Novartis
3.4 of 5 200 reviews
www.novartis.com Basel, Switzerland 5000+ Employees

Novartis Reviews

Updated Apr 11, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 200 reviews

                             

83% Approve of the CEO

Novartis CEO Joseph (Joe) Jimenez Jr.

Joseph (Joe) Jimenez Jr.

(98 ratings)

70% of employees recommend this company to a friend
200 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "work/Life balance can be well maintained"
    in 9 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 9 reviews
  • "People loosing focus on business due to senior management style"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
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  • Approves of CEO

 

political company

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

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

Prosmoney, but very little else unfortunately as the right culture and people are moving to better companies recently, due to the highly unprofessional leadership in certain functions at the top

Consall else, right culture and people are moving to better companies recently, due to the highly unprofessional leadership in certain functions at the top

Advice to Senior Managementincrease transparency

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Think twice ...

Director (Current Employee)
Basel (Switzerland)

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

ProsThe company offers good benefits and job opportunities. The work place in Basel is also quite nice, but it can also be considered too "fleshy" for a pharma company.

ConsUnfortunately it is a company of double standards, this is in particular true for upper management. It is a large company and you are simply only a number.
The turnover of managers is very high
You are working in environment of fear - people are afraid to raise their hands ...
There is NO work/life balance.

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a clear and flatter structure with clear roles and resposibilities

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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V&D Division

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I worked at Novartis full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat benefits, awesome team and direct management.

Cons2012 Global V&D CFO was a cheap and always watched the budget. Rejected additional headcount when critically needed, only approved higher management promotions, and reduced headcount to capture "savings".

Advice to Senior ManagementThey've forgotten the key value of the company which is talent. You know something is wrong when the division has a high turnover.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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work life balance doesn't exist

Position Being Relocated (Former Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I worked at Novartis full-time for more than 5 years

Prosthey actually have great benefits compared to other lfie sciences companies. of course they can't compete with Genentech.

Conswow.. to many to list.
their moto is to keep talent and promote within. i think it's the complete the opposite considering they've mastered in laying off great FTE employees, sending work off shore, and hiring mainly contractors and temps to save money. If you've been with the company for many years, more than likely, your colleagues who have less years with Novartis are making 30-40% more than you. Now, if you have a close relationship with management, then surely they can get you a 30% pay increase on a promotion without hesitation.

The indians have very long hours while the Chiefs have a 6 hour work day.

Advice to Senior Managementif you truly value talent, then do a better job in keeping them.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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CFO

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Novartis

Prosgood pay and benefits, good environment

Conslots of temporary contractors filling for open permanent positions

Advice to Senior Managementhire more fulltime employees instead of army of temporary contractors

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if you can tolerate the unhealthy work environment...stay away!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Amsterdam (Netherlands)

I worked at Novartis

ProsGreat location, good knowledgeable people

ConsI can't believe how disorganized things are. I was a hard worker and believe in getting the job done but there are certain resources I need in order to do it. I feel like I was merely treading water..not getting anywhere.
- the process are the wrong process for clinical trials
- too much unnecessary extra work due to process
-The company does not value its employees or experience
-drive unattainable and unreasonable goals. (poor project planning)

Advice to Senior ManagementA lot more effort needs to be put into streamlining many of your business practices. Most processes here are so drawn out that it can take you half a day to perform simple tasks.Most of the the time it is because the resources aren't available or the process isn't written down anywhere

Upper management: Treat personnel as assets, instead of means to your ends.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

Novartis is a good place to be from

Director (Current Employee)
Cambridge, MA

I have been working at Novartis

ProsGood science. Good resources. Good management training opportunities.

ConsMost toxic work environment I have ever experienced. Managers only focus on managing "up" to move ahead, often at the cost of their reports. No internal promotions and little recognition for quality work. Speak up and be cut off at the knees culture, even private discussions with manager. Employee review process generally used to punish those who do not fit the "Stepford" employee model. HR's primary role is to protect the abusive middle management corps.

Advice to Senior ManagementThere is such a dramatic disconnect between the stated Novartis values and behaviors norms and those demonstrated by management up to the SVP level that it must be condoned by top management. This must change or Novartis will loose it's innovation culture and become another lock-step big Pharma with a failed internal R&D pipeling.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Good place to work if you don't want to be challenged

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Cambridge, MA

I have been working at Novartis

ProsWork/life balance, good compensation, perks that sometimes go with working in a big company. Also, a great place to work if you like working in an academic environment.

The above are specific to NIBR, not necessarily all of Novartis

ConsVery little is challenging and career growth is limited if you are not in the science areas (which I suppose make sense and is probably appropriate for the group).

The above are specific to NIBR, not necessarily all of Novartis

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Was better when it was Chiron

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I have been working at Novartis

Pros-Excellent location (heart of Biotech Bay) within a not-so-urban-yet-not-so-industrial setting.
-Employees show great team-work efforts in their respective departments as well as do their best to be accommodating to their respective customers.
-Depending on who your manager is...they MIGHT listen to you.

Cons-Depending on who your manager is...they MIGHT not care about the following: you, your need for professional growth, your opinions, your diligent efforts to improve, and if you've made errors will make it a point to overshadow the positives with the negatives.
-Micromanagement is not a style--it's a way of life.
-If you're looking for sympathy you're barking up the wrong tree.
-Hiring temps (contractors) and constantly renewing their contracts without even so much as notifying them as to when their contract is actually up or whether or not that temp even WANTS to renew their contract

Advice to Senior ManagementNot that this statement will do any good but you can't blame a person for trying so here it goes: Stop hiring more managers/specialists that complicate matters even further and start hiring your temps who have been there for 2+ years (Vizcaino v. Microsoft...ring a bell??). These are the people who drive the efforts forward that make YOU look good.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Need to be more aware of the workers.

Operator (Former Employee)
Nyon (Switzerland)

I worked at Novartis full-time for more than 3 years

ProsIf you start off here , you will enjoy the challenges that are set out for you, BUt be careful that you only do what you are fully capable to do.

ConsAs said above , the longer you work here the more you are taken for a "slave" to there system of work,work, work and why not work.Then when you point this out at your annual meeting they will completely discredit your efforts as not enough and should make more effort.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe management need to wake up and realise that it's thanks to the efforts of the workers that they still have a well paid job in Nyon, while the workers are still feeling the money , lack of in our pockets. Also thank you wouldn't hurt every so often !!

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

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