Marty Kunz, Vice President of Human Resources at C&J Energy Services, provided tips about how organizations can manage HR and culture integration during transition periods in his presentation at the 2014 Human Capital Leadership Forum in Dallas on Nov. 20. During his presentation, “Managing HR and Culture Integration During Mergers and Acquisitions,” Kunz noted it is nearly impossible to plan for everything during a merger or acquisition, but preparing for myriad scenarios and remaining flexible can help an organization avoid pitfalls.
According to Kunz, an organization could alienate employees if it fails to adapt its HR and culture to their needs following a merger or acquisition. Kunz also pointed out that an inflexible organization risks losing money after a merger or acquisition takes place too: “If you come in headstrong with a game plan and it’s my way or the highway, you’re going to ruin probably what it was that made the acquisition attractive to begin with … You’ll be left with an entity that is much less valuable than your company probably paid big dollars for to buy them to begin with.”
In addition, Kunz noted an organization’s culture will find a way to develop itself, regardless of planning. An organization should expect some change following a merger or acquisition, Kunz said, but an organization also should understand that integrating new employees into its culture typically is a slow, gradual process: “In any acquisition, you’ve always got to plan on some attrition and change just for the sake of change is going to cause you to lose people … You try to minimize that impact and hopefully it’s not too large a number, but you’ve got to plan on that.”