Culture in M&A: We Know It's Important, So Now What?

A Research Report by Mercer

Despite knowing that corporate culture is important, organizations still struggle with how best to convert an appreciation for cultural differences into a definitive plan of action for successfully executing a transaction.

According to Mercer's research, the most successful transactions engage senior leaders early in the process, which ensures a clear understanding of cultural differences and identifies and prioritizes actions that will inform, influence, and accelerate the integration effort.

We Know Culture Is Important –So Now What?   

Conduct early-stage culture due diligence:  As organizations navigate the earliest stages of a deal, HR should engage leaders on the topic of corporate culture with the objectives of:

  • Specifying the behaviors required for success
  • Identifying the non-negotiables (areas where change is not welcome)
  • Ensuring corporate alignment on aspirational cultural attributes

Plan for successful integration by:

  • Understanding the target company culture from publicly available information
  • Analyzing data on culture from both the acquirer and the target (including executive interviews, labor flow data, and online employee surveys)
  • Determining the desired "new" culture of the new organization and the associated behaviors that will lead to success

Identify and implement the drivers of behaviors (for example, employee reward/recognition, employee engagement, talent management) that will have the greatest impact on culture change.  

Monitor and track culture change by:

  • Deploying a series of pulse check surveys to monitor progress; adapt drivers as needed
  • Implementing an annual employee engagement survey to gain insights and gather views and experiences
  • Recognizing and celebrating achievements

Click Here to read the full research report.

Presented courtesy of:  Mercer, People Partner of the M&A Leadership Council,