Simplify and streamline. As a company grows larger by way of merger or acquisition, HR should focus on reducing complexity in both the structure and processes for the post-merger/acquisition organization. Look to decrease the number of pay grades, job titles and occupational classifications.
Be nimble and flexible. The simpler your HR system, the more adaptable it will be to current and future structural changes. Be careful not to carve your HR practices in stone. Especially early on in the integration of the two companies, err on the side of flexibility and deploy your systems gradually. Set up employee committees to offer continuous feedback and suggestions for improvements.
Expand best practices outward. Model and share your best practices – simplification, streamlining, agility, flexibility – and encourage their adoption throughout the new organization. Lead the newly merged business to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their processes and practices. Work with management and staff to handle changes step-by-step, and establish workable timelines to effect those changes.
Pay close attention to your software. Chances are your HR software isn’t optimal. Add in a merger, which necessitates perhaps the combining of two systems or maybe the elimination of one and at the very least, the integration of two sets of employee information, and things can get messy quickly. Be aware that the integration process is probably not going to be as easy as simply importing data. Assign an IT-savvy staffer to lead the project – or it may be even wiser to contract an outside expert to integrate the different systems or recommend another solution.