Merck: Compliance Training through Immersive Simulations

Merck: Compliance Training through Immersive Simulations
Case Code: HROB253
Case Length: 7 Pages
Period: 2022-2023
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.250
Organization: Merck & Co., Inc
Industry: Pharmaceuticals & Biotech
Countries: United States
Themes: Training & Development, E-learning, Employee Development,Online Education
Merck: Compliance Training through Immersive Simulations
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case describes Merck’s transition from a project to a product-focused operating model with emphasis on compliance training since the company’s employees required both mindset and skillset shifts. To align learning with the new business strategy, Theresa Zeller (Zeller), a global learning and development leader at Merck manufacturing business, had to take a different approach to the existing e-learning at the company. Merck decided to partner with ETU for effective learning through immersive simulations. Through the partnership, Merck focused on immersive learning, which was built on a learning simulation platform.

Merck found that traditional e-learning did not acknowledge what employees already knew and was not personalized. Experienced employees did not find any value in it as it did not contribute to their growth. Most employees considered traditional e-learning formats as another to do item in their inbox.

Next, the case describes in detail how Merck designed a lean and agile learning solution. ETU’s Learning Simulation Platform immersed Merck’s employees in realistic situations and improved their compliance IQ. Besides, skills learning was undertaken through a Measure > Learn > Perform cycle.

The case finally focuses on the impact of the new immersive learning method that exceeded the company’s expectations on all business objectives including improving employee risk behavior and comprehension.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Explain the need to align L&D strategy with business objectives
  • Examine the need to design engaging, effective learning experiences for employees
  • Describe immersive learning and its benefits
  • Understand the role of simulations in compliance training



Employee Engagement; Training; Learning; Immersive learning; Virtual learning; Simulation; E-learning; E-learning Platform Development; Learning Management System

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