A positive working environment is essential for employees to achieve their potential. It helps attract new employees to Merck and motivates them to stay.

To be a leading healthcare company and a high-performing organization, we must make sure that our workforce operates at the best of its abilities. That’s why we provide numerous opportunities for employee development and professional growth; competitive compensation and benefits; a focus on health and safety; and a vibrant approach to diversity and inclusion. Our efforts to build a positive and high-performing working environment are based upon the following principles:

  • We are a unified company, with all employees sharing in the mission of improving global health
  • We share a strong core of ethics and integrity
  • We put patients and customers first
  • We value diversity and inclusion as essential, integrated elements of our culture and leadership
  • We demonstrate scientific, business and operational excellence
  • We are results-driven and highly competitive
  • We are empowered to make decisions, and we hold ourselves accountable for the outcomes
  • We innovate and take appropriate risks
  • We value feedback and learn from our successes and our mistakes
  • We encourage debate and communicate candidly and respectfully
  • We are efficient, agile and responsive to change

Leadership Behaviors, Employee Development and Professional Growth

Merck’s employee behavior standards are closely aligned with the company’s business strategy and Code of Conduct. These seven Leadership Behaviors apply to every Merck colleague and support us in our efforts to consistently perform at a level of excellence, achieve our strategic goals and help us create and sustain our high-performance culture.

Merck Leadership Behaviors

  • Focus on Customers & Patients
  • Make Rapid, Disciplined Decisions
  • Act with Courage & Candor
  • Build Talent
  • Demonstrate Ethics & Transparency
  • Drive Results
  • Foster Collaboration

We conduct rigorous and transparent annual performance reviews of employees at all levels to guide company decisions relating to compensation and rewards. Employee performance is measured, in part, by how well employees demonstrate our Leadership Behaviors. In this way, we seek to emphasize not just what an employee achieves, but also how he or she achieves it. This is so critical to the company that the annual incentive bonus of management-level employees is determined, in part, by demonstrated leadership that is consistent with the behaviors.

In addition, we conduct an annual employee-development planning process in which managers discuss with each of their employees his or her strengths and development needs. The manager and employee then jointly create an action plan to strengthen areas in need of development and build new leadership skills.

Diversity and Inclusion

We believe that our human and organizational differences, when managed successfully, will make us a more innovative, agile and profitable company. By leveraging our differences, we can build and sustain a workforce and culture in which people are engaged and motivated to work at the highest level of their individual and team capabilities. For more information, click here.

Work-life Integration

Merck takes a comprehensive and holistic view towards work-life integration. We focus on a broad array of programs to appeal to employees at all stages of life. Employees who manage multiple responsibilities in the home and in the workplace, employees who are caregivers to elderly parents, employees with visible or nonapparent disabilities, or employees who have religious obligations—indeed, all employees—benefit from greater work-life integration offered at Merck. For more information, click here.


A healthy and safe workforce is a more productive workforce. Merck provides employees with a wide variety of health programs in alignment with the highest standards of local medical care and regulatory requirements to enhance their health and well-being. Through our various wellness programs, we offer a range of confidential personal tools, programs and activities to support an individual’s health choices and to build a work culture that reinforces healthy, safe behaviors. U.S.-based employees can also access our Employee Assistance Program, which provides free short-term counseling on health matters, legal consultations and financial counseling.

Worldwide, where feasible, we provide timely accommodations for colleagues with a disability by engaging in an interactive assessment process to determine an appropriate accommodation to meet their individual needs. We also engage in preventative measures as well as closely tracking accidents, injuries and illnesses, so that we can address problems promptly and work toward eliminating occupational injuries and illness.

For more information, click here.

Employee Giving

Merck employees around the world are actively engaged in their communities. The opportunity to do so benefits employees, their communities and Merck. For this reason, Merck offers a number of programs through which employees can contribute to the communities in which they work and live. For more information, click here.

Partnership for Giving: In 2012, the Merck Foundation matched U.S., (including Puerto Rico) employee and retiree contributions, up to $30,000 per donor, to eligible U.S. nonprofit organizations. The $30,000 per year will remain the same for employees). Our support for employee contributions to worthy causes not only assists thousands of organizations, but also expresses our engagement and support of our communities.

Employee Volunteering: Our Global Employee Volunteerism Policy is designed to expand our culture of volunteerism and to encourage employees worldwide to volunteer. Merck considers active employee volunteering as a way to engage with individuals and groups in our communities and is expanding opportunities for employee involvement in local communities around the world. Learn more.

Merck Blood Drives: For employees who wish to give blood, Merck runs regular blood drives at many of its sites around the world.

For more information on these and other programs, click here.

Employee Communication & Engagement: We offer many ways for employees to comment on Merck’s mission, goals, business strategy, performance and work environment. For example, an employee opinion survey provides global feedback that management rigorously analyzes and uses to inform decisions.

We also conduct quarterly internal business briefings via live webcasts, which are then archived. In addition, Merck’s CEO and Executive Committee members meet regularly with smaller groups of employees for informal breakfast and town hall discussions.

For access to company news and videos, the company has a global enterprise portal, known as “Sync,” including divisional and functional news channels where organizational communities are able to share interests, messages and ideas online. In addition to the Sync portal, other employee communications vehicles include quarterly employee business briefings, town halls and email communications from senior management, as necessary, to communicate more broadly with employees worldwide.

If our employees have any concerns or wish to report behaviors that seem at odds with Merck’s Code of Conduct, they can contact the Merck Ombudsman and/or the Merck AdviceLine.

For more information on how we communicate and engage with our employees, click here.

Last Updated August 1, 2013