How to ensure a successful onboarding post-M&A activity

M&A mergers and acquisitions hiring

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Business consultancy Business Health has shared 10 suggestions for firms onboarding new staff following a merger and acquisition.

The financial advice and broader financial services industry is no stranger to M&A activity as more companies look to upscale and enhance their capabilities.

Recent acquisitions have included Count acquiring Diverger, WT Financial acquiring Millennium3, and Nestworth acquiring the financial advice business of Australian Unity.

However, merger activity can often be conducted poorly and fail to meet initial expectations.

To avoid such a result, Business Health has identified what steps need to be taken to ensure a successful transition for new employees joining the company.

“When you hire someone, it’s critically important to make every step of your onboarding process a winner to ensure their introduction to your business is efficient, effective and painless – so much so that the new hire feels justified and excited in their decision to join your business.”

Fostering a positive onboarding experience is beneficial for both parties, enabling the new hire to become a productive member in the quickest time possible while also mitigating unnecessary stress.

The organisation provided the following 10 recommendations for a positive introduction process:

1. Begin the introductions immediately 

The process of onboarding a new employee starts as soon as the person accepts the role, Business Health writes, meaning a check-in call to gauge how they are feeling is prudent.

2. Continual communication

Regular communication throughout the onboarding process, whether it be planned or ad hoc meetings, is crucial to assisting the new hire settle in the business – particularly if they are feeling unsure in the new environment.

3. Involve existing staff

Introducing new employees to existing staff members eases the entire process and ensures a smoother transition for all team members.

4. Be prepared

Business Health recommended all systems are set up for the employee to start immediately. This includes personal aspects (basic terms and conditions of employment), addressing the business’s values and operations, and technology they will be utilising.

5. Give additional support

Appointing an internal support person to help the new hire navigate their new workplace and provide guidance could also be beneficial.

6. Avoid heavy workload immediately

The organisation suggested not delegating a heavy or difficult workload within the first few weeks of onboarding. Allowing for familiarisation and training should be the first objective initially.

7. Announce their arrival to existing staff

Alerting the wider business of the new employees’ arrival through a team meeting, internal communication processes or the business website is important.

8. Make them feel welcome

Ensuring the new hire feels welcome and valued in the new environment can make a difference, Business Health added, whether over coffee or a quick conversation.

9. Plan ahead

Planning in advance over a number of weeks before new employees join is vital to make sure nothing is overlooked and everything is personalised to the new hire.

10. Seek feedback

Requesting feedback from the new hire on their overall onboarding experience can allow for further improvements. Ask about why they joined, what they liked about the introduction process and if it was what they expected. 

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