How do staff affect Post-Merger Integration?

When completing a Post-Merger Integration, the most important key to success is teams working in harmony.

Every PMI project is different, but the mistakes made during project planning are the same. And the biggest of these is not considering the impact your staff will have on the execution of your post-merger integration.

Right from the start, you need to remember that a PMI project is different from a standard technology project. Coupled with this is the fact that your staff are not in the same frame of mind as they would be when dealing with their normal working day IT assignments.

Traditional project concerns are intensified

In an M&A situation, people challenges become far more complicated as you’re merging two separate company cultures into one. The result is often high levels of stress and anxiety within your teams.

Why? Because your employees are having to deal with new people and new systems – as well as fears about job
security and their future role within the company. They may feel resentful about the changes that are taking place, or lack confidence in their abilities to deal with the technology challenges that lie ahead.

This type of tension and uncertainty can have a big impact on the execution of your PMI plans. It’s therefore crucial to ensure negative attitudes don’t become unmanageable and derail your PMI project.

And a sure-fire way of amplifying an already stressful situation is to set an unrealistic project timetable.

The pressure of project deadlines

Your project completion date may have been set early on in negotiations and without consultation with your IT teams.
Interestingly, the pressure of this deadline can work in two ways.

On a positive note, it can create a shared momentum by driving your joint project teams to work together quickly and with a common purpose. However, on the negative side, it can cause too much pressure and cause resentment and stress. This could result in delays to the project, which can have significant cost implications.

There are two vital reasons to consult with your IT teams as early as possible in the planning process. First, because you can then set more realistic deadlines based on their feedback. Second, you’re more likely to gain the team’s buy-in to the project if they feel they’ve been involved in its development.

A sense of achievement

At the start of a PMI project, you may be faced with staff that feel disoriented, insecure and unwilling to put in their best work. By the end of the project, if your teams have pulled together and achieved a successful integration, their sense of satisfaction will be sky high.

Hopefully, your employees will feel they’ve gained valuable experience and learnt new technology, project management and people skills during the course of the integration. This newly acquired knowledge is beneficial to both them and you.

But sometimes there can be differences between an employee’s previous job and what they’re then expected to take on during and after a PMI project. In the shake-up period between merging the two companies, you could find some people end up in the wrong job.

But that’s not to say there isn’t a role for them within the new set up. In these cases, psychometric profiling can be used to give you the insights you need to build a new team that works well together, harnessing the momentum achieved during PMI and using that to drive your business forward into the future.

Plan for PMI success

If you’d like to know how to prepare your teams and systems for post-merger integration success and gain maximum value from your IT, contact us for a friendly discussion regarding your particular business needs at