Control These 8 Important HR KPIs During the M&A Process

If the HR professional takes a look outside the HR bunker for a moment, it will see an increasingly volatile and uncertain global business climate. This has arisen as a result of several forces acting on the global economy, including: technological revolution, globalization, state protectionism, currency destabilization and global conflicts, to name a few.

Modern organizations are in a state of flux

As a result of these forces, most companies are operating in an environment of shifting sands and existing in a state of constant flux and change and restructuring. It’s no surprise to read that global M&A volumes [1] have reached a record high of $560.1bn so far in 2014, which is over four times the 2013 YTD volumes (137bn), and smashing the 2007 record of $421.3bn.

HR KPIs during M&A

View HR KPIs for M&A online

Puts a premium on HR Change Management Skills

This increased instability and volatility means that organizations must: flex, bend, restructure, merge, acquire, expand, contract and ultimately change more in response. This means that in this modern change intensive business world, HR change management and particularly HR change leadership skills, are at a premium within the HR field, because it’s HR who must show the competency to steer their organizations through the HR change management process.

Opportunity for HR

Organizational change shouldn’t be left to chance as this CIPD study suggests [2] that only 60% of re-organizations meet their stated objectives, so restructuring processes represent a real opportunity for HR to show effective change management skills and demonstrate the value of HR to the bottom line. But, where should they begin?

If HR wants to be steering the ship through the stormy seas of change and not just be another sea sick passenger, they’ll need to ensure they have an effective change management plan and digital dashboard with business aligned KPIs to monitor progress and make course corrections if necessary. That’s where a tool like BSC Designer can really help HR change managers, as it will enable them to quickly and relatively easily deploy a digital dashboard in order to control and manage their change initiative from 30,000 feet.

Bird’s eye view is crucial in what can be a confusing and emotionally fraught process

In fact serious change initiatives can be such complex, emotionally challenging and all consuming exercises, that it is very easy for HR change managers to get sucked into the organizational chaos and lose site of the big picture and overall objectives. And if HR change managers want to remain clear sighted and focused during change, they need to deploy a digital dashboard for change right at the beginning.

Using a software based, digital dashboard tool like BSC Designer will give HR change managers such a huge advantage because it is not only designed to help HR change managers produce a digital dashboard, but it also has excellent reporting and information presentation features so you can: engage with, communicate your vision and progress and importantly influence key stakeholders.

Where should HR Change Managers start?

Study from Aon Hewitt showed that around 10% of an M&A’s contract value depended on the retention/separation levels of critical staff.

Before you open up BSC Designer, you’d want to develop a set of business aligned KPIs to help you monitor progress and enable you to judge the ultimate success of your change project. The KPIs you choose will of course depend on the type of HR change management project you are engaging in, so below, I’ve set out a set of HR KPI’s you might use to track an M&A process.

  1. % of mission critical employees retained during the M&A process
  2. % of mission critical employees retained 6 months after the M&A process
  3. % of mission critical employees retained 2 years after the process
  4. Decline in staff engagement during the M&A process
  5. Decline in productivity during the M&A process
  6. Time taken to return to pre M&A productivity and engagement levels
  7. Number of value added roles created during the M&A
  8. Increase in concentration of exam qualified staff after M&A

You will notice that a lot of these goals are based around retaining staff and that is because this study from Aon Hewitt [3] showed that around 10% of an M&A’s contract value depended on the retention/separation levels of critical staff.

KPI’s are a route map to keep you focused during the chaos

M&A processes can be chaotic things and you’ll need an effective set of KPIs to keep your HR change management process focused so you don’t get lost in a storm of change. And so, with your change management KPIs developed, you can begin to incorporate them into a tool like BSC Designer.

This BSC Designer system will allow you to very simply enter all your HR change management KPIs. BSC Designer contains a core set of business performance areas of: Financial Perspective, Customer Perspective, Internal Process Perspective and Learning & Growth, and you can insert your KPIs into the appropriate business areas so your goals are corporate aligned. Corporate alignment of KPIs is important as it will make your work appear relevant to key stakeholders, making it easier for you to engage and influence them.

Your HR Change Management Digital Dashboards

It will take some time and planning to establish your change management KPIs and to begin to incorporate them into the system, but the work will pay off in the form of the detailed, and dynamic and automatically generated digital dashboard below.

HR dashboard during the M&A process

View HR KPIs for M&A online

What’s also good about a system like BSC Designer is that it is dynamic and you can update the system with actual values and it will automatically update the digital dashboards.

You can use this dashboard to sit down and have structured meetings and briefing sessions with expectant CEOS, stressed out managers and other key stakeholders to demonstrate progress, successes and help them to see the wood from the trees. In fact, you might want to set a regular program of monthly updates to help keep key stakeholders and managers in the loop and focused on meeting their M&A people management initiatives.

Your HR change digital dashboard will be the map and compass with which to steer your organization through the challenging HR aspects of the M&A change process.

Use HR KPIs for M&A project discussed in this article as a starting template for your own scorecard! Access this example project online or download .BSC project file for BSC Designer PRO.

View HR KPIs for M&A online


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Kazim Ladimeji is the Director of; is a HR resource for start-ups and small businesses. Kazim is also an MCIPD qualified practicing HR professional with 17 years experience.

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