Acquisition Communications

Background
A manufacturer of conveyor belting was interested in acquiring a company that provided maintenance and repair services to its conveyor belts. This acquisition would add another 400 employees to the company's population of approximately 600 workers. The two organizations needed to seamlessly integrate and viewed this as an opportunity to implement best practices of each company to create a top-notch organization.

Challenge
The human resources side of mergers and acquisitions can be crucial to the success of the integrated company. By considering human resources issues, the organization expected to:
• Increase probability of retaining key people and competencies;
• Ensure benefit and retirement costs and savings were fully captured;
• Promote smooth transition for key human resources processes, such as payroll, training, and communications; and
• Understand what cultural advantages and barriers would be created through the acquisition.

Solution
Findley Davies evaluated the major human resources functions of each company and provided recommendations on policy and plan changes that would support a seamless integration. The Findley Davies' team evaluated health and group benefit plans and costs, pay and incentive plans, retirement plans, along with policies and culture issues to determine the best practices for the integrated organization.

Findley Davies reviewed benefit plan documents and interviewed key management to further clarify key policy issues and practices. These interviews allowed us to capture thoughts on cultural differences and communication issues with findings presented to the management team.
Our team developed a communication strategy that included employee meetings, printed communications, and a website designed to provide up-to- date information as new decisions were made. Our consultants developed the site to include a Q&A section that allowed newly-acquired employees to post questions directly to their new vice president and to the human resources team. Findley Davies also gathered feedback through brief polling questions.

Results
The acquisition was completed within two months after Findley Davies presented the study findings. Findley Davies supported the company through the merging of retirement plans, including communications for the plan design changes. Other recommendations from Findley Davies' report were integrated into their long-term strategic plans.

Employees regularly visited the transition website with nearly 600 website hits and 25 questions posted during the weeks after the transition. The executive director in Australia commented, "This is just first class. I applaud all who worked to put this together. Wow, this makes me proud of you guys!!!"

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