Strong leadership team: Mergers are high-profile and high-risk events. Contrary to general belief, the anxiety it brings along is the highest at the top management level. This needs to be addressed first so that leaders are willing to drive the process with full ownership.
Business as usual: Often, people tend to hide behind the mega event and use that as an excuse for not delivering usual work. There has to be a clear message to treat the change and the everyday work as mutually exclusive.
Don’t go too fast: Be objective in selecting areas where you see synergies to maximise business impact, and don’t go overboard integrating all functions just for the sake of it. One needs to identify the right balance of value and risk in such situations.
Foster collaboration: This is perhaps the hardest, but if done successfully, can reap major benefits. It can be challenging because you are dealing with people and not machines — being sensitive to this wins you half the battle because it will push you to be patient.
Transparent communication: Clear communication and being transparent about plans, goals and updates is crucial to ease merging of teams. Prompt and regular communication with employees and addressing concerns are important to build trust. Opportunities to ask questions and voice feedback help nurture a feeling of involvement.