Integration of approximately 300 employees into an acquiring company following a Section 197 process. Our client, the acquiring company, is a leading professional services firm, employing over 3,000 people in Africa, with a strong risk management culture.

The challenge

Our client, the acquiring company, was given the opportunity to demonstrate its capability and competency to deliver high quality, reliable and uninterrupted client service against a challenging timeline. Through this opportunity the acquiring company had to manage the people side of the integration and aimed to inspire confidence with the industry regulator, its clients and competitors in that industry.

Our client had to manage the people side of the integration while ensuring its current team remained focused and able to deliver on client expectations on a particularly challenging deadline.

Our approach

We applied our change management and communication model across five phases over a period of 10 months.

Employees in the client, as well as those being integrated from the acquired company, were all qualified professionals. It was extremely important that professional standards, training and expectations were communicated, understood, assessed and managed. Various talent and change management tools facilitated closing knowledge and skills gaps with strategic communication initiatives. Facilitating the cultural alignment between the existing and acquired teams was a key focus of our change activities. We also addressed leadership alignment and teaming challenges, supporting organisational effectiveness and uninterrupted client delivery during the transition and post-transition period.

Our solution

The acquiring company set up an empowered “agile” project team, comprised of decisionmakers and specialists to respond quickly to developing needs. Slotting into the project’s Agile methodology, the change management team developed the strategy and executed the project in weekly sprints against the project milestones. The change management team comprised of two of the acquiring company’s HR team, supported by our team, with direct access to the project sponsor and leaders of the other workstreams. We used diagnostic tools to assess team strengths and profiles, together with focus groups, onboarding sessions, a two-day strategy and planning conference, and various communication assets to support the change, including videos, online and printed materials.

Client benefits

Our client successfully integrated the additional employees and delivered a quality service for its client that exceeded the requirements of the industry regulator. The client achieved its goal of demonstrating its capacity and competency, and successfully integrated the new team members into its client delivery teams.

Winner of 2022 IABC Gold Quill Merit Award, Change Communication.
(International Association of Business Communicators)

Winner of 2021 IABC Africa Region Silver Quill Merit Award, Change Communication.
(International Association of Business Communicators, Africa Region)

Melagrana was recognised for excellence in change communication by the International Association of Business Communicators in 2021 and 2022.