HR needs to add value to mergers, says Towers Watson

Reward and HR professionals really need to up their game when it comes to advising during mergers and acquisitions (M&A), or risk being perceived as peripheral to the process, according to Towers Watson research. Only a quarter of the 50 HR professionals questioned for the research rated themselves as ‘highly effective’ for their business acumen and the majority (59%) admitted to having only a minor impact, or no impact at all, on revenue growth related to M&A activity.

During the more successful M&A deals, HR plays it part by influencing the effectiveness of senior leaders, clearly defining the metrics for success and creating an M&A centre of excellence.

Jessica Norton, director of executive compensation at Towers Watson, said:

‘A key area where HR teams can make a big difference is around leadership retention planning. For example, during deals there is a tendency to focus on retention structures . . . HR needs to take a more strategic approach, focusing on leadership engagement and empowering leaders to drive change, leveraging the window of opportunity that deals create.'
‘HR contribution to M&A success’ was published by Towers Watson in July 2015. For more information visit