Jackson Laboratory Reviews

Updated February 4, 2015
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12 Reviews
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Jackson Laboratory President & CEO Dr. Edison T. Liu
Dr. Edison T. Liu
12 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Non-profit doesn't have to mean underpaid and overworked.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative I in Bar Harbor, ME
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative I in Bar Harbor, ME

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    Good initial orientation for new hires. National Park location.

    Cons

    Poor pay. 1/2 hour lunch. No close or covered parking in extreme climate. Too pennywise at worker's expense. Poor workspace environment in most buildings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop taking advantage of the locally desperate employment market and invest more in your excellent workers and a create a better clean air well lighted inspiring work environment instead of spending the "profits" elsewhere. And stop chasing greater and greater profit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    Jackson Laboratory Sacramento

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientist/Consultant in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Scientist/Consultant in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, on-site gym, noble research concepts. a step stool for your biotech career

    Cons

    Immature, back-stubbing, gossip-mill work environment, absolutely NO accountability, favoritism, no team work. Things are different at BH and Connecticut, I heard. not too impressive benefits once you get them

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to hire the right people. And when you find the right people, DIRECT HIRE them, not through a temp agency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Talk of Customer Experience has yielded little positive impact on researchers using/trusting JAX services.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management in Bar Harbor, ME
    Current Employee - Management in Bar Harbor, ME

    I have been working at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits package is world class. Fair base salary. The organization routinely 'trains from within.' If considering Bar Harbor, the wilderness location is pristine but the area lacks cultural attractions.

    Cons

    Accountability varies across all functional units at JAX Mice and Clinical Research Services. Management 'favorites' are routinely shielded from accountability and are often promoted. Significant issues impacting research are often minimized or buried altogether.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set measurable standards for all employees/operating groups and apply those standards uniformly. Hold ALL employees accountable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Tough place to be if you like to get things done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Professional in Bar Harbor, ME
    Current Employee - Professional in Bar Harbor, ME

    I have been working at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are great. Nice people. Beautiful neighborhood (next to Acadia). Good cafeteria.

    Cons

    Communication is terrible. Very few leaders and good managers. Only high-level plans are made leaving out most details. Technology is implemented in order to solve process and organization problems. Promotions and career paths aren't available unless you are favored by executives or in research related positions. Overall, moral is low and culture of mediocrity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start communicating. Grow people. Listen. Hire managers that know how to manage people. Lead the lab by walking the values, not just adding another page to the internal site and adding it everyone's performance review. Ask questions. Care. Be more visible. Set a strategy and then share the plans to reach it, in some detail, please.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. Worst employer ever.

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

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    Benefits package, location, organizations mission

    Cons

    Work - life balance, executive management,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to middle management and front line staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Research takes a backseat to production

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Laboratory Technician in Bar Harbor, ME
    Current Employee - Laboratory Technician in Bar Harbor, ME

    I have been working at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Friendly coworkers, clean working environment, well maintained facilities and unskilled workers are trained to be Animal Care Technicians. Supports workers pursing college degrees. Gym & fitness classes on-site.

    Cons

    Lack of competition has resulted in mediocre pay scales and diminishing pay raises. Meanwhile assets of the corporation have increased greatly in recent years [new facilities in CA, CT and ME].

    Lab employees are often highly skilled, underrated and overworked to the point of personal injury (carpal tunnel being the most common) and stress (burnout). [Employee turnover in my department is roughly 40% every six months.]

    Unskilled worker opportunities are highly limited and demanding. Most skilled jobs in the research and services departments require a science degree and years of prior experience. Employees are not permitted to learn skills (taught on-site) not required for their immediate position, but those skills are often required to apply for a better position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The best managers know not only how to manage people and assets but also possess intimate knowledge of the tasks subordinates perform. Be able to perform their job and be able to jump in if needed.

    Listen, evaluate, formulate and then express yourself.

    Maintain protocols for each duty workers are required to perform and update them often.

    Do not rely on "trial by fire" as your teaching method for new hires. Train new hires to be as good at the job as your best workers. Teach new hires the "tricks of the trade".

    If you are going to take over a department, have clear plans of how it will be structured and what workers have to do to advance. Do not keep moving the goal posts every time workers get close to advancement.

    Workers cannot be productive if you keep interrupting them.

    If a worker is not meeting your expectations, learn how to effectively motivate (and train) workers. Do not browbeat or demoralize workers.

    If you are going to assign workers auxiliary tasks that negatively impact a worker's productivity, take that into account when setting production quotas.

    If you insist on monitoring individual worker productivity based on statistics, do not blindly set the parameters to be from one pay period to the next without accounting for workers' time off. If vacation and sick time are not supposed to count against the worker, please remember to not include them in your assessments. Workers are not chained to their desks.

    If you like preparing reports for equally disinterested managers, report to your cubicle. Otherwise, roll up your sleeves, get to know your workers and get your hands dirty.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful

    Nothing ever changes at JAX West

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - In Vivo Technician (RA) in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - In Vivo Technician (RA) in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Great coworkers in In Vivo. Excellent experience for young tech's out of college.

    Cons

    Managment keeps saying that things will change for the better, however, it usually changes for the worst. No follow up to any issues that the eployees have. Promises are not kept by upper managment. "Lab operational supervisors" hide out all day in an office with out supervising anything. NO upward mobilty.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managment keeps asking WHY so many people are unhappy and leaving, the answers are in front of you, you just need to follow up. There are opportunites in sacramento other than JAX; people will continue to leave until you value them. Stop blaming the workers for the faults of the managment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful

    Jackson Lab West

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - In Vivo Lab Technician II (RA II) in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - In Vivo Lab Technician II (RA II) in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is a strong connection between coworkers.

    Cons

    The working conditions at Jax West are poor. The management does not care about the employees or the mice they are working with. This is different than Jax East, which seems like a good place to work and i have no idea why there is this disconnect between the two. There is little to no understanding of how science works. Jax West In Vivo group is the worst lab I have ever work at. I have never worked with a more stressed out, disorganized, demoralized group in my life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Money is not the only thing that matters in life. There are many labs, both professional and educational, that find a way to do research while keeping their employees satisfied with their work. If you could improve morale and separate the housekeeping from the actual science work, you could reduce turnover. When one of our coworkers leaves Jax, we all celebrate like someone just got out of jail. How is it that you don't understand how unhappy your employees are?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    RSI injuries are very widespread and animals are subjected to very abrupt handling by technicians rushing to quotas.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Animal Room Operations Technologist II in Bar Harbor, ME
    Former Employee - Animal Room Operations Technologist II in Bar Harbor, ME

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    A great place to learn interesting aspects of laboratory animal production in a highly technical and extremely fast paced environment. Compensation is in line with similar production facilities in the country. Almost unlimited amount of overtime hours are available and one of the best 403b retirement plans out there.

    Cons

    Animal productions and operations management team is a critical weak link in the chain of much needed improvement in every process toward correcting the conditions that persists. Conditions of unrealistic work loads, time constraints in acquiring materials needed to carry out assigned work, availability of labor required to accomplish timely animal welfare activities related to length of time between animal dirty cage changes and overly abrupt handling of live animals as a result of last minute ditch efforts to get all animals into clean cages at the end of scheduled work weak.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All managers need to successfully be able to perform all aspects of animal husbandry on a consistent basis during every anticipated problem that impacts animal care technicians experienced in the course of a typical thirty day period twice a year with one period encompassing a typical holiday weak, also known as a short weak. Further, if any manager is not able to perform a fully expected work load that will reflect no more or less than what is required of all technicians, then that manager must be removed from the management team and may be replaced by one who is capable of and familiar with the requirements of the work load expectations.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful

    Great people, Great mission, Lousy management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA

    I have been working at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    The people care very much about the mission and non-profit work. Working at the Lab has the potential to give back to the medical and pharmaceutical communities in a big way.

    Cons

    The services part of the lab is very conservative and is incapable of growth. Any change or initiative is seen as a risk and is to be avoided at all costs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lots of the Junior managers are taking leadership courses. I don't see any of the mid to senior -level managers applying the basic lessons we are learning. It's pretty disappointing, this place has huge potential with some real leadership. I'd like to see the yearly survey put back in place, it seemed to be the only feedback anyone took seriously.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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Great lab gym

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