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Training Best Practices After a Merger or Acquisition

Mergers and acquisitions aren’t as simple as just signing a contract. Learn why acquisitions call for major training efforts from each company.

Published on 26 September, 2016 | Last modified on 1 November, 2022
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The past several years have been packed full of acquisitions and mergers. To put this into perspective, the top 10 acquisitions from January to June 2015 totaled over $230 billion. These massive deals helped to make 2015 the most active year for mergers and acquisitions since the Great Recession of 2007. Promising an uptick of economic growth, these deals also represent healthy signs for the economy as a whole.

“Acquisitions don’t end with a signed contract.”

One of the larger acquisitions of 2015 was a big beer deal between Anheuser-Bush InBev and SABMiller. At $108 billion, the AB InBev-SABMiller merger became the biggest beverage deal to date, reported The Wall Street Journal. Upon completion, the combination of these two companies has the potential to rack in an annual revenue of around $64 billion and open up the international market to AB InBev.

Deals like these affect every employee and are often met with lots of questions. No matter the size, mergers and acquisitions aren’t as simple as penning a contract and turning the page. Every department of the company involves some level of training to ensure that the organizational transition is as smooth as possible.

Rebranding Efforts Post-Acquisition

In the realm of business, the process of post-acquisition transitioning is called conversion. Companies must literally convert new locations into their own brand and image. This process can involve things as obvious as changing the sign out front, to more obscure changes such as communicating new brand values to customers.

“Promotional products tend to feel more like gifts than marketing.”

Training Initiatives

A company is made up of hand picked people who are typically considered to be the company’s most valuable asset. In the wake of a merger, many employees can get a little lost or frustrated in the transition, leading to disruptions and downtime. Downtime results in lost sales. At the same time, existing customers expect high-quality service despite major company changes. To meet these expectations employees must be trained to ensure that service offerings are at the best quality. So, during a company conversion leaders will want to ensure the training process is quick and efficient.

This stems largely from the training materials themselves and their delivery methods. Many companies choose to store their training materials digitally. This is a major advantage in cases of conversion.

“The faster your business can train your new staff, the better.”


Training at the Forefront

The key to a successful training program is to not treat it like an afterthought. Now is the ideal time to assess skill sets, integrate workplace culture, and carve out initiatives that will be sure to help retain key people.

However, mergers and acquisitions don’t allow for adjustment periods. A training plan has to take into consideration on how the training will be conducted – online, onsite, blended – along with the amount of time that is needed for it to be successful. Planning ahead, one way to get a leg up on a fast-paced transition is to organize training documents and presentations where they can be easily accessed.  Mimeo’s digital services allow businesses to simply grant access to the relevant locations and training leaders where the documents can be retrieved virtually. From there, the materials can be printed out or accessed via key code by employees who are being trained.  No matter what business you acquire, all of your documents are ready and waiting for you in Mimeo Marketplace. You have the option to organize documents in the marketplace library by store or office region to help ensure employees have access to the right content.To put it simply, any file uploaded is secured and can only be seen by designated internal personnel.

The faster your business can efficiently train your new staff, the better. This will allow you to jump-start your company in these new locations and begin the process of translating your brand values to customers that may have been more accustomed to the previous business.

It goes without saying that the conversion process is a big one. It involves a lot of work by nearly everyone in your company. Make sure to ease the process as much as possible by having the necessary systems in place before the big switch. Sitting down with company leaders and mapping out plans for training can save your business a lot of time and headaches down the road.

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The State of Learning and Development 2016 report is produced in conjunction with InSync Training to find out what are current L&D challenges and what the L&D professionals are planning on implementing in the future. Download your copy here, or register for our webinar.

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