International Parking & Mobility Institute

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HR Perspective

Unlocking a Seamless Acquisition

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The Power of Retaining Full Management Teams

In the world of parking company acquisitions, it’s not uncommon for companywide changes to occur. After all, combining two companies—each with its own history, values, and legacy—is a vast undertaking. While some owners may want to retire, one way to minimize change and create a smoother transition is by working diligently to retain the acquired company’s entire management team. Here, we’ll discuss why that’s an important component of the acquisition process and how that can unlock greater success for both the acquiring and selling companies.

Building on Established Expertise and Industry Knowledge

By the time two companies are finalizing an acquisition, they have determined that it will benefit their leadership teams to join forces and collaborate. As a result, investing in the selling company’s existing management team often proves extremely valuable for the two organizations. It leverages the expertise and industry knowledge of that company’s leaders for greater external success and ensures a more seamless transition for internal teams.

Between the two companies, transparent communication is key. Essentially, this boils down to the acquiring company doing what they say they will do. Through honest words and corresponding actions, acquiring companies assure the seller’s team that the future is secure, creating a sense of ease that leads to greater collaboration. The two can achieve even more meaningful long-term success with the understanding that both companies are there to support and strengthen each other’s work.

Cultural Alignment and Continuity

Cultural compatibility plays a crucial role in successfully retaining management teams. While no two companies are identical, similar missions, shared values, and complementary company cultures can establish a cohesive environment. This can create a stronger connection between both companies’ existing leaders, ultimately fostering a more unified team and successfully retaining the selling company’s leaders. Accomplishing this can result in a smoother transition for team members and the overall preservation of the selling company’s unique identity.

When the acquiring company demonstrates its dedication to honoring the selling company’s legacy, it also instills confidence. This indicates to the selling company’s team members that their work is respected and their company’s mission and values will remain intact. With this understanding, they can feel a greater sense of belonging earlier in the acquisition process, leading to enhanced team member retention.

Trust and Relationships with Clients and Team Members

At the end of the day, successful acquisitions rely on trust. After all, the seller trusts the acquiring company with the business they’ve dedicated their lives to. That’s why establishing and nurturing trust is vital during an acquisition. When acquiring companies back up their promises with corresponding actions, like retaining the existing management team, they send a reassuring message to clients and corporate and field team members.

Because the current management team has existing relationships—both internal and external—and a wealth of institutional knowledge, their insight is invaluable in the continued success of both companies. By supporting these individuals, acquiring companies can ensure the maintenance of existing clients while also leveraging both organizations’ combined networks and industry connections to facilitate significant growth.

Empowering and Motivating Team Members

The decision to retain the management team can positively impact employee morale and motivation. The continuity of leadership instills a sense of stability and helps demonstrate an ongoing commitment to building a unified company culture. As the two organizations collaborate and establish a new rhythm, fostering the budding connection between team members also creates an enjoyable work environment that inspires people to participate. From citywide scavenger hunts and holiday parties to quarterly lunches and volleyball games in the park, team-building events bring people together outside their daily routines and give them space to form strong bonds beyond the office’s walls.

Additionally, investing in team members’ career development is integral to team motivation and retention. When acquiring companies offer opportunities to transfer to other cities or establish clear career tracks for upward mobility, the seller’s team can capitalize on the business expansion and utilize the newfound paths for personal and professional development. With increased opportunities, the work environment offers these team members additional inspiration for pursuing a career within the companies, which benefits the organizations collectively.

Commitment to Successful Integration

Retaining the management team requires a well-thought-out integration plan. Because teams entering new dynamics can feel apprehensive or concerned, it’s important to simplify the process as much as possible. From establishing transparent communication and distinguishing clear roles and responsibilities to addressing potential overlaps and aligning goals and objectives, numerous key strategies can ease the transition.

Integration also requires companywide commitment. This includes the acquiring company showing complete support across departments and divisions. Bringing everyone, from C-suite executives to HR team members, on-site to conduct the onboarding process in person—as opposed to video calls which, while efficient, lack opportunities to build camaraderie—demonstrates the entire organization’s dedication to welcoming the new team and building a lasting partnership. It leads the way for active collaboration between the acquiring and selling teams, driving synergy, and promoting a unified vision.

Retaining the selling company’s entire management team during an acquisition can be a transformative decision with numerous benefits. By tapping into established expertise, maintaining cultural continuity, nurturing trust, and empowering employees, the acquiring company sets the stage for long-term success. The transition can be seamless by following effective integration strategies, resulting in a united and thriving organization poised for growth in this dynamic industry. ◆

David Schmid is the CEO of Propark Mobility.