Human resources management

As of December 31, 2014, a total of 39,639 employees worked for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany across 66 countries. In accordance with our Values , we live a culture of mutual esteem and respect. Through workplace provisions defined in the company's “Human Rights Charter ”, we commit ourselves to complying with fundamental labor and social standards, as well as the International Labour Organization’s (ILO)  core labor standards, the UN Global Compact  and the Responsible Care® program  of the chemical industry. We have put global policies and guidelines in place to ensure that these standards are implemented at our sites, often going beyond the legal requirements.

Distribution of employees (by region, %)

Distribution of employees by region (pie chart)

Strategic goals

Our strategic HR goals include developing a goal-oriented, performance-driven corporate culture that features a global talent development process and a performance-related, market-oriented compensation structure. We are furthermore focused on recruiting talent, building their loyalty and retaining them for the long term. For this reason, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has introduced global programs, for example the Performance Management Process and Global Rewards Policy, as well as the Talent and Succession Management Process. Through targeted measures, we are also aiming to build workforce diversity and foster a culture of inclusion within our company. For instance, we are thus striving to increase the percentage of management positions (Global Grade 14 and higher) held by women to 25%-30% by 2016 (26% are currently held by women). Through our vocational training and continuing education offerings, we are working to build employee buy-in to our performance culture as well as bolster their professional development.

In order to evaluate the impact of our strategic measures, we conduct surveys on our programs. For instance, in the 2013-2014 period, we surveyed our employees regarding our new flexible working model, in which employees can decide when and where they work. One year after implementing this system in July 2013, we turned our attention to Generation Y employees. The results revealed that far more than 90% of those surveyed consider flexibility in the choice of working hours and work location to be highly important. In addition to a new working model, we also introduced a new comprehensive approach to employee surveys in the 2013-2014 period. The key tool here is the Organizational Health Index , which serves to predict our future performance capacity.

Organization and responsibilities

Kai Beckmann, an Executive Board Member, is responsible for human resources at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The Group Human Resources (Group HR) function manages and coordinates all HR activities worldwide. Regional employees of Group HR are in charge of implementing the measures in their respective subsidiaries.

Group HR comprises the units Corporate HR, HR Business Partners and HR Services. Corporate HR designs all global HR guidelines, programs and policies. HR Business Partners provide advice and support to business units at all subsidiaries; HR Services performs administrative services and supports all employees with regard to HR-related matters. In the 2013-2014 period, we completed the transition to this structure across all local HR organizations.

Actions taken in 2013-2014

The Group-wide "Fit for 2018" transformation and growth program aims to maintain the Group's competitive edge in the long term. A key goal of this initiative is to bolster buy-in to the company's performance culture. For us, this means setting clear expectations and goals for all our employees, providing regular and transparent feedback, and recognizing good performance. This is why we launched the capability initiative known as ONE Talent Development, Rewards and Performance Management. Part of our Group strategy, this initiative aims to recruit the talent needed for our business success, offer them development and growth opportunities, and retain them for the long term. We are therefore working to establish a talent pool for all critical positions at the company. This includes jobs that, from a strategic standpoint, are absolutely essential to our operations. In addition to this, we are striving to further improve our internal talent pool, as well as to identify and start nurturing talent earlier on in their career.

To ensure that all HR functions partner more closely with the businesses during the growth phase of "Fit for 2018", the HR Business Partner functions that previously operated separately are being consolidated into one single HR Business Partner organization starting in 2015. The Organization Center of Expertise and HR Services are also being consolidated into one organization. The heads of both units will report to Kai Beckmann, Executive Board Member and Head of Group Human Resources.

Global employee data collection and controlling

We collect and assess employee data across the Group in order to check whether we are making progress toward our strategic goals.

Since 2012, all relevant HR processes have been consolidated on a single IT platform: global performance management, development planning, identification and assessment of talent and successors, recruiting, learning management, bonus calculation, and annual compensation review. Called "HR Suite", this platform has harmonized and simplified HR processes Group-wide. Over the 2013-2014 period, we gradually expanded the HR Suite group of users. We will be focusing on further integrating processes and data as well as consistent reporting.

Through internal audits, the company regularly reviews all issues covered in HR guidelines and regulations, such as compliance with the statutory minimum working age among all employees.

Training and educating employees

All new employees at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany receive training on our Code of Conduct , and are educated on what diversity and inclusion means to us. This is how we convey a common understanding of our Values and reinforce our corporate culture.

In the 2013-2014 period, we adapted our activities and measures in order to meet new challenges such as increased international and Group-wide collaboration, as well as accelerated innovation cycles. Since many teams now feature employees of differing nationalities, we are focusing our education and training activities more heavily on a solid, fundamental understanding of other cultures. In addition to this, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has developed a tool kit that aims to improve team performance and collaboration, and features workshop formats and e-learning courses. So far, 35 workshops have been held for various teams from various units. Furthermore, we have implemented talent identification and development processes across the entire Group.

In the coming years, cooperation between HR and the managers of the businesses will continue to grow, which will ensure that all managers and staff worldwide live our Values and strengthen our corporate culture.


Publication of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

In the United States and Canada the subsidiaries of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate under the umbrella brand EMD.

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