The Human Factor: Top 5 Linchpins for Talent Engagement in Global M&A Deals

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are a key strategy for companies looking to expand their global footprint, gain a competitive advantage and overcome today’s market challenges. While the benefits of strategic corporate transactions are widely discussed, there are crucial considerations beyond the definitive merger agreement that can make or break the success of the deal. 

Among the top considerations is talent engagement, which is often overlooked until after the deal is inked. However, engaging and retaining talent before, during and after a cross-border M&A is crucial for maintaining business continuity and achieving long-term success. After all, behind the jargon and numbers on that agreement are human beings that form the team. These are the people who keep the lights on and make commercial success possible.

So how can you put people first?

Here are the top five ‘linchpins’ for bolstering talent engagement during a cross-border M&A deal

Communication protocol

Regular, comprehensive communication instills transparency. Both good and bad news should be delivered as soon as legally possible. This should be done in numerous formats, from emails to town-hall meetings and one-on-ones with individual team members.

Corporate culture integration

There’s a lot happening during a deal and sometimes HR departments and leadership remain focused on macro issues. However, empathy is more important than ever. Allowing employees to express their concerns can go a long way in supporting morale and preserving culture.

Transparent transition process

A timeline for when and how the deal will play out can also alleviate fears and bring the workforce into the fold. Committees and task forces may be formed to facilitate the transition, with HR explaining the benefits of participation and recruiting strong performers to serve as leaders.

Alignment of compensation and benefits

Employees will want to know how the deal may impact them individually. A plan for compensation and benefits post-deal should be defined as early as possible – and communicated to the workforce.

Strong labor relations

Buying companies will need to take into account how collective bargaining agreements and trade unions may impact compliance requirements and workforce integration.

Unlocking the power of people with an EOR solution

The success of a cross-border M&A deal depends not only on the legal and financial aspects of the agreement but also on how well the workforce is engaged and managed during the transition. However, maintaining the ‘human factor’ can be complex and time-consuming, especially when a deal crosses international borders. For example, a global carve-out often leaves behind ‘orphaned employees’ without an in-country entity to legally employ them.  

This is where an Employer of Record (EOR) can be a valuable partner. By providing expertise in HR services and local regulations, an EOR can help companies navigate the challenges of talent engagement in a cross-border M&A deal. 

In the end, the true value of a cross-border M&A deal lies not just in the numbers within a purchase agreement or in the C-suite  – but rather in all the people who make it happen. As Steve Jobs said, “Incredible things in the business world are never made by a single person but by a team.”

Partnering with an EOR to support an M&A deal can be the key to unlocking the full potential of talent engagement and driving long-term success.

Check out our guidebook “Managing and Engaging Talent through Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures” or contact us to learn more about managing talent throughout the M&A lifecycle.