Premier People: Jana Steinmetz, Senior Director, Biostatistics 

Premier Value: We Aim High / We Work Together

What’s great is there isn’t a typical day at Premier. I’m a senior director that manages a group of seven biostatisticians; two of whom are managers themselves. I am also the statistical lead on two studies and provide oversight on several others. There is a lot of juggling required, but support is readily available on many levels—not just within the department but across the various functional areas.

If it is the first time a statistician has worked on a particular indication or with a particular statistical method, there is always someone ready and willing to assist. Everyone has a different background; everyone brings something unique. The range of opportunities makes the job more interesting, because of the diversity; it is also career-enhancing because you are developing a broader array of skill sets.

Our statisticians are empowered to impact our systems, to improve our processes, making them more efficient and effective. In our departmental and managers’ meetings, we are very open—anyone can add to the agenda, and anyone can start an initiative to develop a better approach to a procedure. We don’t just listen to good ideas; we discuss and implement them.

The annual performance review has been restructured to put an employee’s future into their own hands. They share their goals and aspirations, then their line manager helps guide them to reach those ambitions.

Team members are encouraged to work in areas they want to explore but have not yet had the opportunity to do so. For example, if a statistician says, “I’ve never used multiple imputation for missing data, and I’d like to learn that,” they will be assigned to a project where they can be exposed to this technique, teaming them with someone who is experienced in this area.

Our programmers also take tremendous ownership in their work, which I gather from my fellow statisticians is not always the case in the CRO/pharma environment. Statisticians work closely with programmers—and have programming experience and responsibilities themselves, which enhances their understanding of programmer needs.

Of course, we offer a wide range of training support. If you want to enroll in a training session—even a training session outside our functional area such as for project or data managers—you are encouraged to do so. Receiving training in other functional areas allows you to better understand their function and responsibilities, and that will help you work more cohesively with the broader team.”

If I had to name three things that stand out for me about Premier and the work environment here, it would start and end with the people. If you don’t have a good working relationship with your colleagues, then you will be unable to work together in an effective and efficient manner. Team members work very closely together, whether it’s within the department or across functional groups. Everyone benefits from great teamwork.

Premier also has strong leaders; leaders that understand the support required and are sure to provide it. Often, their understanding comes from having performed the job themselves, so they understand the broader picture. It’s just another example of how we all pull together—we all step in, we all help—that’s just part of the culture at Premier.