Before considering a collective onboarding of an acquired partner, four systemic questions should be asked.
The merger or acquisition (M&A) agreement has been signed and communicated, top leaders have shaken hands, the integration team is established, day zero has arrived. What is the best approach to collectively train and onboard the new employees fast? is often the first question raised to the Learning and Development (L&D) function.
As a result, functional heads, HR, and L&D join forces and start drafting a learning and development swim lane to be added to the tactical integration plan, including technical skill building, vision and values workshops, and leadership bootcamps.
The new kids on the block typically are not involved in the design and get overwhelmed by all the training initiatives. Even if there was initial excitement about the merger or acquisition, they soon may start to feel subject to a hostile takeover. As they lack the company’s history, context, and “do’s and don’ts,” it is unclear which battles they can fight and what not to touch. Most importantly, many of the large training programs turn out to be expensive yet ineffective; well-intended but counterproductive. The new employees do not buy into the new company narrative and become disengaged. Critical talent walks out the door and takes their technology or customer relations base with them.
Mieke Jacobs and Paul Zonneveld