HR’s ‘lack of business skills’ pushes people issues to bottom of agenda

Employers are more concerned with talking up the share price than looking
after staff or customers during corporate transactions, and just under half
believe HR professionals do not have the necessary business skills to make any
useful contribution.

This is despite the fact that 87 per cent of HR directors claim short-term
staff issues are most critical in ensuring a merger meets business objectives.

A survey, by the HR practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), shows that
senior management in almost 40 per cent of companies attached the highest
priority to satisfying shareholders.

A further 44 per cent doubted that the HR function even had the business
acumen to support the organisation during a merger or acquisition.

Mark Hommel, a partner at PWC, said management’s failure to deal with people
issues led to a drop in performance after corporate transactions.

"Failure to tackle people issues is the single biggest reason why more
than 70 per cent of deals fail to deliver against expectations. If employee
issues are mismanaged or ignored at times of major change, the consequence is a
downturn in business performance," he said.

"Ensuring that people issues are dealt with sooner rather than later
significantly increases the chances of business success."

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