As a part of the integration planning, retention plans need to be created so that once the key employees are identified, in my opinion, the following can be done:
1. Immediately having a conversation with them about the need, their role during integration and beyond, the time period during which their specific help is needed
2. Clarity around how they will operate with others to make these happen within that time frame – how the transition or knowledge transfer will be managed and tracked.
3. Providing access to a knowledge management platform or repository to capture the work during this period
4. Reward and recognition associated with their help
5. Retention bonus plus any incentives on the accomplishment of the integration/transition goals and the form in which it will be paid and the terms and conditions associate with it
6. Getting them to sign an agreement to that effect.