Engaging Our Employees

Engaging Our Employees

We strive to foster employee engagement at our company by promoting a positive work environment and by communicating proactively with all employees.

Research shows that engaged employees work more efficiently and effectively, are motivated to perform beyond minimal expectations, and consequently contribute more desirable business outcomes to the organization.

Employee engagement is achieved through trust, mutual commitment and transparent communication. As we do with our external stakeholders, we work to understand our employees’ concerns, needs and thoughts pertaining to our company’s strengths and weaknesses, while at the same time informing them of our business strategy and progress toward our goals.

Through our global enterprise portal, known internally as “Sync,” employees worldwide can gain access to company news and videos, divisional and functional news channels, and organizational communities that allow them to share interests, messages and ideas online. Other employee communications vehicles include quarterly Employee Business Briefings, periodic town hall meetings, email communications from senior management, and employee surveys—in particular, the Voice Survey, which is distributed to all employees on a biannual basis. 


As part of our mission to maintain a satisfying and productive work environment, we routinely survey all employees to learn about their perspectives on the business and on how we are responding to the needs of our global workforce. The Voice Survey, an all-employee opinion survey, is our flagship employee feedback medium.

Offered in 20 languages, the Voice Survey helps our company leaders and managers to understand employees’ perspectives on our culture and its effect on the company’s ability to meet our business objectives, and to learn what drives employee engagement. We communicate highlights of the survey results through meetings with our employees, in our employee publications, on Sync and through summaries that are distributed via email.

The Voice Survey is conducted on a biannual basis. The last Survey was conducted in September 2016, and the overall results from previous years were encouraging; suggesting positive momentum for the organization. Employees feel that our strategy is moving us in the right direction.

Since administration of the 2014 survey, we’ve been working to increase collaboration, share customer insights and drive innovation. Compared to 2014, employees participated more actively in the 2016 Voice Survey, with a record-high participation rate of 85 percent, an increase of 7 percentage points. Scores for all 15 categories significantly improved as compared to 2014.

Additionally, the score for the Engagement Index reached over 80 percent for the first time (82 percent in 2016 versus 79 percent in 2014). In response to the 2016 Voice Survey results, our company will focus on enhancing innovation, and has adopted an “Employee Listening Strategy” to better leverage and respond to employee feedback.


We ensure that our employees have ample opportunity to engage, network, build important stakeholder relationships, learn new skills and hear the perspectives of senior leaders. Our company fosters an inclusive environment by ensuring that employees quickly forge strong relationships with supervisors, connectivity with coworkers and development in the workplace.

We enable employees to provide feedback through a community platform on Sync and via brief, three- to five-question surveys and open-comment forms attached to key communications.

Soliciting employee feedback on the subject of the communication in real time gives us the information we need to close knowledge gaps and address employee concerns. Such direct employee feedback has resulted in “meet and greet” sessions, hosted by our CEO and members of our company’s Executive Committee to provide employees with another opportunity to share information with senior leaders in a more personal setting.

We conduct global employee briefings every quarter. Our CEO and members of Executive Committee speak to employees about how we are fulfilling our company mission and goals. These sessions cover topics such as the quarterly financial performance update, pipeline progress, customer stories, anticipated product developments and a question and answer discussion.

Real-time employee sentiment is voluntarily submitted during our quarterly employee business briefings through a widget in our webcast application. This sentiment data provides valuable insights into workplace satisfaction, engagement and culture.

In addition, we leverage the business insights of our U.S. employees, including those who are members of DRIVEN (Delivering Real Insights Via Employee Networks), to support our company’s business objectives. DRIVEN represents true innovation in the pharmaceutical industry and allows us to adopt the best practices from other industries to get the quick, cost-effective and deep insights we need to drive our business forward, asking our own employees to share their experiences—as parents, caregivers, patients, and consumers—so we can serve patients better.

Through DRIVEN, employees are able to make meaningful contributions to the business in a private, online market research community. Employees have already contributed to helping us innovate in pet tracking and the use of robotic systems (like the Amazon Echo) for taking care of elderly family members’ health. DRIVEN has also been used to make patient and caregiver education resources more relevant by giving feedback on online materials and advertisements. This enables the efficient and compliant engagement of employees to provide business, customer, brand and research development insights via market research methods.

We have grown the DRIVEN community to 2,000 employees and had significant cost savings by harnessing the experience of our own employees. It has enabled us to innovate with the patient perspective included for understanding in therapeutic areas like chronic cough, Alzheimer’s and the use of new technologies to help with compliance/adherence.


In addition to employee surveys, the “ombudsmen” within our Office of Ethics provide an avenue for employees to raise concerns in confidence, and, where necessary, they recommend appropriate action.

Our anonymous helpline, which operates in accordance with applicable legal standards for employee-based hotlines, is available 24/7 to listen and provide advice to employees worldwide. Learn more.


2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Response rate to Voice Survey 77% 78% NA 85% NA
Engagement Index1 (favorable response rate) 78% 79% NA 82% NA
Culture Index2 (favorable response rate) 70% 69% NA 72% NA
NA: Not administered; the Voice Survey is conducted on a biannual basis.
1. The Engagement Index is a composite that averages scores measured from three aspects: "Engaged," "Enabled," and "Energized."
2. The Culture Index is a composite that averages scores measured from three aspects: "Customer Focus," "Reputation and Trust," and "Innovation."