With the fast-paced environment of doing business, change is a given. But, despite this common occurrence, it doesn’t come easy.
When an acquisition happens within your company, it might provoke fear in the L&D department.
There is already a lot of pressure to manage the current workforce and an acquisition only adds to the stress when more workers from a different company are added to the mix.
Human talent and leadership are at the very crux of what makes some Mergers &Acquisitions successful and others not. And, this is a big reason why the learning department is tasked with such a big job during an acquisition.
People don’t like change, specially when it comes to their job.
When word gets out that there is a pending acquisition it invokes a variety of feelings. Your employees could worry that they might lose status or job security or there is a fear of the unknown and a general climate of mistrust.
In fact, change could trigger a mass exodus of your most valuable workers, leaving your company with a big hole of lost knowledge. This is the last thing you want as you’re trying to at integrate two workforces as your organization restructures and reassigns roles.
Scaling processes and growing pains are not new with acquisitions. But, if you plan wisely, your LMS can make the system of training and onboarding employees much easier.
So, what LMS features help make scale easier during an acquisition?
1. Onboarding and Retraining
. It’s important to get the new employees (and old employees who need new training) up and running as soon as possible. And, this includes acclimating them into your corporate culture. An LMS that excels at onboarding will not only provide training but the feeling of belonging and an energized staff ready to do great things as a new company.
One of the ways your LMS can help integrate your employees into the corporate culture is with social features. It provides a much needed connection for workers to learn from each other and become a unified team.
During the transition, job roles might shift and adjustments made. An LMS with great reporting features can be a great tool to catch any potential problems in the early stages of an acquisition. Reporting can be used as an “early warning system” to figure out problem areas — a poor skills-fit for an employee moved to a new team, for example.
4. Flexible Learning.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ learning program that will suffice. To truly provide the right training to your employees, the LMS must be able to be flexible and customizable. Do you have new and updated content? Can employees access learning from a mobile or out in the field? Do they have time constraints and need microlearning available?
5. Automation. There can be a lot of confusion during an acquisition so an LMS that automates will ensure everything that needs to get done, is done. Additionally, it should be able to take a load off the learning manager’s plate from manual processes. For instance, if a current employee’s job role or department changes, the LMS should be able to automatically update their training path.
During the LMS selection process, keep these features top of mind while exploring additional requirements.
The Selection Process
During the LMS selection process many companies have a list a mile long of things they want it to have.
They prepare for a variety of situations and circumstances but L&D are often the last to know about acquisitions because they often must be kept secret until they are finalized and announced. And, by that time the LMS must already be up and running.
According to Deloitte, 79 percent of organizations expect an increase in the average number of mergers & acquisitions in 2019. With that said, you must either choose an LMS that can be implemented quickly or plan in advance to allow for this sort of situation.
In our previous blogs
, we talk about putting together an LMS selection committee.
We advise including your CEO as well as finance manager during the process. These folks are in the know about inside business dealings that will have a major impact on training down the line.
When you’re prepared from the beginning the benefits will shine through.
The right LMS will help lay the foundation for a smooth transition. This includes a combination of e-learning, experiential strategies, quality content and collaborative social learning.
During an acquisition, the learning department will get tasked for the transition of people and skills. So, it’s imperative to consider this when selecting an LMS. When the learning department and top executives can work together, great things can be achieved. You’ll foster confidence in new leadership, lessen employees’ fears about the future, ease transitions among teams and help conflicting workforces find synergies.