Upon announcement, let employees clearly know:

  • The reasons behind the combination
  • Specifics of the agreement
  • What the company and its people will gain or lose
  • How the company will proceed with integration and change
  • General facts about the partners–size, products, history, key executives, and locations
  • How business should be conducted during the transition period
  • Immediate implications for job security
  • What to say to customers and clients
  • Changes in policy or procedures

If known, information can also be communicated regarding:

  • Changes in company name and logo
  • Changes in organizational structure and management positions
  • Whether or not there will be any reductions in force, facility closings, divestitures, or outsourcing
  • Changes in product lines and marketing strategy
  • Areas of integration or reorganization
  • Changes in compensation and benefits

Even if plans are not finalized, people can still be told:

  • Who will be making the decisions
  • When decisions are expected (not promised) to be made
  • How both sides will be involved in making the decisions
  • The criteria to be used in decision making

As integration decisions are made, communicate information regarding:

  • Changes in organizational mission and strategy
  • Changes in organizational structure and systems
  • Changes in management and reporting relationships
  • Changes in job titles and job descriptions
  • New career paths and opportunities
  • Changes in procedures, policies, forms, and systems
  • Staff reductions and/or reassignments
  • Layoffs and provisions for job loss (e.g. severance pay, outplacement, hiring freeze, and so forth)
  • The rationale for all of the above