A safety culture built with continuous microlearning at Merck

Learning strategies

Games & gamification


Merck (also known as MSD in the UK and Europe) is a global healthcare company with a 125-year history of innovative medicines, vaccines, and animal health products. The Merck Manufacturing Division (MMD) formulates, packages and distributes Merck products to more than 140 markets around the world! 

Merck has always put safety front and centre. However, its safety record wasn’t where the company wanted it to be. Merck’s leadership team recognised that a simple training programme, based on the same old safety training procedures and policies, was not going to be enough to engage employees in a meaningful way. 

The primary goal was to build a strong culture of safety throughout its network of 52 global manufacturing sites to ensure that safety best practices were not only top of mind, but ingrained in the attitudes and behaviours of all employees. 

Key challenges:

  • Drive a proactive culture of safety across MMD, the global manufacturing division
  • Promote a consistent message of safety that’s personalised to individual employees
  • Achieve high levels of employee engagement
  • Tie learning metrics to tangible changes in employee behaviour
  • Implement a continuous microlearning experience to keep employees safe

The solution

Merck launched the Safe By Choice programme through several tactics, including the implementation of the Axonify microlearning platform, across 52 global manufacturing sites, with approximately 24,000 full- and part-time employees and contractors. 

The Axonify platform starts with the business outcomes first. With a unique combination of microlearning, gamification, and adaptive learning, Axonify builds employee knowledge, sustains it over time, and provides knowledge-on-demand capabilities when employees need it most.

This was crucial to rolling out the program, since Merck needed a way to embed safety principles into the minds and behaviours of every individual, no matter their location, age, or skill level.

The Axonify platform also supports content in more than 10 languages, keeping Merck’s global safety message consistent across all manufacturing sites. 

“We have seen significant value with the Axonify platform. There’s been a lot of energy around it with people logging on more than once a week and challenging each other.”
Barbara Grofic Program Manager


Ask an expert

Michael Quann - Head of Microlearning Solutions at Sponge UK

Michael works with our extensive list of multi-national clients to ensure all the advantages of our digital learning capabilities are reinforced using science-based techniques over time.

He specialises in helping clients use analytical capabilities to identify areas and individuals who need further assistance including mentoring and coaching.