Jackson Laboratory
2.9 of 5 42 reviews
www.jax.org Bar Harbor, ME 1000 to 5000 Employees

Jackson Laboratory Reviews

Updated Jun 20, 2014

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2.9 42 reviews

                             

80% Approve of the CEO

Jackson Laboratory President & CEO Dr. Edison T. Liu

Dr. Edison T. Liu

(10 ratings)

42% of employees recommend this company to a friend
42 Employee Reviews
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    Has the potential to be a top employer

    Animal Care (Former Employee)
    Sacramento, CA

    Pros- Good benefits package: insurance and great retirement
    - New gym (built late 2013), New Cafeteria (built early 2014)
    - High rate of company expansion = never a shortage of work
    - Lots of overtime opportunities for workaholics
    - Decently diverse work force (in Production anyway)
    - Possibility to work with really good people
    - Work shifts help avoid traffic (start times anywhere from 4:30am-7:30am)
    - Sometimes the company springs for lunch

    ConsRegarding the Sacramento Animal Care branch:

    This company has an enormous amount of potential, but expectations of employees are set too high to realize this. The bottom line seems to be the primary influence when it comes to decisions about workflow.

    Production teams are minimally staffed--the company only staffs just enough technicians to one group so that weekly assignments are only completed on-time if everyone works at 120% all day, every day. This extreme demand for employee efficiency creates a never-ending pool of overtime to cover for anyone that calls-out, giving technicians an even larger workload than the one they were already working extra hard to finish. These high demands often result in employee injuries, which further aggravates the under-staffing issue.

    While compensation is somewhat decent (starting entry level wage is $12-14/hr), there are several competing companies in the vicinity that offer better pay for much less work. This is one major contributing factor to the high turnover of employees--a running joke among nearby competitors is that JAX is a stepping stone; they train technicians for other companies. It's sad because this company easily has the capability to be on the opposite side of that joke.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThis is a non-profit company. Stop acting like you're not. While expansion is great, you need to not lose focus on one of your foundations--the Animal Care Technicians. Employee morale wouldn't be so low if you not only listen to concerns, but actually take them into consideration.

    Have realistic growth expectations. You can't expect to double production within a year, when it'd take twice as long to build the competent, loyal, and satisfied workforce to support it. You end up putting too much strain on the existing technicians.

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    Management (Current Employee)
    Bar Harbor, ME

    ProsBenefits 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.

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Jackson Laboratory Sacramento

    Scientist/Consultant (Former Employee)
    Sacramento, CA

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

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Tough place to be if you like to get things done

    Professional (Current Employee)
    Bar Harbor, ME

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

    ConsCommunication 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 Senior ManagementStart 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.

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    Best in the area

    Animal Care Technologist II (Current Employee)
    Bar Harbor, ME

    ProsPeople know each other and help out. Workers care about their jobs. Salary is pretty good for the area, and it's hard to get a job with benefits better than this.

    ConsAdvancement and promotion are slow. Some departments have backstabbers, but you will find that everywhere.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Animal Care Tech-Production

    Animal Care Tech (Former Employee)
    Sacramento, CA

    ProsThere is plenty of work to do, always overtime.

    ConsYou are a complete slave. You get paid nothing. You will be injured from the work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop treating people like they are machines.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Worst employer ever.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsBenefits package, location, organizations mission

    ConsWork - life balance, executive management,

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to middle management and front line staff.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great place to work

    Manager (Current Employee)
    Bar Harbor, ME

    ProsGood benefit, beautiful environment, small town

    ConsHard to adapt changes, life during winter is hard

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove employee accountability

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Research takes a backseat to production

    Laboratory Technician (Current Employee)
    Bar Harbor, ME

    ProsFriendly 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.

    ConsLack 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 Senior ManagementThe 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Contract Scientist

    Consultant (Former Employee)
    Bar Harbor, ME

    ProsContract job to do a fair amount of work in a decent amount of time.

    Conslack of benefits... hence contract work

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Jackson Laboratory reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Jackson Laboratory CEO Dr. Edison T. Liu. All 42 reviews posted anonymously by Jackson Laboratory employees.