Employee Engagement Expert Explains Why Most Corporate Mergers Fail

Neglect of the human element in post-merger integrations means that over 60% of corporate mergers fail according to Alan Crozier from The Ghost Partnership.

On average, only 32.4% of M&A activity can be described as a success. In fact, in something like 60% of cases the acquiring company fails to cover the cost of capital. “The lack of effective post-merger integration is behind the failure of most corporate mergers, says Alan Crozier, one of Europe’s leading organisational communication consultants.  There is an obvious focus on getting the deal done, identifying efficiencies, and of course capturing the revenue stream. But companies don’t change – people change them. And the human side of the change agenda is often the Cinderella at the party.”

“The CEO needs to start the communication and involvement process before the ink is dry, and have at least a 100-day plan for getting everyone in the business on the same page as far as the business direction is concerned.  The key question employees have is of course, ‘what does this mean for me?’ Here honesty and timeliness are crucial. When people don’t know what is happening, they will on average spend two hours a day in fruitless and typically negative discussion with colleagues. This is where value-destruction starts.”

Crozier, a founder of Glasgow-based consultancy, The Ghost Partnership  and author of a new book: The Engagement Manifesto bases his assertions that many employee engagement initiatives are fundamentally flawed on research and years of consulting in this area, particularly in times of change.

Crozier has over 30 years experience in advising blue-chip companies in the UK, Europe and the US on employee engagement  through business transformation, mergers and acquisitions. He has addressed conferences on these topics in Europe and North America. 

Please click here for author’s photo and his book, The Engagement Manifesto cover

Bio: R. Alan Crozier

Crozier formed Q4 consulting in 2002 and in 2010 he also became a founding director of The Ghost Partnership, a company formed to bring together the experience, expertise, skills and resources of expert consultants with complementary disciplines in performance through people.

He has recently been appointed to the Government’s Task Force on Employee Engagement set up by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) in the aftermath of the report by David MacLeod and Nita Clarke on employee engagement and its benefits for organisations and employees.

He was previously with Watson Wyatt Partners where he was responsible for their strategic communication and employee engagement consulting capability throughout Europe.

From 1989 – 1999, Crozier was deputy practice leader for Mercer’s communication practice in the UK.

Crozier was International director of accreditation (Europe & Middle East) for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) 2008-2010 

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and an Accredited Business Communicator (the professional qualification of the IABC).

He has served on the steering board of the Corporate Identity Group and the professional advisory board of the MSc in Corporate Communication Management at Salford University

Crozier is a contributing author to:
“The IABC Handbook of Organisational Communication”, published by Jossey Bass, New York, May 2006; 
“Integrating HR and Marketing Strategies”, published by ICFAI University, July 2006

Crozier has addressed conferences in Europe and North America on employee engagement, employer branding and related topics. 

The Ghost Partnership


Founded in 2010 by four senior business leaders to offer a systemic approach to employee engagement to facilitate, support, and embed change; and deliver powerful and sustained business performance through people.

Organisations with engaged employees enjoy lower absenteeism, lower costs of attrition, fewer reportable accidents, less wastage, better productivity, and significantly out-perform their less engaged counterparts .

The Ghost Partnership use research-based strategies and have proven that their employee engagement methods work to deliver increased and sustained improvements:
in PLCs to boost Total Shareholder Returns; 
in Mutuals, to deliver enhanced member value; 
in Professional Services to boost Partner profit.

The Ghost Partners are:

Name: John Nicholson – click for profile
Position: Director

Name: Alan Crozier – click for profile
Position: Director

Name: Andrew Cooksey – click for profile
Position: Director

Name: Bill Mitchell – click for profile
Position: Operations Board

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