Boehringer Ingelheim
22 January 2016

Why family makes you strong

Boehringer Ingelheim is different to many other companies. And it is family that makes the difference – in our corporate culture, corporate strategy and self-image.


No shareholders, no financial investors and no fluctuating share prices: Boehringer Ingelheim is a family company. Sure, it has to generate profits. But sometimes it's the attitude that drives a company that counts. And when a company has been in the hands of a single family for five generations and 130 years, this attitude is a bit different to the one in a company that is merely a speculation object in the hands of investors. It's different at Boehringer Ingelheim.

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The company is driven by the vision of improving the health of people and animals worldwide and reinvests 20% of its profits into research and development.

Long-term planning is not the exception but the rule. This of course gives the Development and Research Departments both freedom and security. But you can also experience this on a personal level, at first hand, so to speak. Anyone who starts at Boehringer Ingelheim becomes part of a global family. It sounds strange at first, but it's true, and it feels good. Why?


Because you've joined a family that understands respect and appreciation. This isn't just a guideline in our corporate culture, it's actually the case in the company. Here, we really do work together and everyone knows what they have in each other. Hierarchies? They're an organisational structure but no reason to look down on others. Team performance is down to everyone. Whether a team works or not doesn't depend on a single person but on many people working together and different views being heard and accepted. I find this constructive atmosphere very enjoyable.

Boehringer Ingelheim
Respect also means recognising achievement. This starts with salaries, which are competitive and include many additional benefits and services you can enjoy in the company. It's traditional for the Boehringer family to really take care of its employees, the people who are contributing to the success of the company. A company health insurance fund was founded as early as 1902. There has been paid holiday since 1910 and an occupational pension scheme since 1912. Nowadays, this is all standard practice but it was a revolution at the time.
Today, we also ensure a healthy work-life balance and that work is as family friendly as possible. Flexible working times and part-time jobs are just two aspects of this. Well, it would be a bit strange if working for a family company was incompatible with family life.
Another aspect of the family concept is the wonderful potential for growth, both here in the company and during tasks. This is definitely a place for long-term careers. Part of the culture of respect is also that everyone is entrusted with something. Anyone who wants to can quickly take on responsibility and always find new challenges. Important projects or new positions are often filled with internal applicants. There's also clear career planning and very open feedback. My line managers are very honest in telling me what is good and where I can improve, just like in a real family. This only works if values such as respect, openness and honesty are really lived.

4 comment(s) for 'Why family makes you strong'


Family makes one stronger because ever since you are born, you have no choice but to learn to leave with others virtues and failings. That fact will help forge your personality.

Hi Valeria, thank you for your thoughtful contribution. We agree that family makes you stronger and forms one’s personality. We at Boehringer Ingelheim provide a nurturing environment in which we care, excel and grow together in a spirit of trust and co-operation, just as a family does. Carolin

Family are there for you when you fall they lift you up!

Family is indeed something that is there for you during your ups and downs. It's awesome to know that there will be yet another family when one comes to work in BI. Looking forward to meeting up with colleagues in Singapore and hopefully being a part of the family .

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