GlaxoSmithKline Reviews

Updated September 22, 2014
Updated September 22, 2014
483 Reviews
3.6
483 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty
Andrew Witty
292 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The benefit package is pretty good and the work/life balance is pretty reasonable for pharma (in 40 reviews)

  • Friendly environment good pay and benefits (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • like any pharma, very high pressure; tough to establish work-life balance (in 15 reviews)

  • Lack of credibility of senior management (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great company; develops people; high expectations; work/life balance challenging; take the job if offered

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Support Service Owner  in  Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Support Service Owner in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Enormous company with many eco-systems so employee experience can vary greatly depending on management and business challenges. I've worked there 8 years, rose from Admin to Manager and have been offered valuable professional development opptys most points along the way. In an HR delivery function I can attest to it being a very ethical company that tries to do right by employees. Employees must own their development but the tools are there and easily accessible. Movement is encouraged to build breadth of knowledge. Pay is good/fair and benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    Constant market fluctuations can drive waves of RIFs that cycle through the various businesses functions. Certain functions, like IT, have seen more than their fair share. That said, there are many who have been with GSK IT over 20 years. Not unique to GSK, but they continue to try to do more with less to protect stock pricing. Employees are feeling the strain. Too many simultaneous objects. Very project focused and too many meetings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep a pulse on employee resilience. Truly focus on a few key objectives - don't just say it and then allow scope creep.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    I loved working for this company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Audit Manager, R&D Internal Audit  in  Phila, PA
    Former Employee - Audit Manager, R&D Internal Audit in Phila, PA

    I worked at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    GSK is staff-oriented. Management seeks to empower staff to be the best they can be in their roles. To this end, GSK offers in-depth training, professional development and career path guidance. The pay and perks are excellent, not to mention the time-off structure, flexible work hours and friendly, competent, highly educated and motivated staff.

    Cons

    There is a distinct lack of upward mobility since GSK began downsizing five or so years ago. Competition for manager, director, positions is highly competitive. This forces staff to move laterally, stay in their same position for years, or leave the company to seek better opportunities. This is a shame since it costs GSK in talent and key knowledge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none at this time.

    Recommends
  3.  

    Sales Specialist

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

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great Work Life balance. The people are the best part of the company.

    Cons

    Hierarchy. Leaders who are not connected to what goes on at the bottom of the organization make all the decisons

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Flatten the org structure

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company!

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

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Excellent support system from management, good benefits, fun job when you work hard,

    Cons

    Very big. Need to live near corporate to advance within company,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer more work from home options for employees that have a great skill set but are unable to easily live near one of the corporate centers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Focus on breadth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Procurement Leadership Development Program Associate  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Procurement Leadership Development Program Associate in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Globally focused, nurturing culture, strong and diverse product portfolio, strong emphasis on maintaining healthy work-life balances. The company allows you to do so and encourages it. Great benefits: 401K with up to 6% match, Pension Plan and generous vacation time according to US standards.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy as I'd expect from any large company. Top heavy company with too few workers. Long term employees overpaid and unambitious. The company does offer great benefits and as such creates an atmosphere of "golden handcuffs"

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Business Analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  De Land, FL
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in De Land, FL

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good work life balance
    Challenging work
    independence to manage your own projects
    great people to work with, great benefits

    Cons

    Slow to promote
    often have to put up with mundane tasks
    Internal politics
    At times bureaucratic

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    My work experience with GSK was great until the last 5 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Executive Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    GSK gives you exceptional training and the industry standard benefits. The company stresses patients are first in everything that they do.

    Cons

    GSK does not have good work- life balance. The compensation is not good. Compensation and performance are not based on how well you sell your products. Compensation and performance are based on mangers ratings, timed test that require you type in all of your answers and simulations that are done over the phone. GSK has made a VERY STRESSFULL environment for its field employees to work in. I know several employees in the field and not one is happy working for GSK.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Engaging clinical trial work but company overworks permanent employers due to tight resources and finances.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Satisfying work in clinical trials, ability to do some telecommuting allowing work-life intergration and decent benefits for medical/dental and timeoff.

    Cons

    Disconnected senior management, disconnect between company philosophy and culture and behavior of senior mangement, especially with regard to ethics and oncology staff was instrumential in the success of several treatments only to have senior executives decide they could capitialize on their employees' sweat equity to swap assets with Novaritis for approx $16 billion dollars. The senior management and some middle managers at GSK are quite cut-throat, don't look out at all for their employees, can't understand why telecommuting would make the company more competitive and cut-costs without severe adverse effects on staff and micro-manage.

    Lack of meaningful career advancement due to changes in job grades and the old girl and old boy networks. If you are not part of the Queen Bee hive, you are likely to languish in your current position.

    With the current turbulence at GSK, I suggest folks take a pass until the dust settles sometime in 2015. If you care about ethics at a company, I'd take a pass on GSK for the time being.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Stop micro-managing your employees.
    2) Get with the 21st Century and allow employees to do more telecommuting and have more meaningful work-life integration. It is a 24/7 business thus telecommuting allows both the "business" and employees to have a win-win situation.
    3) Listen actively and engage with your employees. Listen to staff, not just your institutional investors and the Board of Directors.
    and 4) The behavior of senior management is horrible, especially with the charges in China and elsewhere. If you would engage and employ the GSK behaviors first rather than preaching to the staff about such matters, perhaps the company would not be in the fine mess it is now?? No instead your answer is to create more mandatory training about ethics to the staff rather than correct your own behavior!!

    Frankly, I'm quite embarassed to work for GSK these days with all the news about various ethics issues and how GSK is conducting its business in various countries. Shame on Andrew Witty, the Board and Senior Executives!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company to start with if you are new to the industry.

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

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Senior management is great, work/life balance good

    Cons

    Patient first, simulations, lack of detailed feed back about test results

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Company that had it right...working hard on getting it wrong

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trainer  in  Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Trainer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at GlaxoSmithKline full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Highly enviable salary and benefits package (salary, bonus, stocks and pension). Hires the best and the brightest. Great worker bees. Amazing pipeline with some of the most talented and gifted R&D researchers in the industry.Well respected reputation within the industry. Company infrastructure setup for tremendous success if properly managed.

    Cons

    Culture rapidly disintegrating due to inauthentic clone leaders that spew corporate talk for every little conversation. Teams lack trust and resources. Employees blamed for woes caused by bad decisions made by distrustful management. Management does not back up actions with what was said. Employees not expected to be human, but to take bad news and decision making with a smile, thus use of Employee Assistance services is skyrocketing. Implementation of stack ratings with zero cultural support and rushed, under resourced training means management applies to favor employees that are clones o themselves. Second and third line leaders make the ratings so those that play politics and are favorites win, and anyone that is shy or doesn't kiss up doesn't meet expectations. This stack ratings system will reduce or eliminate bonuses for many employees and label them as low performers, further deteriorating morale. Grading down of positions is eliminating most career opportunities to move upward for Gen Xers. Management's focus for succession planning comes solely from top MBA school grads now, not internal employees. Stack Rating causing employees to work mainly on highest profile projects and minimize coworker contributions to obtain credit and visibility for frequent (quarterly) performance ratings. Severe lack of resources forcing employees to deliver low quality substandard results and then be penalized for that at review time. Management's severe decisions seem to be to impress their higher ups so that they can get promoted on their 1 1/2 year timeline, and once they leave, there is a completely decimated department left in the wake.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As a leader you can be authentic and show your employees that you are human.You don't have to go around always "on" always "polished" and spewing corporate talk. Employees want to see you as a real person. Be approachable - your title isn't something that has to be worn on your sleeve like a badge. And believe it or not...you are NOT always right! It would go along way for you to trust the very bright folks around you by consulting them. Listen....TRULY open your mind and listen to their recommendations when it comes to the decisions you are making. In the long run, they know best (as they are doing the work) what downstream consequences your decisions will have. Even if your goal is to use the department for your next promotion, consider the effects your leadership will have on those you are managing in the years ahead. 85% of the rework and pain felt within GSK's processes are due to bad decisions made without consulting employees and collaborating. You have some of the best employees that exist at ANY company right now... if nothing changes with the corporate culture, those employees are going to leave GSK for a better more empowered work culture - yes even if it means less money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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