Novartis

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Novartis Reviews

Updated 18 August 2014
Updated 18 August 2014
237 Reviews

3.4
237 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Novartis CEO Joseph (Joe) Jimenez Jr.
Joseph (Joe) Jimenez Jr.
111 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance can be achieved if you prioritize it (in 14 reviews)

  • Great products, challenging environment, good pay and benefits (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • There are different cultural norms for work/life balance depending on site & business unit (in 11 reviews)

  • People loosing focus on business due to senior management style (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Vaccines division culture has declined over last few years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager

    Pros

    - good remuneration packages and benefits
    - lots of new initiatives to work on and plenty of projects however there is a downside to this
    - never gets boring however there is a downside to this

    Cons

    - The culture in the vaccines division is to overload / stretch employees forcing them to work extra hours/ from home/ weekends. If you resist this and try and keep a healthy balance it will show in your performance review as you'll never achieve more than an average rating. Employees who don't deliver get put onto a performance improvement plan and then if your performance doesn't improve to the level expected you're out. I have seen this route misused by managers and some good people have gone just because their bosses didn't like them.
    - Most events and initiatives are treated like a life threatening emergency because many of people who lead the division are fire fighter types who need the adrenalin rush and this gets cascaded downwards and impacts the stress levels of those of us who don't need panic and adrenalin to make us productive.
    - Work obsessed people who lack empathy and finesse tend to get the promotions these days as they bully their way to success at the expense of others. Results count more than how you get them at the end of the day and there are some hated people in some of the top jobs.
    - It comes down to luck if you get a good manager or not and if you have the bullying type you'd better make sure you play the game their way. If you get one of the few empathic and caring managers (and there are a few still about) Novartis can be a supportive and enjoyable place to work but these circumstances are becoming less frequent.
    - The vaccine division lacks real confidence and there is a culture of too many initiatives being implemented at once intended to help lead the company to world class status but this never seems to be achieved. Some of these initiatives are really good and have had a positive effect on the business however there are always too many of them and they tend to fall on the shoulders of the same people to deliver / take part in leading to the over work / extra hours situation mentioned in the first point.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It will be interesting to see what impact the GSK acquisition has on the business and what happens to the flu business when a buyer is found. I'm not sure if any of the vaccines senior management team would take much from this review due to the cons listed above.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    have seen better days

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager  in  Quito (Ecuador)
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Quito (Ecuador)

    Pros

    great coworkers, access to the latest products and technology, good lunch service, new office is nice, international travel opportunities

    Cons

    politics are too strong, "high level" friendships will make you grow more than your own work, managers just care about their jobs and bonus don´t care about people in the team, HR is weak, branch depends on headquarters for most of the decisions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire better people for managerial roles

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Novartis from a consultant`s perspective

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Consultant  in  Istanbul (Turkey)
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Consultant in Istanbul (Turkey)

    Pros

    Very open work environment, respect for work hours

    Cons

    Highly centralized in matters outside the daily functionality. Poor access to data, poor infrastructure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decentralize IT policy for innovation. Business intelligence standardization gets in the way of opportunities when it comes to innovation for higher performance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company during the good years. Now they are doing more with less.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Representative  in  Midwest, WY (US)
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Midwest, WY (US)

    Pros

    Good training. Stable products at the time.

    Cons

    To many cliff patents. Portfolio has now suffered and current produce are me-to products. Lost it's punch. Pipeline is slim despite what you read.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I go beyond management. Advise to leadership-CEO get on the same page as he reps. Understand the industry and you will find your answers for field reps.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Decent Postdoc experience with a lot of opportunity to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow  in  Basel (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Basel (Switzerland)

    Pros

    - Good infrastructure and equipment
    - High-level science (although it may depend on the group)
    - Large networking possibility
    - Beautiful new St. Johann campus

    Cons

    - Very hierarchical
    - Conservative
    - Lots of political games
    - Postdocs and PhD students are not very respected

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More openness, discussion, and honesty.

  7.  

    Good opportunity, if you can deal with pressure and attitudes.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Administrative  in  Parsippany, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Executive Administrative in Parsippany, NJ (US)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, summer hours, benefits, unlimited sick days, week off between Christmas & New Year

    Cons

    Not all Admins are allowed flex time/WFH. They overwork Admins. Too many policies and meetings. Jobs are thrown at Admins at last minute & need a fast turn around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the support staff feel like a part of the team & not outsiders.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good place to work, great benefits not so good wage

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Software Developer  in  Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    Pros

    All the organization processes are well defined, great benefits (Even if you are a contractor). Nice people in general. As a contractor you had lunch, and even breakfast almost for free, coffe free. Inside the company you also get gym, bonus, massages, kindergarden for your children and others

    Cons

    From what I heard (I was a contractor) the wage was a little below average. Burocracy can make you irritated at sometimes. Complex organization chart.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase wages maybe

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good to much upper management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales  in  Milwaukee, WI (US)
    Former Employee - Sales in Milwaukee, WI (US)

    Pros

    Ability to make your own business discissions. You own your own sales number when you are the only rep in the territory.

    Cons

    Not a stable career path. Yearly downsizing can be expected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't sell to the reps customers as this at times hurts the rep and closes doors once the manager leaves.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Novartis = bean counters in charge

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineering  in  Irvine, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Engineering in Irvine, CA (US)

    Pros

    Did not see any pro's

    Cons

    Company morale was simply destroyed, decent leadership was just not present, new managers seem inept, the whole approach was one of cost cutting above all. Talent, seniority, respect on any level was tossed out the window. Layoffs and worker approach was cost based only, your skill or value was ignored, this company has zero respect for engineering or technical anything, makes sense why big pharma is hurting. I would avoid this nameplate totally, they are in the process of destroying Alcon in Irvine, pre-Novartis, that company was a great place to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves and get out of the surgical world, sell out and take your cash, you don't belong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Good compensation but poor career development. It is goo on paper but rarely followed up and encouraged by line managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good conpensation and internal training.
    Mainly internal trainings and no/rare opportunity to choose external trainings because of costs reduction which is always on the agenda.
    Too many changes and SOPs do not follow the changes, so not updated when needed.

    Cons

    No team spirit and no career development

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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