For those who have functioned already on post merger integration teams, how often do you see human resources officers included and performing vital functions as part of the integration team? Where do you see that human resources officers can add the most value on the integration team?
In my experience, HR is vital in pre and post merger activities. Typically, the results of the assessment on people, skills, and cultural fit that is produced pre-merger will drive the HR integration activities. These can include:
– managing retention packages and agreements
– carrying out contingency plans for key people who choose to leave
– recruiting and hiring for the needs of the new organization
– new job families and positions
– training programs for transformational change
When do DD I think HR should be involved because people in the company is the man behind the gun that run the company from management to all staff. Especially if there is a labor union in the company for certain countries will be a key that we should communicate to increase the value of the company but on the other hand the acquirer also should communicate that all the employee should do the corporate planning in the post merger integration.
On post-merger integration teams that I’ve been on with the highest degree of effectiveness have had HR leadership engaged throughout the entire deal process, particularly in Due Diligence and the development of Terms (especially in the area of synergies which, typically, involve expected process efficiencies that impact people).
In these cases, the value delivered by HR included keeping the Acquiring entity’s leadership honest about its own capabilities (both process and people) throughout the entire M&A process, allowing for the development of an effective post-merger plan before Day One that included what functions to integrate immediately, what others to integrate over time (based on change management needs and readiness), and even functions to keep intact (e.g. if R&D is not a core competency of the Acquirer and is required for the value defined by the deal to be realized).
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