Losing Talent: The Quiet Killer of Mergers and Acquisitions

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions (M&A), are you including an accurate analysis of key talent in the due diligence process? If you’re not, then you’re not alone. In fact, most companies focus primarily on getting the top leadership team in place, overlooking other key players.

And that’s a problem.

It’s estimated that 47% of key employees leave within the first year following a M&A, and 75% leave within the first three years. What EY calls this “Human Capital Gap” can account for 10–15% of the total purchase price of the company, or a value equivalent of 15% of a company’s profit.

So what can you do to ensure your top people stay with your company after an M&A? Here are some suggestions.

1. Demonstrate a clear career value proposition

It’s important you give your key team members a clear career value proposition from the start of the M&A process. Outline the possibilities they’ll have to progress and develop, the stability you’ll provide, the on-the-job training and education they’ll receive, the career development they’ll enjoy, and the evaluation and feedback you’ll continuously give. This, along with a clear understanding of compensation, benefits, work environment, and culture will prepare your key players for what’s to come.

2. Use M&A to propel leadership development

If you’re worried your top talent might leave due to a M&A, why not give them more of a role in the transition process, encouraging ownership and direct involvement? Including top talent in your integration team will ensure they’re afforded a deeper understanding of everything involved in a transition, including running new businesses, functions or divisions, specific change management skills, and leadership skills needed to make it a success. What’s more, they’ll be more keyed in to how your newly structured organisation will operate as well as what values will be at its core.

3. Implement a mentoring program

Developing and implementing a mentoring program during or shortly after a M&A can help your company:

  • Ensure there is a shared vision: Integrating new team members and a new culture can be difficult, that’s why having a shared vision is so important to the M&A process. One way to ensure this vision is communicated and shared by all is to implement a mentoring program with that vision at its core. Make sure mentoring partners are working towards this vision throughout their partnership, making it a key tenet in all goals, conversations, and meetings.
  • Transfer tacit knowledge: Transferring tacit knowledge is one of the most difficult parts of any process in which all sources of knowledge must be shared. A mentoring program, however, can help tease this tacit know-how out. As mentoring partners get to know one another better, they’re better able to communicate things not as easily transferred by more formal or traditional means.
  • Provide a sense of belonging: Last but not least, a mentoring program can provide a sense of belonging to a newly reorganised company. Shortly after a M&A, it’s not uncommon for team members to feel dislodged or unsure of where they now stand; a mentoring program can connect people to make them feel better situated and better understood.

How Mentorloop Can Help

Don’t let a merger or acquisition steal your top talent away within a few years. Be prepared from the start, spending as much time considering your people as you do new policies and structures. Implementing a mentoring program like those offered by Mentorloop can ensure your team members are engaged and connected from the onset of the merger & acquisition process or a corporate restructure.

Not only will such a program help your employees feel more a part of the transition process, it can also expand your company’s knowledge share, boost employee learning and development, increase engagement and retention, promote diversity and inclusion, and even recruit better talent in the future.

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Em is our Marketing Manager at Mentorloop. That's a lot of 'm's! | She is passionate about crafting messages, crafternoons and craft beer.

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