Effective Management of Job in Post Merger and Acquisition Scenario

Category: Job, Motivation
Last Updated: 25 Jul 2021
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Table of contents


This report introduces a practical model of training and development needs assessment to reduce redundancies stress on employees after merger and acquisition. The proposed model is competency-based, which allows for the incorporation to reduce redundancies in post merger situation. When redundancy is the only route available, employers invariably feel obliged to assist those affected with positive planning measures for what, at the time, can seem an uncertain future.

However, this is not an easy task. Redundancy can be a difficult ordeal, hitting hard both mentally and emotionally and unless professionally implemented, employers will invariably fall short of having done enough‘ to really help. Everyone deals with redundancy in a different way. Being made redundant can provoke a range of emotions at different times, including shock, anger, loss, fear, denial or acceptance. Redundancy after M&A is a risk to all employees, and needs careful handling and counselling.

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Less recognised are the needs of those left behind. On the analogy of major disasters, they too demand meticulous attention to avoid deleterious effects both to themselves and to their organisations. The management of restructuring, redeployment or redundancy is important, not simply to be humanitarian, or for good public relations, but also because the effectiveness, vision and mission of the organisation that survives is at stake. Survival tips for both the individual and the organisation are indicated.


Since the late 1980s, the total number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) has far surpassed the number that occurred throughout the 1960s. Whereas the M&As throughout the 1960s were mainly due to unions between conglomerates, the 1980s and 1990s has witnessed an increase in M&As between firms of different sizes and different industry types, Merger and acquisition would have corporate strategies directed at gaining competitive advantage and satisfying customers? eeds always have human resource implications, and tactics such as job redesign, multi-skilling, redeployment, training, paying for performance, layoffs and downsizing should be specifically directed at implementing the human resource strategies of organisations. Unfortunately, however, the strategic considerations which should accompany the use of these tactics are often absent. The primary purpose of merging and acquiring new firms is usually to improve overall performance by achieving synergy, or the more commonly described as the ? + 2 = 5? effect between two business units that will increase competitive advantage (Weber, 1996). Recent research indicates that these M&As have a negative impact on the economic performance of the new entity because of human resource implications mostly redundancies (Tetenbaum, 1999). Therefore, although M&As are usually extremely well planned out in terms of financial and legal aspects, the conclusion that has to be drawn is that these poor results have come to be attributed to poor human resource planning.

Redundancies after M&As can be a difficult ordeal, hitting hard both mentally and emotionally and unless professionally implemented, employers will invariably fall short of ? having done enough‘ to really help. Redundancy is probably the most evocative and fear inducing form of organisational change for many workers. Each year in the UK, there are over 200,000 notified redundancies. What is perhaps of more concern is that many organisation merger and acquisition change programmes have relied heavily on redundancy even though they have been articulated as downsizing or, more euphemistically as rightsizing or business process eengineering (Champy, 1995). 4 The essence of research is to explore how well human resources are being managed within organisations and better to understand the impacts of organisational change in different sectors and at levels in the organisational hierarchy after merger and acquisition. Have pre-existing human resources strategies to cope with redundancies after M&As would reduce the stress on employee and also on organisation.

Human resources strategies like open up consultative and participative organisationwide discussion to seek out possibilities that minimise redundancies, establish sound two-way means of communication which permit employees to freely vent their feelings, with a guaranteed right of reply from the organisation, communicate constantly and effectively, actively evaluate impact, exercise effective leadership from the top, ensuring that the pain is shared, provide a clear reconciliation of the market and financial situation, offer immediate counselling and assistance to all those identified for redundancy set up a mutual support network for those made redundant and continue to offer human resources help where required are the core tools which can organisations should implement after redundancies in merger and acquisition situation. Mergers are not without their downsides.

They can consume an incredible amount of time and money, legal and tax complications, and problems with mixing corporate cultures and last but not least the redundancies. It has been estimated that fully 50 percent never achieve the initial financial and market goals projected. Decisions to merge assume that synergy will develop between two organisations that combine resources and talent and achieve economies of scale and integrated technologies. Whenever two separate organisations merge, they want synergy. Each side hopes to benefit from the merger and initially willingly attribute benefit to the other. However, synergy does not occur easily or without effort.

A merger may change the name of the company and management, but the real benefits occur when people ascribe to merged goals and ideals. There were more than 36,700 transactions with a combined value of more than US$3. 49 trillion (Thomson Financial, 2001). The number of jobs that these mergers impacted on has not been estimated, but conservatively it must run into the hundreds of thousands. For instance, at least 130,000 finance jobs have 5 disappeared in western Europe alone as a result of mergers and acquisitions in the 1990s (International Labour Organization, 2001).


Post-merger depression begins the day top executives declare that the merger, of which the most obvious is losing one‘s job. But redundancy after M&A can be an opportunity for positive change.

Time could be spent on self discovery and re-focusing e. g. advancement new people and forming new working opportunities, meeting merger is done. Employees often expressive many fears they are confronted with following a relationships, learning new skills, getting over the pain caused by the merger, and setting new goals as well as creating an organisation that is better than the two original separate organisations. Building on valuable training, experience, skills, talents and past achievements. While accommodating new work / life balance considerations and identifying new and as yet unrealised opportunities that only a fresh start can afford.

Explores redundancy after M&A as a significant and pervasive outcome of organisational change. The need to manage the redundancy transition has provoked the development of new HRM policies and practices. Highlights interventions such as redundancies are often used by companies with little rigorous evaluation of their utility or benefit, yet their continued proliferation would suggest that they appear to have assumed essential credibility and value. The pervasive and complex nature of current changes dictates not only the need for a better understanding of the practices that exist but also an exploration of how HRM theory of redundancies can contribute to and enhance that understanding.

The complexity of the situation for the survivors of redundancy after M&As means that no simple formula exists. The variables at play are diverse. It is often difficult to provide cause and effect data, reflected in an overall lack of evaluation. It appears that there have been few reported successful attempts to implement intervention strategies which support and assist the framework of organisational change after 6 redundancies due to M&As and personal transition for both those leaving and the survivors of a redundancy experience. One prime example is BBC model to deal with redundancies, considering that everyone's future at the BBC was uncertain during the 2004, including members of the HR department.

BBC worked to build in the flexibility to provide as many courses as were needed and to ensure that those you were going to made redundant had sufficient clarity about their own careers first, to help them to provide the objectivity that those they were working with would need. Suggestions for managing redundancies would be to encourages organisations to develop strategies which reduce, avoid or limit redundancy after M seeks to ensure that if redundancy occurs, it is handled in accordance with the law seeks to raise awareness of strategies which assist those affected to retain self-respect and enhance employability. Redundancy is one of the most traumatic events an employee may experience. Announcement of redundancies will invariably have an adverse impact on morale, motivation and productivity. The negative effects can be reduced by sensitive handling of redundant employees and those remaining.

If possible, it is preferable for an organisation to establish a formal procedure on redundancy after merger. In many organisations a formal agreement may have been negotiated and agreed between management and trade union or employee representatives. Some organisations deal with redundancies by an informal arrangement with a practice which varies for each redundancy or they may only start to consider the appropriate procedure for the first time when a redundancy situation arises. At the very least in order to plan and implement a redundancy situation properly, the following stages will be followed in most redundancies:

  • Planning
  • Invitation of volunteers
  • Consultation, both collective and individual
  • Use of objective selection criteria 7 Compliance with all three stages of statutory dismissal procedures
  • Advance notice of individual consultation meeting
  • Permitting a colleague to be present at consultation meetings
  • Opportunity to appeal
  • Allowing seeking of suitable alternative employment
  • Statutory or other redundancy payment
  • Relocation expenses
  • Helping redundant employees obtain training or alternative work.

Of course the exact procedure varies according to the timescale and size of the redundancy after M. Mergers and acquisitions (M) are increasingly prevalent, powerful and risky corporate events. The resistance or support of people in the integration of two previously separate organisations plays a key role for their success or failure. As merged‘ corporations integrate previously separate organisations, they can often dis-integrate individual careers with lay-offs, reduced advancement opportunities, upset or changed career plans, and other resistance-generating changes.

This is the poorest means of mobilizing motivation, experience, commitment and competence, all of which are usually seen as critical justifications for M in the first place. Organisations face opportunity to select new combinations and integrate work in ways that individual careers can be re-integrated into the goals of the M with the goals and motivations of participants affected by it, by recognizing and effectively supporting different motivational and competence profiles. Senior management who had been involved in M identified talent retention as their biggest challenge in leading a successful merger or acquisition, followed by making the deal generate long term value.

Less skilled firms in the art of M also focused on talent management but failed to create the fundamental climate of ownership that recognised the value of staff. 8 Managing and developing talent will prove instrumental for organisations to retain their competitive position and deal with the twin challenges of leadership and growth. According to new research by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, France, the Netherlands, and the UK have the worst redundancy pay. Based on minimum statutory paid notice and severance pay for a white-collar employee aged 40, made redundant after 10 years on a salary of 20,000, the average redundancy pay across the EU was 11,163.

But using the same comparison the redundancy pay would be just 5,000 in France and the Netherlands and 5,128 in the UK. In Spain and Italy the payment would be 25,464 and 18,276 respectively, and 15,000 for both Belgium and Austria.


The rationale for M activity is a key value-added role that the board can and should play. A value-based analysis can be strategic rationale of a deal, revealing its true underlying economics. For an acquisition to deliver improved financial performance, it must enhance the strategic position of the acquirer‘s businesses or the target‘s businesses. More precisely, it must improve either market economics or competitive position of the business units.

No brainer deals that provide great returns by simply eliminating redundancies, achieving a lower cost of capital or lowering tax rates are virtually a thing of the past. So mergers and acquisitions must be justified through the strategic benefits that will be realised. Signs of human stress are present in all combinations, even the friendliest and bestmanaged ones. Manifestations of the merger syndrome appear in all varieties of corporate combination, be they mergers or acquisitions, friendly or hostile, domestic or international, involving companies of similar or different sizes and so on. Personal involvement in organisational mergers and acquisitions has served to foster an awareness of the various symptoms of the merger syndrome.

Twelve such indicators are preoccupation; imagining the worst; stress reactions; crisis management; constricted communication; illusion of control; clash of cultures; we vs. 9 they; superior vs. inferior; attack and defend; win vs. lose; and decisions by coercion, horse trading and default. (Schweiger et al. 1987) cite job security as the most important factor for employees during a merger, followed by pay and benefits, work autonomy, and performance feedback. Research has also indicated that the organisational change process in mergers is usually tightly controlled by management and decisions on job losses are driven solely by the need to reduce numbers. Thus employees are commonly concerned not only with job security but also with how selection decisions are made.

Related to this, a number of researchers have shown that perceptions of procedural fairness are a key factor in determining staff attitudes to, and experience of, merger change. In particular, the perceived fairness of redundancy procedures is reported to impact significantly on the attitudes of the staff that remain in the organisation. A number of organisations using a compulsory approach to redundancy selection made the point that once change is known to be about to occur there is more to be gained in terms of gaining the commitment of key players than in leaving these employees in the dark.

One organisation held briefing sessions for all its senior managers before the advent of a redundancy programme in order to provide reassurance, and to talk through strategic plans after the redundancies, with all main board directors present to field questions. This was designed to be open in nature so that these managers could in turn return to their staff to counter any doom and gloom suggestions. Managers such as these have been used as the ears of the organization in order to feed back issues which arise during this period of uncertainty so that a response can be made by the organization in order to minimize any adverse effects. In spite of these benefits, other organisations stated that they did not reveal plans to anyone outside a very select planning group, fearful that leakage of such information might have more significant negative effects.

However, these particular organisations tended to be the ones who bypassed any prior, general notification about intended redundancies, thereby moving to ? phase two? , which is the actual notification of 10 those affected. The disadvantage of this closed and compulsory strategy is the type of situation referred to at the start of this article. Indeed, this particular organisation did not repeat its experience when it faced the need to undertake a further round of redundancies: this time it declared the need to make further workforce reductions, requested volunteers and stated that it would only declare compulsory redundancies if there were insufficient volunteers.

Reactions related to disbelief, betrayal, loss of motivation, lower morale, mistrust, uncertainty, insecurity and lower commitment to the organization and so on are undoubtedly more pronounced where there is no announcement or indication before the actual notification of those to be made redundant. To summarised the rationales of this report would be, Job redundancies are common phenomena in post merger, lack of secondary data, there is no support, continuity or implementation of the programs like this in any organisation, Collecting information in real time from both participating and non-participating employee groups after redundancies is a challenging task, the mono-method bias is another limitation of this study and last but not least the time limit.

Literature review

Author Year Bob Moore 2002 Surviving Title Authors Evaluation Report Evaluation a to compulsory redundancy and Several factors contribute to A number of organisations Thriving During successful M. The first is using a Merger or instilling a positive mindset approach Acquisition among all employees – and this selection made the point can only start at the top. Senior that once change is known management alignment and to be about to occur there is partnership sets the tone, as more to be gained in terms employees managers look for to their of gaining the commitment and of key players than in direction assurance during this important leaving these employees time. Getting people and the dark. One organization processes to work together is held briefing sessions for all the only way to make the new its senior managers before company work. A successful the advent of a redundancy management evaluate team should programme in order to each company‘s provide reassurance, and to personal best practices and talk through strategic plans incorporate them into the newly after the redundancies, with combined organization. all main board directors Although 75 percent of M present to field questions. don‘t reach their stated goals of greater financial results, there is a formula designed to encourage success.

Attention, time and financial resources must be applied to employees and their work processes, so the new company ends up with a motivated, can-do workforce. Christiane Demers 1999 Merger acquisition and Communication‘s critical role in Poor communication and in the implementation of change is mergers often cited in the literature. intensifies acquisitions stress for announcements as corporate wedding narratives Communication is presented as organisational a tool for diffusing members top because of the uncertainty their future. The management intentions and for about preparing context of minds action to a new communication strategies Managers serve to reduce uncertainty, egitimate change to encourage in which both management employee commitment to and employees can voice their opinions, and concerns, provide imminent transformations. Adrian Furnham 2006 Deciding on One of the occasional tasks of a Senior management who promotions and manager is to decide on who in had been involved in M redundancies their reporting staff to promote identified talent retention as as well as, where applicable, their biggest challenge in who to make redundant. In large leading a successful merger organisations guidelines factors there may be or acquisition, followed by concerning to take which making the deal generate into long term value.

Less skilled some firms in the art of M also on talent both consideration. Further organisations keep records on focused performance designed to which reduce are management but failed to the create the fundamental subjectivity in these sorts of climate of ownership that decisions. Nevertheless this is recognised always because a of difficult the decision staff. and the value of many powerful consequences not only for the individual involved, but also his/her working colleagues and the organisation as a whole.

A successful merger is all in head-count, or redundancies, about cost savings, right? ave become commonplace in Wrong. The most important many industries worldwide. In thing is making sure that the practice many downsizings fail valuable talent from both to achieve desired long-term companies doesn't simply results. Presents results of a march out the door. survey among large Canadian Managers behind the most firms which suggests Examination management some successful mergers and reasons. strategic of acquisitions spend as much of time addressing "people" downsizing reveals weaknesses issues such as integrating of both planning and cultures, managing talent, knowledge and implementation. management of Effective sharing human retaining key people as they esources is a prerequisite but do on cost savings, merging failures often arise from processes, technologies and inattention to other important divisions. aspects of organizational change. Suggests that a wellthought-out strategy should be accompanied innovation, by process re-business engineering and organizational learning.

Bob Moore 2004 Surviving and Several factors contribute to Suggestions for managing Thriving During successful M&As. The first is redundancies would be to a Merger or instilling a positive mindset encourages organisations to strategies avoid or which limit M&As that if is among all employees – and this develop can only start at the top. Senior reduce, management alignment Acquisition and redundancy after ensure artnership sets the tone, as seeks to employees look to their redundancy occurs, it managers for direction and handled in accordance with law seeks of to raise assurance during this important the time. Getting people and awareness strategies processes to work together is which assist those affected the only way to make the new to retain self-respect and company work. A successful enhance management evaluate team each employability. should Redundancy is one of the company‘s most traumatic events an personal best practices and employee may experience.

Although 75 percent of M&As have an adverse impact on don‘t reach their stated goals of morale, motivation and greater financial results, there is productivity. a formula designed to encourage success. Attention, time and financial resources must be applied to employees and their work processes, so the new company ends up with a motivated, can-do workforce. Adrian Thornhill 1995 The positive For those organizations which Redundancies after M&A management of declare redundancy survivors: issues lessons redundancies without can be an opportunity for prior warning, the effect may positive change. Time could come as a shock to all be spent on self discovery re-focusing e. g. nd employees – those who are not and to be made redundant as well as advancement those who are to go. This has opportunities, particularly been the case in meeting new people and non-unionized organisations forming new working where there has not been the relationships, legal requirement to undertake learning new skills, getting prior consultation. One financial over the pain caused by the 15 services organisation stated that merger, and setting new this led to a period of shock for goals as well as creating an 24 hours during which work organisation that is better effectively ground to a halt. The than the two original management of the organization separate organisations. hen had to work quickly to overcome this effect, through company-wide communication and by demonstrating that those to be made redundant would indeed be fairly in treated. unionized prior However, even organisations, where consultation occurs, there may be the feeling that little attention has been given to the survivors of redundancy. There is a growing awareness Human resources strategies handle redundancies among business leaders that the like open up consultative way an organisation handles and participative redundancies sends out a very organisation-wide strong message about its discussion to seek out corporate ethics and values. possibilities that minimise redundancies, establish ound two-way means of communication which permit employees to freely vent their feelings, with a guaranteed right of reply from the organisation, communicate constantly and effectively. This report excellence, employees‘ the training and and introduces a development needs assessment: more practical model of training development to needs reduce on a education becomes imminent. In assessment organisation redundancies practical model contemporary for institutes partner information stress dissemination by employees after merger and itself leads to little or no results. acquisition.

It is the ability to that of the model is competency- organization knowledge disseminate based, which allows for the leads to incorporation to reduce employees‘ skills and abilities redundancies in post merger development. What matters is situation converting technology through people into better organisational performance. One thing which is true about the twenty-first century is that the development of human resources is no longer an option but a must. Job losses that are the result of A number of organisations mergers, sale of a company, using restructuring, and downsizing as approach organizations profitability in struggle a a to compulsory redundancy or selection made the point highly that once change is known competitive corporate world are to be about to occur there is common. The reduction process more to be gained in terms forces organisations to employ a of gaining the commitment variety of exit strategies as they of deal with the most key players than in difficult leaving these employees in aspect of downsizing – the the dark. reduction of personnel from their organisation as a means of rapid reduction of expense to the company. Considers some employee-sensitive strategies exit Bryn Jones, 2001 How Redundancies Worsen Inequality Collective redundancy (CR) is The complexity of the erhaps the most central but situation for the survivors of acknowledged employment factor redundancy in means formula that after no M&As simple The are Social least shaping contemporary Britain. exists. at play The ease with which employers variables can execute CR allows not only diverse. It is often difficult to fairly rapid and to and also of far-reaching provide cause and effect business data, reflected in an overall working lack of evaluation. It changes organisational practices, restoration but prompt appears that there have few reported to companies‘ been financial deficits, as well as successful changes in the skill and implement of strategies attempts intervention which support demographic workforces. profiles nd assist the framework of organisational change after redundancies due to M&As and personal transition for both those leaving and the survivors of a redundancy experience.

Research methodology

The primary data would be collected through, principally involving in-depth questioners and interviews with senior human resource practitioners and staff those who made redundant after M&As in the organisations. Before interviews occurred, these practitioners were supplied with a list of the questions. The ranged from the reasons for redundancies after M&As through to the impact of redundancies on organisational survivors, and organisational learning points for the future management of redundancies.

A comprehensive assessment after redundancies can reveal how a company has emerged from the combination and how ready it is to achieve future goals. Secondary data would be collected by using publicly available information, public domino, Newspapers, Articles on Redundancies after M&A and International Journals on this topic.

Further evolution

The need to reduce costs is an opportunity critically to review current ways of doing things, to make major improvements using new technology or better methods and build strengths for the future. Reasons for the design of existing work flows are often buried in history and reflect yesterdays crises. Many organisations have found that simply the exercise of mapping their major business processes can suggest dramatic improvements.

Redundancies, duplications, inefficiencies and disconnects are common in most processes or systems which have been in operation for a while. Massive reductions after M&As radically change managerial and workforce attitudes. Individuals no longer trust organisational commitment to long-term employment and morale has suffered in many cases. Corporate psyches have been forced to confront the possibility that growth may not return, and decline may be inevitable. Dealing with these issues effectively is the difference between a company that will continue to suffer the redundancy hangover long after the event and one that can 19 move on swiftly.

Companies that manage the process of redundancies after M&As well in terms of being fair and transparent and in terms of giving a level of support to the employees when they‘re leaving, create an environment in which the people who are left behind say: Well, at least they treated them fairly, and it had to happen for a business reason - at least they looked after them and didn‘t just shove them out the door. The high level of consultation required makes good management sense. Two things: once the decision has been taken, how an employer conducts himself after that is going to be critical. It‘s about being responsive to employees — giving them an opportunity to have discussions; making sure information is available to them.

All of that will be seen by employees who remain behind as well. Secondly, the communication process for those who remain is important, making sure they‘re not ignored or sidelined just because they‘re not part of the programme. They may well feel left out. To this end the following are some of the approaches that may assist:

  • Have pre-existing human resources strategies to cope with such a situation. These should be open and transparent, subject to widespread consultation, and equitable.
  • An organisation needs to provide a career management structure which enhances self-directed skill development. The opportunity to learn the transition skills necessary to career change are thereby created.
  • In facing an experience, an organisation has to consider the impact on the symbols it has previously used to motivate staff, particularly its sense of mission.
  • The management of restructuring, redeployment or redundancy is important, not simply as a humanitarian gesture, or for the sake of good public relations, but also because the effectiveness of the organisation that survives is at stake.
  • Open up consultative and participative organisation-wide discussion as soon as danger signs appear. Seek out possibilities that minimise redundancies after merger.
  • Establish sound two-way means of communication which permit employees to freely vent their feelings, with a guaranteed right of reply from the organisation. Communicate constantly and effectively, and actively evaluate impact.
  • Exercise effective leadership from the top, ensuring that the pain is shared, such as through voluntary salary cuts and the non-awarding or take-up of bonuses.
  • Provide a clear reconciliation of the market and financial situation, options for amelioration, and the need for job cuts within this.
  • Use clear and published criteria to determine the basis for redundancy, arrived at through consultation.
  • Set up a mutual support network for those made redundant after M&As and continue to offer human resources help where required.
  • Offer immediate counselling and assistance to all those identified for redundancy.
  • Organisations should always attempt to avoid redundancies in post merger situation.

Ways of doing this include

  • Natural wastage
  • Recruitment freeze
  • Stopping or reducing overtime
  • Offer early retirement to volunteers (subject to age discrimination issues)
  • Retraining or redeployment
  • Offering existing employee‘s sabbaticals and secondments


Handling redundancies after M&As is a difficult task where decisions have to be made as to numbers, timing and criteria. The detail should be fully discussed with employee representatives, with the objective of getting agreement about the way matters should be handled. A successful merger is all about cost savings, right? Wrong. The most important thing is making sure that the valuable talent from both companies doesn't simply march out the door or made redundant.

Managers behind the most successful mergers and acquisitions spend as much time addressing "people" issues such as integrating cultures, managing talent, sharing knowledge and retaining key people as they do on cost savings, merging processes, technologies and divisions.


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Effective Management of Job in Post Merger and Acquisition Scenario. (2018, Jan 31). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/effective-management-of-job-in-post-merger-and-acquisition-scenario/

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