Posted: 13 Feb. 2023 6 min. read

HR M&A: New Year’s resolutions for the workplace

Starting the year right as an HR M&A professional

Authored by Cliff Mansfield, Lisa Michaud, Sydney Julian, and Emma Murry

“New year, new me” is what we always seem to say about our personal life, right?  By now, you likely have thought about your personal New Year’s resolutions and documented them in your favorite goal-setting medium—maybe you decided that you want to get more sleep, want to watch less reality TV, focus more on your well-being, or start that hobby you’ve been meaning to get around to. Have you done the same for your professional life? What about your M&A role specifically? Do you have an HR M&A checklist of goals? If you haven’t—this is your sign!  Block a bit of time on your calendar to draft a few realistic and tangible professional goals for yourself this year.

To get you started, we drafted a few of the most common HR M&A resolutions for professionals like you in this HR M&A checklist.

  1. Build or update your HR M&A playbook
    You may not have an immediate deal coming up—that’s the perfect time to do some “spring cleaning.” Establish and document clear processes for each type of transaction (asset deals, stock deals, international deals, divestitures, etc.) to drive consistency. Dust off or develop due diligence questionnaires and make sure they incorporate recent legislation changes. Develop checklists for day one for managers, employees, and leaders. Focus on what you can do now to make your future easier.
  2. Host postmortems after each deal and take tangible action from your lessons learned
    When we do transactions, we often get through the integration and move on ... not thinking about what we did well and what we need to do differently going forward. Or even worse, we do the postmortem but get sucked into the same patterns afterward. This year, draw your lines in the sand and track against them using metrics and check-ins. Consider check-ins about once per month with multiple stakeholders to incorporate feedback.
  3. Spend more time with the Corporate Development team—whether there’s a deal or not
    Even when there isn’t a deal on the horizon, it’s always a good time to build and maintain a relationship with your Corporate Development team. Ask about their wish list from HR, build a dashboard of people KPIs together, codevelop your HR M&A playbook, or just have lunch. Frequent interactions in a non-transactional (pun intended) setting build trust and social capital—great resources to have built up for any deal. Bonus resolution: Check in with your finance and IT counterparts as well!
  4. Be more intentional about making DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) a standard part of executing a deal—and start early
    Where is DEI intentionally embedded in your deals today? Where could it be embedded with minimal extra effort? If you have a DEI team, schedule a brainstorming session with them—and be curious! Share your HR M&A playbook to ground them in the process you tend to follow, asking questions along the way to invite them to reimagine the deal life cycle with you at its most inclusive. If you don’t have a dedicated DEI team, challenge your own team to go through the same exercise, pushing each other to embed DEI in diligence, integration planning, day one, and the integration itself.
  5. Partner with HR and Learning & Development to enhance your organization’s capacity for change
    How work gets done, where we work, and who does this work have all drastically changed over the last few years. As work continues to evolve, our leaders face ongoing disruption. Leaders need help to make data-driven change decisions, manage the changes they are experiencing themselves, and help their employees navigate change journeys. Creating tools and micro-learnings to enable capacity now can help when there is change brought on by a deal, emotions are running hot, and the success of the business is on the line.

Take this opportunity to set a few attainable and motivational 2023 aspirations—2024 you will thank you!

Have another professional New Year’s resolution for the workplace that you are excited about? Share it with us via email using the information below.

Our Human Capital Mergers, Acquisitions, and Restructuring (M&A/R) team connects with HR professionals focused on M&A/R work (aka Human Capital “DealMakers”) across every industry. During these sessions we discuss topics that are top of mind for them as they support their companies. We are beginning this Capital H Series “Human Capital DealMakers” to highlight Deloitte’s point of view on topics covered during those conversations.

If you, or someone on your team, is focused on HR M&A/R work and are interested in joining our monthly calls, please reach out to the Human Capital DealMakers Mailbox.


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