Addison Group’s 3-step process to navigate the L&D challenges in M&A
As Elizabeth explains, building a suite of L&D programs to match the diverse needs of the four incoming firms hasn’t been easy. But, she says, it all starts with listening.
Step #1: Understand the current learning approach in each company
Elizabeth’s first fundamental step in building a responsive learning program was to understand the status quo in depth.
“Each one of these companies is unique, so the first thing that happened was a lot of listening,” she says. “I had to go into each group and set up one-on-one discussions across the board. I needed to establish exactly what their needs were.”
“Once I took a deeper dive, understanding what direction they were going in and how they were building their business, it was easier to figure out where the synergies were.”
Step #2: Look for synergies between learning needs and existing resources
Armed with a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s learning needs, Elizabeth could then look for overlaps in demand for resources.
“We have a lot of CPAs across a couple of different organizations,” she says. “We figured out that there was a broader need for a CPE (Continuing Professional Education) program for our certified CPAs. This meant we could start sharing resources, which was a huge benefit in itself, and saved us a lot of money.”
Alongside finding a home for existing resources, Elizabeth also built content from the ground up. “One of the big things we worked on this year was creating our 90-day onboarding program. That was one of the biggest solutions, and I’m incredibly proud of it.”
Step #3: Match L&D needs with the right content
With these two steps in place, Elizabeth could match Addison Group’s diverse L&D needs with the right mix of content and learning approaches.
“We put everything together across different learning modules, including the HR modules and the ‘getting to know your job’ learning modules,” she says. “We have modules that go hand-in-hand with performance management, job shadowing, and leadership development.”
“We set a measurement status for each one of our programs,” she says. “We’re taking the structure of these programs and sharing them with our groups across the board. We’ve made a lot of modifications and revisions, but we’ve kept the original spirit of these programs.”
With everything in place, the final step was to measure the impact of L&D after the acquisition.