4 ways to use an intranet during a merger and acquisition

At our inaugural Fresh Perspectives event back in February, one of the key things that came up was the role of an intranet during a merger and acquisition (M&A).

Our client Ethixbase360 shared how vital their intranet was in binding their colleagues together, many of whom work remotely, after undergoing several mergers and acquisitions.

With colleagues dispersed across the UK, US, Singapore and Australia, Ethixbase360 introduced an intranet to bring people together, break down silos and encourage collaboration.

Where previously their content was scattered across different platforms and locations, the new intranet provided a central place where everyone could go to find information.

Whilst merger and acquisition numbers have been relatively low since the record-breaking year of 2021, signs are the tide is turning.

So, if you find yourself steering your employee comms through the choppy waters of an M&A, an intranet could be your lifeline.

The challenges of a merger and acquisition for internal communications

There’s no doubt that the uncertainty associated with M&As can be a great cause of stress and anxiety for employees.

Trying to bring diverse organisational cultures together is hard. With different norms, values and processes, if cultural integration is not managed carefully it can lead to resistance, clashes and disengagement amongst employees.

Another challenge, which is tricky at the best of times, is employee engagement. During a merger and acquisition, maintaining employee morale and engagement can be even more of an uphill struggle.

Plus, there’s likely to be a lot of day-to-day disruption, which can lead to lost productivity and employees feeling disconnected.

Of course, we don’t need to tell you that under these circumstances regular, transparent and open two-way communication is vital for keeping everyone on board and minimising rumour mills.

Yet, when it comes to reaching large numbers of dispersed employees, your intranet can really be a lifeline. Here’s why…

Your single source of truth intranet

As the go-to location for M&A-related news and information, your intranet can help you stave off a potentially disruptive rumour mill.

Regular, transparent updates about the M&A on your intranet will help employees feel less anxious and more informed about the process.

Create a landing experience within Microsoft Viva Connections, SharePoint or both, to curate and personalise M&A-related content from around your intranet, so it becomes a one-stop-shop for employees to get the latest information.

Also, research shows that access to leadership can make a huge difference to employee engagement and Viva Engage’s Leadership Corner is a great feature for this.

It allows employees to catch up on the latest content your leaders are posting and gives them the chance to attend their ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions to ask them questions directly.

Creating a new culture

We all know how important workplace culture is for the success of an organisation, so when companies merge or are bought out, building a new, shared culture is vital.

Start as you mean to go on by highlighting the shared values, mission and vision of the merged organisation.

Videos can be a great way of creating a personal connection; for example, a video with leaders representing both organisations, outlining their shared vision or introducing the new leadership team.

Look and feel is important here too, so update your intranet with new, or temporary, branding and colours to emphasise the common ground.

Plus, encourage employees to reach out to their new colleagues and reward those who embrace the new organisation.

Breaking down silos

As a comms professional, it’s likely you’ll already be battling to create a community amongst your existing employees including first line, hybrid and remote workers, add to that a completely new set of employees and you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Your intranet People Search tool is vital for helping your new colleagues to connect and discover who’s who in the newly formed organisation.

Building strong relationships between new colleagues can also be achieved via your intranet with features such as Viva Engage Communities and Storylines, allowing employees to share thoughts and opinions or celebrate milestones.

Keeping things ‘business as usual’

Despite what’s going on in the background, day-to-day operations still need to be ‘business as usual’. For example, people still need to book annual leave, check their pension or find relevant policy documents.

You can use your intranet to keep employees up to date with the new way of doing things, creating ‘onboarding’-style content explaining new processes and where to find any documentation they might need.

4 ways to use an intranet in a merger and acquisition

Working with many clients who have installed Fresh Intranet (an intranet solution built on Microsoft 365) during their merger and acquisition, we know that an intranet can play a vital role of keeping the show on the road.

Here we share some of clients’ top tips for getting the most out of the platform in the turbulent times.

1. A news hub to share timely and relevant stories

Use your intranet to share CEO messages, product updates, customer success stories and employee achievements. Switch the two-way comms functionality on to allow employees to comment, like and share posts, whilst creating a great feedback loop.

2. A kudos feature to recognise and appreciate work and contributions

Introduce a recognition feature, like ‘kudos’ in Fresh, to enable newly formed team members to send personalised messages and recognition badges to each other. Display these kudos badges on the intranet homepage to increase visibility and promote a culture of recognition.

3. Department hubs

Create a centralised and organised repository for each department where information such as manuals, pricing calculators, product roadmaps and training materials can be stored. Configure permissions so colleagues contribute to the content, to help keep the information stored there up-to-date and accurate.

4. Integrate with Microsoft 365

Often described as a single pane of glass, integrating your intranet with Microsoft 365 will enable employees to access their email, calendar, documents and teams all from one place. The integration with Microsoft 365 also enhances the security and governance of the intranet, as the employees can access it using their existing Microsoft credentials to sign in.


If your organisation is about to go through a merger or acquisition or just been through one, speak to the friendly team at Fresh about how an intranet can help.