Case Study: Genentech

Case Study: Genentech
Discussion Questions
1.Would you characterize Genentech’s employees as experiencing distress or eustress? Distress is the type of stress that has negative implications, whereas eustress has a positive form of stress, usually related to desirable events in someone’s life. Therefore, I would characterize the Genentech’s employees as experiencing eustress. For example, all these programs that Genentech offers to its employees make life less stressful. The employees, who work for Genentech, enjoy working and they are proud of the cancer-fighting drugs their company produce, and also the egalitarian policies.

2.How can the Yerkes-Dodson law be related to the impact of Genentech’s programs that are aimed at enhancing employee well-being? The Yerkes-Dodson law dictates that performance increases with mental arousal. As arousal increases, performance also increases, but only to a point. When arousal becomes too high, performance decreases. The Genentech’s programs arousal is high, which increases performance. The arousal is not too high to the point that affects performance and productivity. Genentech’s program includes promoting emotional health, improving health, and maintaining balance between their employees’ work life and personal lives among their employees. Therefore, the stress at Genentech Way is a good stress, eustress, which is related to the Yerkes-Dodson law, as arousal increases, performance also increases.
3.How do Genentech’s basic management philosophy and the key features of its culture set the stage for the company’s concern about their employees’ well-being? Genentech creates a way for people to contribute to making something that can make a difference. What made Genentech so successful is the ability to recruit and retain highly qualified and motivated people. They are bright, committed people with great technical skills. They have a passion to contribute, and a sense of responsibility to work hard and do their best. The company encourages its scientists to use their unique backgrounds and skills to take initiative to propose research and development projects.
The company maintains a corporate culture that fosters creativity and innovation. Therefore, the company allows its researches to publish their findings in academic journals. Genentech also promotes emotional health among its employees by creating a connection culture, for example, bringing cancer patients into the company’s facilities. Another way that the company promotes the well-being of its employees is the availability of its tuition-assistance program to cover educational expenses of its employees. And another important initiative and well-being for Genentech is helping its employees maintain balance between their work lives and personal lives. As a result, Genentech’s employees claim that they love what they do because they know their job has a meaning.
4.What might be accomplished by Genentech’s programs with respect to enabling employees to better deal with workplace stress or its consequences? All these programs deal with employee stress and or well-being at workplace, and are aimed at making life less stressful. Consequently, Genentech employees consistently refer to the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients as the primary reason they work for Genentech. Genentech’s development products continue to grow, with multiple promising projects in the following therapeutic focus area: oncology, immunology, metabolism, neuroscience and infectious diseases. As a result, they are proud of the products and services they produce.
5.Four specific programs that target employee well-being in one way or another are mentioned: a culture fostering creativity and innovation, a connection culture, tuition assistance, and emphasis on work/life balance. Which of these four programs do you think holds the most promise for being effectively emulated by other companies? Explain behind your answer. One of the four programs that I think holds the most promise for being effectively emulated by other companies is a culture fostering creativity and innovation. Creativity and innovation are important for all types of organizations. Innovation is the fuel that drives the global economy. Therefore, innovation and creativity skills are critical to future success in life and work, and it is also critical to the positive well-being of the individual in the organization. In our business world today, competitive advantage can be sustained focusing on creativity and innovation.
6.What are the individual and organizational consequences that likely can be attributed to Genentech’s various programs? Credibility (values, internal communications)
Respect shown to employees (training, recognition programs)
Fairness (equity in pay, diversity)
Pride (social impact of products/services, philanthropy)
Camaraderie (celebrations)
In conclusion, Genentech’s various programs and practices fit together easily.
Sources:
http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/history/arousal.html
http://changingminds.org/explanations/motivation/yerkes-dodson.htm
http://www.gene.com/gene/index.jsp
http://resources.greatplacetowork.com/article/pdf/why_genentech_is_1.pdf

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