The question is, will your LMS help or hurt you during a merger?
There are only two scenarios that can happen,
A) You choose an LMS wisely and gain an ally during a merger or,
B) You choose an incompetent LMS and the outlook for a successful merger is grim.
The reality is that mergers already have a lot stacked against them. In fact, about 70 percent of all mergers fail (Gallagher, 2018). That’s worse than the national divorce rate (LEWI, 2018)!
There are many reasons for failure but learning and development shouldn’t be one of them.
Sadly, companies often neglect the human capital management aspect of mergers.
While many companies focus solely on things like finance and legal, the ones that are successful are the ones that realize the need to manage the people integration process quickly and efficiently.
A lot needs to be done during a merger, especially when it comes to training and onboarding an influx of new employees. And, as a learning manager, this pressure falls on your shoulders to make sure the process goes smoothly and without any issues.
You might be up at night thinking of all the things that could go wrong,
• How am I going to get training to all these new people as well as our current employees quickly and efficiently?
• How will I know whether all these new people as well as my current employees are getting the right training?
• What if the system crashes with that many new people?
• What if nobody uses the LMS because it’s too difficult to use?
• Will our employees panic and start leaving the company? If this happens our company loses all that wealth of knowledge, not to mention the high cost of replacing an employee.
It’s impossible to go through any type of corporate change and have it go perfectly. But, when you take the reins in your department, you can significantly reduce any issues with employee training with the help of an LMS.
So, what LMS features make a merger easier for a learning manager?
When there is a large increase of employees with varying training needs, it’s imperative for your LMS to be able to adjust automatically. So, no matter if it’s a brand new employee or a current employee that had their job role changed or they changed department s, the LMS should be able to assign the correct learning paths
2. Ease of Use.
The last thing you want is to have your LMS add to employee stress. You need to get specific training objectives met and the LMS shouldn’t be a barrier to that happening
3. Users and data
. Your training efforts won’t get very far if the LMS crashes. Be sure that it is robust enough to handle a large amount of employees accessing it as well as large amounts of data
Surprises happen and situations change, especially when it comes to mergers. Be sure your LMS can ‘go with the flow’ and can quickly and easily be adjusted as needed during the process
5. Integration. The whole idea of a merger to begin with is the integration of two companies. Integration extends into training as well when the LMS must integrate with multiple other systems
The selection process
Learning and development plays a vital role in any merger planning process and, if involved correctly, can have an incredibly positive impact on a merger and the future success of the organization.
As intricate as the process might be, it can also present an opportunity to realign on business strategy, reinforce culture, and discover new synergies among the teams and individuals who drive innovation and business goals.
Choosing the right LMS can greatly assist in getting new employees up to speed quickly, align leaders with goals, and keep everyone engaged with as little disruption as possible.
In addition to the features listed above, it’s important when considering an LMS to understand how it addresses these three areas that are conducive to a successful merger.
You don’t have a second chance to get this right. An LMS that can handle a merger effectively has a robust onboarding system.
Time is of the essence and can be the difference between success and failure of a merger. The sooner you can get new employees up and running the faster you get to your business goals.
And, it’s not just a one-time event but rather an extended process of assimilating people into meaningful citizenship, cultural alignment and operational effectiveness. In addition, a good onboarding system should also mobilize a carefully targeted re-recruitment effort designed to identify flight risks, reduce fear and uncertainty, ensure that key players feel valued, and cast the newly merged company in a favorable light.
- Leadership Development
Once a merger happens, you must continue to develop your leaders. These people provide connection, guidance, coaching and feedback needed for other employees. An LMS can provide the ongoing learning opportunities for these people to shine in their leadership roles and help take your business to the next level.
- Engagement & Culture
This area is probably one of the most difficult areas of a merger to deal with.
It’s important for the acquiring organization to give new employees a sense of your company’s history and immerse them with its values, norms and corporate philosophy, in such a way that they do not offend.
And, socialization features of an LMS can help with cultural engagement. These techniques might include a buddy system, mentoring programs, orientation sessions, Q&A meetings with senior executives or peer networking.
When it comes to mergers, an LMS that has flexibility and scalability will be the key to success.
Yes, change can be scary but it doesn’t have to be when you have confidence in the LMS you’re using. Your workers will stay productive and engaged, new employees adapt easily and morale remains high. This is the best case scenario that can be expected. So, before making any purchasing decisions, be sure the LMS you choose can take your business to the next level.