Page 5: The role of leadership in managing change
When undergoing change it is important that there is the commitment and support of employees in particular, as well as other key stakeholders, to ensure the changes are embedded within the business. The way the change is led and managed has a significant impact on how effective the change process is.
When a business makes changes, the employees of the business are likely to be uncomfortable and anxious. They might even resist the change. They may have concerns about how their roles might change, whether their job is secure or how they will adapt to the new business.
The leadership team at Enterprise knew that this could occur and took steps to ensure that the acquisition process was a very positive experience for both Enterprise and Burnt Tree employees. They did this through having regular meetings, involving the teams and branches and by listening and responding to any concerns that the employees raised.
From the outset the decision was taken to locate the newly created entity’s head office on the same site as the former Burnt Tree head office. “This served to reassure the Burnt Tree employee base and gave a clear indication of Enterprise’s desire to invest in and grow the new, combined business,” said Danny Glynn, Managing Director of Enterprise Flex-E-Rent. Site visits from Enterprise’s Global CEO, European CEO and UK & Ireland MD were also conducted to further reassure the Burnt Tree workforce and demonstrate the importance of the acquisition to the wider Enterprise family.
Over several weeks Danny Glynn introduced Burnt Tree employees to the Enterprise founding values, focusing on and emphasising the similarities between the values of both organisations.
Being open and transparent and regularly communicating throughout the acquisition process meant that a consistent message was conveyed across the businesses. The integration team also recognised the importance of respecting everything that had gone before, so that best practice from both businesses was incorporated into the newly formed Enterprise Flex-E-Rent.
“The Burnt Tree brand had a fantastic reputation in the commercial vehicle industry, which made it such an attractive proposition in the first place”, Danny Glynn said.
The changes made were gradually introduced and paced to cause minimal disruption. This resulted in the employees seeing the opportunities that the growth of the business would bring them, including a range of training and development programmes that would develop their knowledge and skills.
“The past 12 months have been essential to enable the cultures of these two businesses to come together. Our vision was to combine the skills of both sets of employees to create a business that was stronger and could deliver an even better service to all our customers. We believe we have achieved that, have a great team in place and look forward to working with our customers moving forwards as Enterprise Flex-E-Rent,” Glynn said.
The integration programme culminated in briging the businesses together as a single brand, Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, offering “the highest levels of customer service, investment and innovation.”