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    Merck: How to effectively engage employees around CSR initiatives

    Every two minutes, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. That's nearly 800 women a day, the vast majority of them in developing countries.  Most of these deaths are preventable.

    Merck, one of the largest biopharmaceutical manufacturers in the world, recognized this major unmet public health need and in 2011 launched Merck for Mothers with a 10-year, $500 million commitment. As part of an effort to engage its own employees in this initiative, Merck created a “May is for Mothers” internal promotion and prompted its employees to share what motherhood means to them.

    Together with Merck, Domus leveraged its employee engagement strategists to develop an approach that used the company’s intranet alongside physical on-site visual takeovers to promote a Merck for Mothers photo contest—an effort that received over 500 employee-submitted images. The campaign concluded with the unveiling of a dramatic mosaic comprised of all the submitted photos, as well a feature story about the winning image. It was the most viewed story of the year, replete with employee comments conveying emotional gratitude and appreciation. One story led to hundreds more shared in the online community.

    Beyond the “May is for Mothers” engagement promotion, Domus developed an ongoing employee communications strategy that focused on building upon this emotional connection to Merck for Mothers through personal stories of need and how Merck is helping. Domus built an online community within Merck’s intranet that created a space where Merck staff could participate in additional photo submissions and event promotion; they could view and comment on videos, as well as other materials related to the company’s signature philanthropic program.

    “The Domus team helped us create greater awareness and understanding of what Merck for Mothers does for society and, in turn, for Merck, as we seek to save and improve lives. Together, we encouraged employee engagement in a meaningful way, one that resonates best with each employee,” said Scott Wright, executive director at Merck.

    Rallying the troops around a corporate social responsibility initiative presents an opportunity for creativity, resourcefulness and strong, compelling communications. Domus can help you build a campaign to kick-start your employee retention or engagement programs. Get in touch today.