Post-Merger Integration Audit

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?

Approach:

  • 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

Deliverables:

  • Summary report with recommendations
  • Compiled interview notes
  • Analyzed survey results
  • Presentation summary

Survey: 

  • 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.

Demographics/General:

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.

Merger/Acquisition Announcement:

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

Acquisition Integration:

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

Open-Ended Questions:

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