Workforce planning in the mega merger ecosystem
Human Resource Management

Workforce planning in the mega merger ecosystem

From the likes of Sainsbury's and Asda to big banks and leaders in the oil and gas industry looking to merge, the current environment sees companies across various sectors capitalizing on the potential of partnering up in different ways. While much focus has been on the competition dimension of these kinds of alliances, there are other issues that the C-suite need to consider when navigating this complex, changing environment.

According to Lee Clarke at Dynama, today's mega mergers and alliances signal a tremendous business opportunity, but businesses cannot ignore the impact on workforce planning. Mega mergers and alliances such as McDermott's merger with CB&I and plans for Schlumberger and Subsea 7 to form a joint venture, have thrown the spotlight on renewed interest in consolidation within the offshore sector, Clarke notes in a blog post. "But the need to ensure that the right kind of workforce planning is in place not only to improve cost efficiencies and decrease labor costs, but also to use the new combined labour force effectively, is often overlooked," he said.


Planning for success

Sector needs can differ but overall the focus on workforce planning should span all industries. Sue Bhatia, founder and chairwoman of Rose International, a workforce solutions company in St. Louis, points to the oil and gas industry as an example. "The oil and gas industry is on an upswing now after the 2015/2016 downturn. It's important to remember that downturns in any industry teach us significant business lessons, and often command restructuring. When work is distributed between offshore and onshore teams, working together as a cohesive unit is critical to success," she said.

For Bhatia, navigating the mega merger ecosystem means using the distributed workforce effectively to ensure success among industry consolidation. "Additionally, business leaders need to keep in mind that there is often a level of anxiety and uncertainty in the workforce when companies merge. This is especially important when employees learn that their future is now in the hands of management that is far away," she said.

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Bianca Wright

Bianca Wright is a UK-based freelance business and technology writer, who has written for publications in the UK, the US, Australia and South Africa. She holds an MPhil in science and technology journalism and a DPhil in Media Studies.

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