nicely into the target company were embraced and appreciated regardless. The key is just to make sure you are building rapport and managing relationships in a way that communicates you are aligned with the company and everyone’s best interest. The rumors dissipate over time once you pass the “trust test”!
It’s hard to avoid having target staff think that. They are scared of what is going to happen to their jobs.
Relationship building is important. I think repetition is also important – continually talking to people about what you are doing there and how you plan on helping.
Time will really give people a chance to get over the shock of the acquisition. You also need Management and HR to give some direction (when they can) as to what the organization will look like after the integration. Once people have a sense of what is expected to happen, they will settle back into their routines.
For our integration process, I travel on-site for the purpose of scoping. My presence has occasionally been met with suspicion from the technician-level staff, but warmth from higher-level staff. I travel with our corporate team for closing day on these sites as well, so it helps me to see the mood during the closing announcement. I’d say that communication from the executive team on closing day about the intentions of the integration staff, as well as proper introductions can help ease any feelings of unease from the acquired company staff.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.