Tips for your Welcoming Speech

You have just completed your acquisition and it is time to introduce your Company to the employees of the newly acquired unit.  Obviously, you will cover the reasons for the acquisition, your hopes and expectations for the future merged organizations, and the impact on the newly acquired employees.  Here’s a couple of points to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t have all the answers.  There was a reason you acquired this Company.  New technology, products, markets or other capabilities.  Defer to their expertise.  Acknowledge that the parent company can learn from the new acquisition.
  2. Consider that when you purchased this new unit that the sellers may have overemphasized the opportunities and downplayed the problems.  Many employees will be wondering if you are there to help them overcome the obstacles they face.  Sounding too optimistic about the future may leave employees feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Will there be layoffs or required relocations?  If so, try to provide a realistic date when decisions will be made and the anxiety will end.  If you do not anticipate layoffs, do not promise no layoffs.  It is always hard to predict the future and while you want to assure employees that mass layoffs are not imminent, do not make promises that you may not keep.
  4. Make it clear that there will be a period of transition.  You need to learn more about them and vice versa.  Indicate which systems are likely to be merged, such as, the financial systems.  Avoid saying, “Your job is not going to change,” because there will be change for everyone and employees should try to embrace it.