Best Practices: Genentech

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  • Topic: Genentech, Employment, Herbert Boyer
  • Pages : 5 (1761 words )
  • Download(s) : 92
  • Published : April 19, 2008
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Best Practices:

Considered the founder of the biotechnology industry, Genentech is also leading edge in another area – being consistently recognized as a top employer by Working Mother, Science and Fortune Magazine. In January 2008, Fortune again named Genentech to its “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the tenth year in a row. Because of factors that include culture, perks, employee stock ownership and focus on the patient, Genetech even clinched the top spot in 2006. Genentech was founded in 1976 by the late venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert W. Boyer. According to the Genentech company website, in the early 1970s Boyer and geneticist Stanley Cohen pioneered a new scientific field called recombinant DNA technology. Upon learning about this development, Swanson placed a call to Boyer and requested a meeting (Genentech, 2008). Boyer agreed to give the young entrepreneur 10 minutes of his time. Swanson's enthusiasm for the technology and his faith in its commercial potential were contagious, and the meeting extended from 10 minutes to three hours; by its conclusion, Genentech was born (Genentech, 2008). The company's goal was to develop a new generation of therapeutics created from genetically engineered copies of naturally occurring molecules important in human health and disease. Within a few short years, Genentech scientists proved it was possible to make medicines by splicing genes into fast-growing bacteria that produced therapeutic proteins (Genentech, 2008). Today Genentech continues to use genetic engineering techniques and advanced technologies to develop medicines that address significant unmet needs and provide clinical benefits to millions of patients worldwide. Their development pipeline includes more than fifty projects in the areas of oncology, immunology, and disorders or tissue growth and repair (Genentech, 2008). On January 22, 2008, Fortune magazine named Genentech one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the tenth consecutive year (Fortune, 2008). This year Genentech is number five on the list. In selecting the "100 Best Companies to Work For," Fortune relies on two criteria: an evaluation of the policies and culture of each company, and the opinions of the company's own employees (Fortune, 2008). The latter is deemed most important and two-thirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a survey created by the Great Place to Work Institute. The remaining one-third of the score comes from Fortune’s evaluation of each company's demographic makeup, compensation, benefits programs and culture. Genentech is the only company in the biotech industry that has appeared on the list for the last ten consecutive years (Fortune, 2008). According to the Great Place to Work Institute, Inc., any company can be a Great Place to Work. Based on the major findings of 20 years of research, the Institute believes that trust between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces (Great Place to Work Institute, 2008). According to the Institute’s website, their definition of a great place to work is where employees “trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with” (Great Place to Work Institute, 2008). The site goes further to state that a great workplace is measured by the quality of three interconnected relationships including the relationship between employees and management, between employees and their jobs/company and between employees and other employees. The model is broken down between five specific dimensions. According to The Institute, trust is the essential ingredient for the primary workplace relationship between the employee and the employer and is composed of the first three dimensions -- credibility, respect and fairness (Great Place to Work Institute, 2008). Credibility in the workplace means managers regularly communicate with employees...
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