Novartis Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Novartis Reviews

Updated 23 July 2018
2,224 reviews

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2,224 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Family / Work life balance does not exist quite yet" (in 106 reviews)

  • "No work/life-balance, extremely political; career opportunities reserved for people from UK and USA" (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. 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


  2. "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.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "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.


  4. "Inspirational company but with some giant egos hindering progress"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Frimley, England
    Former Employee - Consultant in Frimley, England
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Novartis full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    For the majority of my time there I loved going to work. I worked on projects within several areas of the UK organisation, and with the leadership team, which gave me quite an honest insight to 'how things are'. Overall, this is an aspirational company with some truly talented individuals and an inspirational portfolio and pipeline. Their development programme is excellent - tough, but bursting with exciting opportunity if you want to carve a career.

    Cons

    One negative result of the development programme, and a general cultural shift in recent times, is that some leaders are focussed primarily on their own career path, to the detriment of progress and good business practices. It can also be quite political which directly impacts the progression of brilliant ideas when middle-managers choose not to back something for bureacratic reasons.

    Advice to Management

    Don't let mediocre leadership qualities and patchy middle management spoil this amazing company.


  5. "I was a very successful area sales manager Brilliant time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AREA SALES MANAGER
    Current Employee - AREA SALES MANAGER
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Novartis full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Constant encouraging atmosphere, good rewards for success,

    Cons

    As always, a few losers who complain.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work,,encourage again and again


  6. 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.


  7. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist II in Horsham, England
    Current Employee - Scientist II in Horsham, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Novartis full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Apprenticeship scheme provided valuable experience while paying for degree.

    Cons

    Lack of job security in UK

    Advice to Management

    Don't just drop the top talent

  8. "Novartis Pharmaceuticals internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    - The headquarters (in Basel) has quite a lot of networking events - with good food!
    - The main campus is impressive with really great architecture
    - Most jobs have pretty flexible working hours - you don't have to start and end the day at a specific time (clock-in system)

    Cons

    - Perhaps due to the size of the company, it can be quite disorganised - often you would have trouble finding the right department to help you with certain issues


  9. "Awesome place to work in"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CPM in London, England
    Current Employee - CPM in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Novartis full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Nice people, massive pipeline - amazing

    Cons

    long hours a lot of work to do


  10. Helpful (1)

    "They put far too much on you with extra roster shifts when they choose,they don't care about their workforce"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Liverpool, England
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Liverpool, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Perks such as Pension and Shares

    Cons

    Poor management who treat there people with no respect,corrupt promotion system,long hours and shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your personnel with respect,stop grinding them into the ground with 5 on 3 off 12hr shifts,look at your management as they don't treat people fairly.


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