A Post-Merger Integration Audit answers key questions about the last acquisition:
- How were the events, decisions, communications, and actions surrounding the merger handled?
- What could have been done differently to make the integration easier?
- What additional actions remain unfinished?
- How have shareholders, customers, and employees perceived the merger?
- If the company were to merge/acquire again, what should be done differently?
- Determine the depth of review required
- Interview or conduct written surveys with executives, managers, employees, and if appropriate, customers and board members
- Combine the qualitative and quantitative data to provide feedback and recommendations
- Summary report with recommendations
- Compiled interview notes
- Analyzed survey results
- Presentation summary
- Previous merger/acquisition experience
- Ratings of overall merger and announcement success
- Effects of merger on productivity
- Satisfaction with pace of merger, consolidation of products, offices, systems, and management efforts to answer employee questions
- Benefits of merger to employees, customers, and shareholders.
Although only quantitative questions are used in the statistical analysis, respondents also are asked a series of qualitative questions regarding their perceptions of the merger or acquisition. The answers to these questions are provided in the "Open-Ended Responses" section.
Respondents are asked to provide a description of their company affiliation before the merger/acquisition, experience with prior mergers/acquisitions, location at the time of the announcement, and the impact of the merger on their job duties.
Questions regarding the announcement of the merger and the time between announcement and the closing of the deal are also are included in the survey.
Responses to those questions indicate:
- If employees had heard rumors about the merger/acquisition prior to announcement
- How employees rated the handling of the announcement on a 7-point scale
- If employees felt that efforts were made to answer the questions that arose after the announcement
- The degree to which the announcement impacted productivity
To assess perceptions of the overall success of the integration and the benefits derived from the acquisition, employees are asked to rate:
- The pace of integration (too fast, about right, too slow)
- The process of handling the assignment of new roles, responsibilities, and any resulting downsizing or restructuring
- The consolidation of products, offices, and systems
- The benefits of the acquisition to the current employees, customers, and stakeholders of the company
Several open-ended questions are included in the survey to provide a more global view of the merger integration. Specific comments for each of those questions are listed in the Open-Ended Responses section; however, the type of questions asked falls into the following topic areas:
- Comments and suggestions on how to improve the announcement of major change initiatives
- Additional areas of concern-i.e., What could have been done differently?
- How to minimize the impact of change on productivity
- Unexpected occurrences
- Next steps
- Defining moments in the merger or acquisition process
A 21-question employee survey is available at MergerIntegration.com/post-acquisition-employee-survey