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Novartis Reviews

Updated 13 December 2017
1,128 reviews

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1,128 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance/holidays are organised well (in 153 reviews)

  • Friendly staff and colleagues who are always friendly and willing to help one another succeed in the work environment (in 65 reviews)

Cons
  • Need to improve Work-life balance for employees (in 56 reviews)

  • Lack of authentic leadership from senior management (in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "NVS MAx"

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

    I have been working at Novartis full-time

    Pros

    Big company, big portfolio, big pipeline, dozens of disease-areas to explore, many opportunities.

    Cons

    Not so big salaries, below the industry average. Too vertical company, lots of red tape.


  2. "?..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regulatory Affairs Manager
    Former Employee - Regulatory Affairs Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good development opportunities available to staff.

    Cons

    High pressure job, resource limited at times.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great internationally connected company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Very even handed policies that benefit both the employer and employee eg when you need to have a hospital appointment in the working week. Decent pension funding and bonus. Time recording to a relatively senior level, Great people to work with and sensible travel policies when you need to travel.

    Cons

    Switzerland is very expensive. Plus if you end up having to maintain a UK home as well as Swiss home, if you're not careful you end up with a UK tax bill for the difference between the low swiss tax rates and UK tax rates

    Advice to Management

    It would be great to have flexible benefits system to buy / sell holidays, and there is no medical cover, which is a big miss


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  5. "Great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible working and talented and passionate employees.

    Cons

    Too much work causes a great deal of stress at times.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Vaccines division culture has declined over last few years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Novartis full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - good remuneration packages and benefits
    - lots of new initiatives to work on and plenty of projects however there is a downside to this
    - never gets boring however there is a downside to this

    Cons

    - The culture in the vaccines division is to overload / stretch employees forcing them to work extra hours/ from home/ weekends. If you resist this and try and keep a healthy balance it will show in your performance review as you'll never achieve more than an average rating. Employees who don't deliver get put onto a performance improvement plan and then if your performance doesn't improve to the level expected you're out. I have seen this route misused by managers and some good people have gone just because their bosses didn't like them.
    - Most events and initiatives are treated like a life threatening emergency because many of people who lead the division are fire fighter types who need the adrenalin rush and this gets cascaded downwards and impacts the stress levels of those of us who don't need panic and adrenalin to make us productive.
    - Work obsessed people who lack empathy and finesse tend to get the promotions these days as they bully their way to success at the expense of others. Results count more than how you get them at the end of the day and there are some hated people in some of the top jobs.
    - It comes down to luck if you get a good manager or not and if you have the bullying type you'd better make sure you play the game their way. If you get one of the few empathic and caring managers (and there are a few still about) Novartis can be a supportive and enjoyable place to work but these circumstances are becoming less frequent.
    - The vaccine division lacks real confidence and there is a culture of too many initiatives being implemented at once intended to help lead the company to world class status but this never seems to be achieved. Some of these initiatives are really good and have had a positive effect on the business however there are always too many of them and they tend to fall on the shoulders of the same people to deliver / take part in leading to the over work / extra hours situation mentioned in the first point.

    Advice to Management

    It will be interesting to see what impact the GSK acquisition has on the business and what happens to the flu business when a buyer is found. I'm not sure if any of the vaccines senior management team would take much from this review due to the cons listed above.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Collaboration and Diversity at its Peak"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Healthcare Development Manager in Frimley, England
    Former Employee - Healthcare Development Manager in Frimley, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Novartis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Highly Professional
    Extremely Diverse and Welcoming
    Genuinely Collaborative
    Extremely Intelligent and Competent from the Top Down
    Good Intentions are Authentic

    Cons

    Bureaucracy can cause teams to trip over each other with customers
    Innovation and strong ideas can get lost in bureaucracy before proper consideration/implementation.

    Advice to Management

    Conduct quarterly follow ups on new project proposals for prospective launch/implementation
    Recognise that sometimes the best action is inaction; when something isn't broke, don't fix it anyway.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Awful, just awful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Too Specialised to Say
    Current Employee - Too Specialised to Say
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    despite how the company treats them, the people are great, the science is better than others in the field, great location!

    Cons

    where do you start? everyone is massively overworked, the company simply does not invest in the business, work-life balance - ha! it is a complete, and I mean complete shambles. Bureaucracy is unbelievable, very conservative (years out of date with the modern world), slow motion train wreck. workforce too scared to speak up - Avoid, avoid

    Advice to Management

    treat your people better, trust them! employ somewhere near the right number of people to do the job rather than now where everyone has at least two jobs. empower and support, believe in work/life balance dont just occasionally mention it.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Pay is about average but they think you should value other things higher than pay. HA!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Process Technician in Grimsby, England
    Former Employee - Process Technician in Grimsby, England
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I cant really think of any. The best plus I can think of is that I have worked at worse places. Pay is reasonable but falls short of similar jobs in industry such as oil. At my site the budget control was a bit slack so you could hammer the overtime if you did'nt have a life.

    Cons

    Pay falls short of similar jobs in industry such as oil. Thats why I and many like me have left to go to oil companies over the last few years. They seem to believe that workers will take on more and more work for less pay because they enjoy the sense of doing a good job and pay is'nt that important.

    Advice to Management

    Pay counts. Stop sending everyone on stupid courses whereby the lecturer (who is on about £600 a day) tells everybody that pay is not a valid reason to come to work. Idiots.


  10. "Trainee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trainee in Munich, Bayern (Germany)
    Former Employee - Trainee in Munich, Bayern (Germany)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Novartis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    very good culture, high salary

    Cons

    long decision making chain as a result lost time and slow changes


  11. "Good Opportunities"

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

    I have been working at Novartis full-time

    Pros

    The company gives you good opportunities and work life balance

    Cons

    Slow learning in the company

    Advice to Management

    Better Resource Planning


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