SAP’s recent acquisitions of Sybase and SuccessFactors means that Christy and her team are well versed in change management processes. Although the SuccessFactors acquisition is so recent that employee integration is yet to occur, the Sybase integration is occurring right now. She says both SAP and Sybase employees are enthusiastic about the integration, which she notes provides a caveat around change fatigue: in Christy’s experience change fatigue only occurs when there is resistance around change. “With the acquisitions there hasn’t really been much of that. Even for the companies being acquired, the employees are quite excited to be joining SAP. However, we still need to ensure we integrate smoothly and manage that transition for all employees.”
Christy recommends “a few simple things” when it comes to change:
“You can’t communicate enough and the earlier the better. Clarity about where we’re heading and where people fit in is so important, because whilst there is excitement there’s also uncertainty as well for the employees. We’re ensuring we’re supporting them and giving them clarity and direction about where we’re heading.”
“With Sybase we’re bringing two cultures together, two teams together, so there’s that teambuilding element to consider.”
“We’re making sure we’re providing the right level of training – be it in various product areas or core competency training. It’s about good onboarding, good training, so people feel that they are integrating into the team here.”
A global head of M&A will outline plans and forums for communication for the SuccessFactors integration, and as with other global initiatives, it will be up to Christy and her team to channel those through to the local market, and tailor them as appropriate.