Western Institutional Review Board

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Western Institutional Review Board Reviews

Updated March 17, 2015
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Dudley Slater
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  1. I have worked for Western IRB for less than a year abs so far I love it.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great fun friendly atmosphere and back Beautiful spacious building

    Cons

    Eating too much always snacks around

  2. Helpful (1)

    Huge Mistake

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

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free coffee, tea and hot cocoa and occasional dress down days

    Cons

    Everything. This company lies to you from the very beginning. As an analyst, one would think that they are going to be analyzing and sharing the outcome of their analysis with the company, and as part of a large team, the company would want to hear your thoughts and ideas. This is not the case. The title Business Operations Analyst only means that you will be doing data entry work and proof reading documents for errors. You must do this quickly and without errors. If you are not fast enough they will let you go. That's it in a nut shell. There is no analyzing involved. If you are looking to grow and become part of a team that values you and your ideas, this is not the place for you. If you want to sit at your desk all day, being judged based on your production and your production only, then this is the job for you. If you are looking for no room for growth, then this is the job for you. If you are satisfied with no recognition for a job well done, then this is the job for you. The managers will not share with you how they really feel about you. They are extremely phony and you will never really know if you are valued or not, whether you do a good job or not. But, if your production numbers are not within a certain parameter, they will get rid of you so fast it will make your head spin. This job is perfect for someone who has no life and wants to put in a lot of overtime. Oh, and you will not be paid for the overtime, because it is an exempt position. This in itself is questionable, because under L & I description of exempt, this position does not apply. So, the fact that they don't pay the Business Operations Analysts overtime, but expect it, and even mandate it, may be illegal. This company is very shady and has a high turnover rate.

    Advice to Management

    Improve on training and be honest with all the employees from day one. And stop advertising the position as a Business Operations Analyst. There is no analyzing involved. A better title would be "Data entry/Proof Reader"

  3. Helpful (1)

    A true "Office Space" nightmare. Stay away!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Former Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA

    I worked at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The company offers paid benefits and there is some flexibility to set your own schedule depending on what department you work in.

    Cons

    This company was extremely deceptive in its recruitment and hiring processes. The job was listed on a job search site as a document revision specialist. The actual title of the job was "business operations analyst" and the position had nothing to do with documents or editing and was little more than data entry, as stated in other reviews. As also stated in other reviews, the database system used for the data entry is archaic and non-intuitive. It would be right at home in Windows '95.

    During the interview and hiring process, I was told by HR that I would be hired as a salaried employee, and that they occasionally instituted mandatory overtime. During my short time there, not a Friday went by without people being asked to work over the weekend, and they were also frequently asked to put in longer than 8-hour days. Since they are salaried employees, they do not get paid for overtime. However, they were also not allowed to work shorter work weeks to compensate for overtime the previous week. And if all that weren't enough, salaried employees are required to clock in and out at the beginning and the end of the day and for lunch as well. They treat you like an hourly employee, they just don't want to pay overtime because they have too much work and not enough people to do it.

    The work is mind-numbingly boring. No two people can come up with the same answer to even the most basic question, which leads to snarky e-mails and bickering between teams because the right hand does not know what the left is doing. And the company is so self-contained that they seem unable to help outside clients understand, in a plain-spoken manner, what they need from them,. No one even tries. They send out confounding bureaucratic e-mails full of jargon and when someone doesn't understand, they just complain that the person is stupid. In short, they have made the work so difficult for themselves that they can't provide a good service to the client.

    This company is a true "Office Space" nightmare. Unless you want three people coming up to you telling you what you did wrong on your TPS report, I'd stay far, far away.

    Advice to Management

    Lose the consultants who are trying to "streamline processes" and instead bring in people who understand not only database management systems but UI design as well. Don't try to fix what's there, go back to the drawing board and start again. Devise a brief and easy-to-understand style guide that all employees must follow, and consider making this available to clients as well.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Current Employee of Western Institution Review Board (WIRB)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Coordinator in Puyallup, WA
    Current Employee - Operations Coordinator in Puyallup, WA

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    With the new building comes a new atmosphere. We have open spaces and a positive environment. We see forest animals all the time and there is much more laughter than previous years. They are building us a great new patio as well.

    Some have said that they're bribing us with pastries and dress down days. Self entitlement does not make for a positive attitude. HR and upper Management have updated processes and shown exceptional rewards to those who work hard. We have had Bonuses, Tailgate Fridays, Catered Lunches, and WIRB has joined in at the national level with the first ever Take your Son/Daughter to work.

    We get to be part of the research community and hear about great life-saving stories. Our work does revolve around a computer so you have to be willing to make an adjustment. Walks and extra caffeine help (as with any office job) WIRB does offer very ergonomic friendly equipment. (No I am not part of HR or Upper Management, I have just worked at other offices that do not take these things to heart like WIRB does)

    We have a great health plan which includes vision (employer paid) Our dental costs are very low (under $35 a month for myself), and we have a great Paid Time Off program.

    Cons

    My commute went from 10 minutes to Olympia to 1 hour to Puyallup.

    Advice to Management

    I would like to say thank you for the leaps and bounds our Company has made since our "previous owners" and I am especially grateful for all the positive moves to help regain our morale. The only thing I would suggest is getting the Espresso Cart back here on a permanent basis. :)

  6. Helpful (1)

    A Scam for Prospective Researchers

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

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board as an intern (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They previously had a good reputation. I believe they are resting on their reputation. if they don't change WIRB 's reputation will suffer.

    Cons

    A someone trying to use their services they are both not helpful and full of unexpected fees. The value of service is lacking in the current corporate culture.

    Advice to Management

    take a serious look at your the mission of your company. Are you able to guide and assist all your customers through the confusing and daunting task of IRB approval. Solution to problems is to hire expensive consultants are drive up expenses.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Terrible business practices and employees are bullied

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

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The Security Staff in the lobby are nice and can count on a smile from them every day! Wish I could say more, but struggling to come up with another "Pro".

    Cons

    Absolutely the worst database system ever! Whoever accepted that work product clearly did not/does not have a clue how to manage data. Opportunities to advance are non-existent. Adequate training for position is slim to none along with any opportunity to cross-train. Written work process and procedures are outdated and incomplete to the point that they are virtually useless. Also concerning is that nothing is private. Unable to trust one single person. Shared a benign personal event in passing and next thing I know I'm forced to talk with HR staff about things that are none of their business. I'm so paranoid now that it's probably less stressful to be homeless! I have witnessed other employees being bullied as well. They're pretty slick about it...so subtle that most don't recognize the signs.

    Advice to Management

    Highly recommend all of Management shadow a successful company where their employees give them a top rating like Genetech, Google, or DPR Construction (all are on Forbes 2014 Top Ten Companies to Work for list) and take excellent notes. You need to start from scratch and model WIRB after one of the companies mentioned so that things like "Project Deb" will come naturally for staff. And beg you to dispense with all staff meetings in off campus rented facilities for 45 minutes of PowerPoint slides that would have been 99.9% more cost & time efficient if had relayed via WIRB's digital newsletter. Finally, please spend company revenue on something worthwhile and not on frivolous items like green wrist band reminders,

  8. Amazing Company with Long Term Sustainability!!!

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

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    If you have good work ethics and willingness to put in the hard work and want a career, then this is a company for you. This company demands this of you in order to maintain its lead in the industry. The current COO and Director of Operations are gaining big ground on the low moral issues resulting from the recent relocation from Olympia to Puyallup. Those are the two key people in the company that have EARNED the peoples respect. Simply put......If you don't have what it takes and you aren't willing to support the overall growth of the business then you don't belong there in my opinion.

    Cons

    As a long term employee I struggle with my new commute which resulted from the relocation. The company did offer me compensation for the additional mileage and a retention bonus which really helped. This is my only con.

    Advice to Management

    To the COO and Director of Operations.....KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!! You always seem overcome the negatives and have set the bar high for the leadership group.

  9. Helpful (1)

    DO NOT WORK HERE!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Former Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA

    I worked at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The only pros I can offer are what they claim to do (the protection of human subjects) is a noble pursuit and most of the employees are very nice to work with.

    Cons

    First off, beware of the review posted on April 19, 2014. This was almost certainly done by a member of their HR team or a director trying to increase the company's very negative Glassdoor rating.

     I was hired as a business operations analyst. A catchy title for sure, but what I really did for eight plus hours a day was little more than data entry. 90% of their workforce, regardless of what thier job title is, spend their days entering documents and information into their archaic database system. The position has nothing to do with business, operations, or analysis. All I did was proof read forms that had been submitted by research sites to ensure they were completed to WIRB's ever evolving standard of what constituted correct, and enter the data into their system. The rules for what was and wasn't acceptable were constantly shifting. I guess that's what they consider "analyzing" them.

    Most of the managers seem to have been promoted based solely seniority, not their ability to actually perform in the position. They have, to their credit, begun some rudimentary management courses so that may improve.

    The company recently moved locations and lost roughly a third of their workforce in the process. They knew months in advance that this would be the case, but rather than having any sort of viable plan they just required everyone to work massive amounts of mandatory overtime to make up for the loss.

    The business operations analyst is a salaried position that pays what amounts to $17 an hour. After being there for only one week all the salaried employees were brought into a conference room and told because we get paid so much more money (their average employee makes somewhere around $12-13 an hour I never found out for sure) we would be expected to work a minimum of nine hours a day until further notice. Most of us received that notice a few months later that we could go back down to eight hours. Then a week or so after that many of us were told we would now have to work a mandatory ten hour day to cover an increased work load.

    If you care in the least about your work/ life balance do not work here! The vast majority of their employees not only work 9-10 hours a day in the office, but are also encouraged to take their laptops with them so they can work from home, and they frequently work weekends. This is the culture you will be walking into. When they first announced the mandatory nine hour days a woman said she wouldn't be able to accommodate the new schedule because of daycare requirements. She was hired to work a 40 hour week and that was what she could give them. By the end of the day she was gone. There was a gentleman who started around the same time I did who told them he couldn't work the mandatory ten hour days because he had a rather long commute and had barely made it through the temporary nine hour days. He was let go. These are just two examples of the many I witnessed while I worked there.

    That is the last thing I will mention, you will realize pretty early on that you are not really valued by the organization. Over the course of the time that I was there I watched well over a dozen people get let go or quit. For most of them it was because they couldn't work the mandatory unpaid overtime required, they either had a family or a long commute. The organization doesn't care, they can lose anyone and just make those left on the team work more hours to pick up the slack. That seems to be their practice when it comes to employees.

    Advice to Management

    You lost what somewhere between 1/4 to 1/3 of your workforce because of the move. Most of these people told you when the it was first announced that they wouldn’t be coming with you. So your plan was to begin hiring people about six months prior knowing there would be a six month training process. And these people don’t train themselves, so at least one senior member of each team had to reduce their productivity and train the new people. Your answer for a situation where at any given time almost half of your workforce was going to either be in training or training a new employee was mandatory overtime.

    Overtime is a leadership failure, and lazy management. The occasional gift card, free pastry or dress down day is not really a substitute for consistant and effective management.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Very cold culture, old school business rules, boring glorified proof reading organization.

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

    I worked at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    You are provided with the basic benefits and tools you need to get your job done.

    Cons

    The pay is way below market for the job description, the culture is extremely boring, the dress code is very old fashion. There are a lot of overweight employees due to physical inactivity. The positions require you to be a proof reading drone. Management constantly badgers you about working extra long hours. Not a lot of room for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Look around and see what other corporations in Western Washington provide and make the badly needed changes or you are going to continue to have high turnover. People spend most of their lives at work, it should be an environment that you thrive in, not one you dread being in.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Relevant field of work

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

    I worked at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (more than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Company's role is important in the field of clinical research, what is done there can affect research subjects' lives. It can be a rewarding experience and more than just a job.

    Cons

    Significant staff turnover, management transitions have been inconsistent and client concerns marginalized.

    Advice to Management

    Remember this is an ethics committee and be as ethical in approach to the managment of the business as the determinations of the research reviews.

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