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Corporate culture

TAG overview

For more than 350 years, we have worked to improve and enhance people’s lives worldwide. Our High-Impact Culture enables us to continuously re-examine our ways of working and challenge long-held assumptions to advance human progress. It motivates us to recruit, develop, retain, and promote the best and most diverse talent, while cultivating and rewarding an inclusive environment.

Our approach: Unlocking our collective potential

We recognize that our daily actions ultimately impact our customers, patients and partners. This is why we have identified a standard set of behaviors that form the foundation of our High-Impact Culture such as ‘raising the bar’ and ‘acting as the owner’. They continue to be firmly embedded in our company culture to provide guidance to all our employees and leaders.

We believe acknowledging and rewarding individual achievements, as well as a feedback-driven culture, enable collective success. Accordingly, we have introduced a new approach to performance, providing our teams with a framework that values employee expectations, clarifies goals, provides feedback, and rewards performance as part of our High-Impact Culture.

A constant shift towards learning from others, delivering and receiving feedback, and acknowledging the perspectives of others in constructive ways are also crucial elements of our culture. By promoting an open mindset, we empower our employees and strengthen our organization.

We also work to increase employee engagement and promote individual accountability by creating regular opportunities for dialogue and participation within the company. For example, employee surveys with regular feedback opportunities provide valuable data points for managers, employees, and Human Resources (HR) to conceive new measures and initiatives that promote a culture of dialogue and collaboration in the workplace.

Roles and responsibilities

Global Human Resources (HR) is responsible for advising all business sectors and Group functions on matters concerning human capital. HR addresses the needs of our employees, organizational topics, and company culture founded on ethics and a shared set of company values.

We expect our leaders to understand the needs of their diverse teams and provide support in the form of resources and data. In addition, the ability to access transparent feedback through specially developed tools enables our leaders to gain further insights into how their behavior impacts their teams. For this reason, we work with external providers to train our leaders in proven, science-based approaches to lead more effectively.

Our commitment: Employee representation

As set down in our Social and Labor Standards Policy, we will respect our employees’ legal rights to form and join worker organizations of their own choosing, including labor organizations and trade unions, and will not discriminate based on an employee’s decision to join or not join a labor organization.

Within Europe, 40 of our legal entities in nine countries (Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Switzerland) have employee representatives. Our respective site management teams cooperate with them at the local level. In addition, the Euroforum represents our employees from a European perspective in all EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway and the United Kingdom. However, not all entitled countries send delegates to the Euroforum. The Euroforum focuses on the current global economic situation, employment rates and significant changes within our company that affect more than one country, with regular exchanges during the year and additional meetings as required. We have Euroforum delegates from 14 countries. All delegates meet once a year.

In Germany, one of our largest locations worldwide, 99% of the local workforce is employed by subsidiaries subject to the German Co-Determination Act. We have a total of 20 subsidiaries in Germany. In 16 of them, our employees are represented by the Group Works Council; in nine of them by the Joint Works Council in Darmstadt; the remainder are represented by their local Works Council. The interests of our senior executives are represented by the Senior Executive Committee. The co-determination bodies negotiate topics such as compensation, working hours and organizational changes. In addition, 58% of our German employees are covered by collective agreements (just above 12% of our global workforce).

In countries not covered by collective bargaining agreements due to different administrative, trade and judicial structures, we closely work with unions to implement operational decisions and coordinate relations between management and employees. Working conditions and terms of employment of employees in these countries are determined by legal requirements and our Global Guidelines.

Strengthening our High-Impact Culture

We aim to create a positive culture based on our strategic core elements of caring, outperforming and pioneering. By fostering our High-Impact Culture, we empower our people to create positive outcomes for our customers, patients and society. As part of this culture, we promote a mindset that guides how we do business and interact with colleagues and stakeholders. By embracing a standard set of behaviors, we can deliver on our purpose and create a work environment where everyone can succeed, develop and grow. These behaviors also embody our shared values and help to ensure our teams reflect different cultures, ways of thinking and life experiences.

These behaviors are:


Obsessed with customers and patients

We focus on the impact we generate, we start with them in mind and work backwards.

Act as the owner

We are owners, we make decisions and act on behalf of the company’s best interest, not just our own.


Be curious and innovate boldly

We challenge our own thinking and the status quo, press for better approaches, innovative ways, and we are externally aware.

Simplify and act with urgency

We see beauty in simplification, we cut unnecessary processes and focus on what matters most first – and we change course quickly when necessary because speed matters in every business.


Raise the bar

We set relentlessly high standards for ourselves – and for our teams. We drive to deliver the best quality products services and processes.

Disagree openly, decide, and deliver (3Ds)

We think independently and deliver as a team. We make clear what matters in any decision, taking accountability and avoiding deferring difficult decisions. And when a decision is taken we all commit.

These behaviors are:

Six behaviors (Graphic)

In 2023, we launched MyImpact, our new approach to guiding, managing and evaluating performance within our company. MyImpact provides the framework to improve our performance and encourage continuous feedback and personal growth. The framework ensures we align our commitments, assess everyone’s impact and drive collective success in a transparent and performance-oriented way. 

MyImpact enables: 

  • Focus: Agreement and year-round adjustment of commitments to meet current business requirements, incorporating our six behaviors to drive our High-Impact Culture.
  • Feedback: Engagement in regular performance conversations supported by feedback collected from colleagues.
  • Recognition: Financial rewards for outstanding contributions by using timely and flexible performance-related recognition tools.
  • Efficiency: Creation of a new and simplified way to evaluate employee impact, reflecting our High-Impact Culture.
  • User Experience: Implementation of intuitive solutions to help employees stay up-to-date and drive their performance journey.

Strengthening our sustainability culture

Since 2021, e-Learnings on our sustainability strategy are a mandatory training component for existing and new employees. While this was the first step of our upskilling journey, we have extended our offer with function- and hierarchy-specific educational activities. Furthermore, from 2023 on, we use the sustainability questions from our annual employee engagement survey to measure the impact of our activities. The survey results are only used internally. They help us to understand the maturity of a sustainability mindset in the company and to detect and address functional, regional or hierarchical differences. The corresponding key indicator “Result of the employee engagement survey on sustainability culture” replaces the previous year’s achieved key indicator “Percentage of employees trained on sustainability”.

Embracing conversation and dialogue

In our increasingly connected world, we are convinced that feedback enhances open dialogue, builds trust and improves collaboration. For this reason, we have upgraded the functionality of our 360-degree feedback tool, which encourages our employees to promote continuous feedback based on integrity and respect. The tool also provides guidance on integrating feedback practices into daily work and structuring feedback conversations accordingly. With new training materials, we aim to ensure our colleagues embrace our feedback culture and make constructive dialogue a habit rather than a formal process.

In this context, we are also promoting psychological safety to help our employees work more efficiently while feeling safe, respected and accepted. As our leaders play a critical role in creating the right atmosphere within their teams, we ensure that psychological safety is a core topic of our leadership development program Empower. We also provide a dedicated toolkit with practical guidance and actions that leaders can implement to promote psychological well-being.

Empowering our employees

We are committed to ensuring our employees and leaders are involved in our business processes and can engage in dialogue through various channels. These include internal communications platforms, anonymous surveys and roundtables.

Since 2022, we have measured our employees’ experiences throughout their employee lifecycle, from onboarding to exiting the company. For example, we evaluate feedback from the onboarding experience after 90 days and again after three months. These measures help us understand the experiences of new employees and identify any areas of improvement. Similarly, our exit surveys and interviews collect insights into why employees voluntarily leave the company.

In addition, we evaluate the progress of implementing our High-Impact Culture by conducting pulse surveys. In 2023, the health and well-being of our employees was the primary focus of our pulse survey in spring. Our other main feedback formats include a yearly global employee engagement survey that serves as the main feedback channel for all our employees. In this survey, we expanded the scope of countries participating in the voluntary “self-identification” questions (self-reporting about disabilities, LGBTQIA+ and ethnic groups). These data points help us create a more inclusive environment for members of underrepresented groups. Since 2022, our engagement survey includes questions about commuting to calculate the CO2 emissions produced by our employees traveling from home to our sites worldwide.

Pulse survey
A pulse survey is a short employee survey that focuses on a specific topic to gauge the current sentiment of the workforce. This can, for example, relate to a single business unit in the case of change processes or be targeted to the entire workforce.

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