Merger and Acquisitions – What is right choice ?

Rajni Jain

HR Head

PCS Technology Ltd.

Merger and Acquisitions – What is right choice ?

When a company decides to merge with another or acquire another company, the idea is to form an entity that is bigger in terms of value, resources, expertise than the sum of the two individual companies.

The idea behind merging or acquiring with companies is to use synergies to create efficient processes. HR plays a pivotal role in tackling the most critical issues faced by both the organizations during the transition — managing the human resources, ensuring their buy-in in the process and preparing them to adapt to the change.

In order to ensure a successful integration, HR should be involved from the initial stages of discussion wherein it can focus on aligning the most crucial areas.

To begin with, there are few specifics that need to be looked into during the pre-merger/acquisition stage:

What business life-stage are both the companies at?
How different are the work-cultures at both the companies?
What is the acquire company’s way of working?
How profound is the company’s performance to those ways of working?
Are the processes & systems at both the companies complimentary or contrasting to each other?
Which talent is indispensable from the second company and how to utilise their potential in the renewed system structure?
How much time, effort and management investment will it take to coherent the newly combined organization?
How many functions/roles are duplicated, how to re-align & rationalize headcount
Post this due diligence, the companies needs to introspect & understand whether the difference in the processes, working methods, culture are reconcilable or not. If yes, then a framework needs to be worked out in the initial stage itself.

Here’s how HR can play an important role, when involved from the initial stages of integration:

1. Retaining the Right Set of Talent:

The uncertainty that the unison brings in can lead to the exit of the critical resources. Hence, HR from the very beginning should develop a strategy to identify & retain the right set of people. This could be done keeping in mind the below requisites:

Select employees on merit
Build your employees’ trust
Keep the formal communication channels open
Offer an employee retention arrangement
2. Integration in Compensation Structures:

HR’s efforts to integrate compensation strategies and practices are a key component of successful mergers and acquisitions. They need to carry out the vital actions by reviewing the compensation policies of both the companies & defining a structure which is practically implementable and workable for employees of both the companies.

3. Alignment of Performance Management Methodology:

It is a challenging task for HR to ensure that employees’ are consistently performing during the transition & to evaluate their performance on a regular basis. For this, a proper performance management strategy should be worked out during the pre-merger/acquisition stage itself ensuring a proper implementation of work during and post the transition.

4. Change Management:

Employees will resist the change that the merger/acquisition process will bring in – as there will be an uncertainty of the work structure post the change. Hence, HR together with the management should focus on change management during the transition. Few things that need to be looked into for the same:

Initiate the change management effort at the earliest possible stage
Createshared principles for the change management initiative for the involvedcompanies
Verify the change through every stage of the process
5. Integration of Cultures of Both the Companies:

Integrating Company Cultures Is the key to the success of an M&A. The ways in which you can successfully implement it is:

Communicate Early and Often
Examine Cultural Differences
Develop a Cultural Integration Plan
Embrace Change
6. Transparent Communication:

Assuring that a transparent & proactive communication process is followed. This will help fend off the informal channels of communication and will play an instrumental role in the pre, ongoing& post stages of the transition process.

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Anita Simson

Manager – Human Resources

Towell Mattress & Furniture Industry



Why things don’t work my way, why it gets delayed beyond my patience? And, why things don’t turn out as I expected? To sum it up- Why, not my way?

These questions keep popping in everyone’s’ minds some day or the other. How much ever sober we must have evolved, these questions do keep popping out, when things don’t turn our way. Today, once again, these questions have busted in my  head. Yepp, by once again, I mean- whenever something doesn’t work for me, especially when I’ve worked my heart out, these doubts have to pop out.

And, today is that day. I thought I have changed- now such petty things don’t disturb me. I am completely doing justice to my role. And, by transforming myself to a HR professional, my thinking and beliefs have had a 360 degree shift. I think, speak and act as a HR professional, where things have been always carried out keeping the organizational goal on the top. And, to reinforce the said belief, I re-quote my current boss You are not here to please everyone, make everyone happy. You are not here to be liked or loved. Your role has to be commended. Know your job, your role and act wisely”. [Taught me to be objective].

And, I tried to get into the same mold- that my boss has created for a HR professional. Understanding the fact, that the organization needs a strong administrator, I mounted myself in the space created by the organization and started changing the policies for betterment. As expected, encountered few resentments from the employees, the so-called colleagues for whom I was a harmless HR till yesterday. But, when I started questioning to all their nonsenses, they suddenly felt that I was bullying or taking advantage of the position.

Yet, I solaced myself saying that ‘You need to be bold, considering the job profile you chose- it is a dirt clearing job, but ain’t dirty!. So let’s do it and try to find some  exciting ways of doing it…

And then… I did it… I mean I nailed it…. Started by introducing with an Attendance system to create and maintain Time management and an accurate disciplined overtime computation system. I believe everything starts with a disciplined life. And, then grudges started pouring in, as people around here were not accustomed to be organized.

This day is quite frustrating, as after putting all the efforts to project the organizational goal on priority, I was diminished as a personal aggressor for the culprits. Today, as frustration is mounting up, I allow myself to reach the peak of frustration. Frustration, as they say, blocks all the possibilities of thinking and venturing the new promises. I don’t want to think about anything now and would like to stay here- at the ‘frustration zone’ for a while…

Now, I need to come back… wake up Anita… you can’t stay ‘there’ forever. The real world is calling me back… I need to come back like a phoenix bird… rising from the ashes. No… I’m not exaggerating… this is how I felt a little while ago. I recalled the motivational speech that gave a clear idea about frustration- how it grows, how it stays and how it ruins you. It was said that you, being the master should have control on all the emotional stuffs in you. Frustration will mount up ONLY and ONLY if you allow it to. Frustration will stay with you ONLY and ONLY with your permission. And, in no way, I like the company of frustration and I do not want to be a victim of frustration- I remember this every single time life turns its back on me.

A long read Zen story also comforted me…

“A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”

I thought- holding onto resentments- the only person I am really hurting is myself. Why to do this?

Today- is that day ‘out of frustration day’… I call it this way… celebrate this. No- I am not rewarded for any of my doings. Don’t get me wrong. Nobody has ever realized that ‘there was a real mess yesterday’. And, after maturing to this stage, I don’t even expect this from anyone. Again, it’s my job to get me out of this. Let’s start afresh.

Obviously, lately but confidently, this time I have developed an aura of calling ‘spade a spade’ and could identify things in black n’ white. Evolving as a HR professional, this has become a second nature and on anything that crosses the path- an eye is lend to identify things lying in gray area. I have acquired this skill of balancing emotional  vs. intelligent quotient effort fully over a period of time. And, I am NOT going to give up this quality for a bargain.

You can’t- in fact, no one can pull me out of this. I have determined that I’ll continue to be a breathing HR. I do not want to take out any of my qualities just because the wrongdoers don’t agree to me.

Wearing the HR hat, I really care to preserve the most eminent and obligatory skill of seeing through things. The fact is to keep the Organizational objective on the top! I’m excited, I could do this, as this was not possible when I was an immature HR professional. Now, I understand- I could rather change the plan than the goal.

Today, I comprehend one more thing- there’s a reason for everything… what comes your way and what doesn’t… You need to figure out the right way out of it. And, to  my understanding, I realized one thing that any changes should be brought-in gradually and one need to prepare others to accept it. This is again, where you say  that you need to sell your concepts to others. It’s not that these points were overlooked, but were not paid detailed attention, considering the complicated and confused personalities around you.

Here, I speculate – I got the answer- Why, not my way? Ok… I guess it would be easier and smoother the next time.

What you guyz think and do when things don’t work your way? What does ‘frustration zone’ mean to you? Awaiting your response… place yourself in my HR boots…

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Do Performance Improvement Plans Work?


Pranay Sharma

 Human Resources

Reliance Power Limited

Do Performance Improvement Plans Work?

“Discipline and freedom is not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent because otherwise, you’d sink in chaos”-Paulo Coelho– Well, plans will work! When, it is executed, properly. Many of us have inhibitions about PIP, we often feel that it is one of the most effective and planned way to trim your workforce by removing under performers. Yes, on the contrary we do have to agree, it is one of the most effective tool to build high-performing organization, if it is executed properly. It depends on an individual, how he or she looks at things.  High-performing organizations strictly demand all of its employees to perform exceedingly well and meet their targets. It is quiet natural when it comes to competitions some are stars, some are average, and some are below while some do not have any scope of improvement. Leader and followers both have the responsibility of improving the performance of each other, for eg: “Virat Kohli” centuries cannot single handedly win matches, since it is a team-effort and if you are running with such a leader like “Virat Kohli” who expects everyone to put in their 200 percent, one has to perform or perish. We have to go down deep into what is expected out of what and at what pace it will satisfy the organization.  For making it work following methodology can be followed-

Objective- What is expected out of an individual to raise his/her standard of performance.

Purpose- The main purpose is to encourage improvement and support individual by enabling him/her to achieve required standard of performance.

Design- At the beginning of PIP a communication shall be sent to identified executive regarding its commencement and purpose.

A meeting shall be facilitated between the executive and the respective Appraiser in the presence of Business / Functional Head with the objective of preparing the PIP.

The identified executive shall be given fair chance to explain the problem faced by him/her, which shall be considered and analyzed by the appraiser/functional head to find out the problem areas.

All assignments and improvements required by the executive shall be mentioned in PIP form.

The targets on which performance is to be measured for each area requiring improvement shall be identified keeping in mind that they are reasonable and attainable within the given time frame.

The PIP shall be rolled out with consensus of all the participants and the PIP form shall include signatures of all the participants.

The executive shall be given a copy of the Performance Improvement Plan with stipulated timelines for achieving it.

The appraiser and the Functional / Business Head shall ensure that the executive gets the support needed during the PIP in terms of resource / training. The same shall be captured in the PIP form.

Quarterly Review-

The progress and performance of the executive shall be monitored on a timely basis.

Both the executive and the appraiser shall participate in the quarterly reviews diligently.

If the executive is found to be lagging behind, then the reasons shall be probed into. Results of each meeting shall be captured.

The copy of the Review Chart shall be sent to HR.

Final Assessment:

The final assessment shall be done in the following Year End Evaluation.

The appraiser, the HR representative, Functional / Business Head and the executive all shall participate in the final assessment.

Corrective Action:

In the event of non-improvement of performance of the executive in-spite of providing sufficient support as per PIP, any of the following Corrective Action may be taken-

  • Demotion
  • Reduction in salary
  • Termination
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What Every HR Manager Needs to Know About Succession Planning

Arpita Ganguly

New Delhi

What Every HR Manager Needs to Know About Succession Planning

Identifying backups for top level positions in organizations is often confused as Succession Planning. It ie not! In fact, you are resorting to only what is a Replacement planning.

Succession Planning goes beyond that. It delves to develop potential talent to create a database of ready resources for several positions in future.

– Succession Planning enables both career path planning of employee and aims at planning for various grades/ profiles coming up in future. The more difficult to fill vacancies will be aimed for first to create a ready bench strength.

  • Succession planning adopts a systematic process using various performance and behavioural measurement tools and data for identification.
  • It is a long term process and may involve training, on the job transfers, learning, job enrichment.
  • It helps create multiple skilled talent in the same internal pool of resources.
  • In summary, whilereplacement planning is reactive in approach, succession planning is proactive. Succession planning motivates team as they are increasing their skill sets in various profiles, possibly also for more senior profiles.
  • Also these people are usually hi-potential teams who are more energised being part of the recognised group being trained for various roles, leading to better loyalty and lesser attrition.

For any succession planning to be successful, the senior management must own the process, duly communication with all team members on its importance, along with HR team which rolls it out and evaluates periodically.

Success of any organisation is dependent on highly charged, well trained team, keen to take on changes and challenges, and Timely Succession Planning helps in moving in the right direction to achieve the same.


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