Catherine Mathieu, Head of Human Resources at Parex, reveals how employees from both Parex and Sika contributed to a successful integration.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MAIN CULTURAL SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PAREX AND SIKA?
Both Parex and Sika shared the same passion for our businesses, a strong commitment to customer service, and the desire to innovate. Our employees also shared a strong commitment to the company in which many of us grew and developed.
Prior to the acquisition, Parex’s oral culture was still very strong compared to its use of written forms, due to its history and size. The corporate structure was very lean, coordinating key processes based on people networking. There was a direct link between Corporate and a much smaller number of countries than in Sika. With the integration into Sika, we have experienced strong regional organization and support.
We now have several points of contact, when before there was only one, which changes the dynamic of the decision-making process. At the same time, it provides more support and tools.
Another point we have in common is “Trust”. Parex’s tagline was “Build expertise, together” while Sika’s is “Building Trust”. These taglines emphasize that we are all committed to building long and lasting relationships with our customers.
DURING THE INTEGRATION PROCESS, WHAT WAS DONE TO ENSURE THE CULTURAL INTEGRATION OF PAREX EMPLOYEES WITHIN SIKA ENTITIES?
The integration was planned and organized based on business development, cross-selling, buy-better, and spend-better principles, which was a positive, efficient, and pragmatic way to start working together. It was, of course, adjusted to the size of the business in the countries and to their related environment.
We spent time explaining Sika’s five Values & Principles and the compliance policy, which are a strong part of the Sika Group, to every Parex employee, through webinars or face-to-face presentations.
The appointment of several Parex managers to key roles at Sika, both at Corporate and locally, was also key and contributes to the integration. Some managers were invited to group training programs, which are very important to understand the Group culture and create network opportunities for employees.
WHAT IS NEXT IN TERMS OF CULTURAL INTEGRATION?
Despite the current global health crisis, we are still experiencing a strong commitment by the teams, who are sharing best practice and expanding their networks.
We are putting common quantitative and qualitative objectives in place to increase the sense of co-responsibility. And finally, we are building the foundations for a common history, consisting of mutual successes and common market development, such as the facade business, to ensure everyone feels they belong to the Sika Group.