Every now and then, there are strange things that happen in business. You might end up signing a contract with a business that was your most daunting rival one day. Your business might become a standard bearer for a particular technology or service and big business begins to copy you. You might even end up buying a business that you were trying to kick out of the industry. All of these are very rare scenarios but they could happen; just like merging departments. Inherently, the merging of two different departments with their own cultures, functions, employees, processes and technologies simply sounds like it’s never going to work. It’s like oil and water you might say. Yes it is going to be difficult, but merging departments is usually done in difficult times anyway. What’s one more challenge really going to mean to you when you’re already trying to make cuts and boost productivity?
Yes, there will be conflict
Starting a small business was a dream come true, but it’s not heaven. Small businesses are where you make your bones, learn the meaning of being ruthless and cut-throat. Letting people go is one of those challenges that you will have to get used to. However, managing conflict also becomes a skill that you inadvertently learn. The merging of departments is one of those things whereby you have to accept that conflicts of procedures, standards and personalities will occur. However as long as you have a keen eye, and know which of your employees will work best with each other, pairing them or sitting them next to each other won’t be too much of a problem. Give each department certain roles which are more suited to them and try to maintain their functional position in the business as same as you can.
Transporting the tools over
When mergers happen this usually means one department brings over their machines and equipment to the other. Of course this means unplugging a lot of technology and then rebooting it to its new location. Installing the applications that each department needs to use can take multiple days. Instead you can visit this website and see how their cloud system can store applications so you have remote access at anytime. This allows one or both departments to access their applications instantly and begin working with little to no duration between moving. If the departments are on the move, they both have remote access which is great for teams that are pitching to clients around the world.
Resetting the hierarchy
Perhaps the most complex of all the tasks you need to complete for a merger to be successful is to reset the hierarchy. Obviously the directors of each department will be on an equal footing but what about project leaders? Decide on who is the most competent, reliable and able to function under pressure, and assign the new pecking order. This should be done quickly so there is less chance of arguments and infighting.
Merging departments is usually done when a company is downsizing due to hard times. If your employees have instant access to their respective applications the sooner they can get to work. Choose who will be overseeing who and make sure both departments are respectfully assigned their natural roles in the new department.