Koch Industries

  www.kochind.com
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Koch Industries Reviews

Updated Jun 11, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 54 reviews

88% Approve of the CEO

Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles G. Koch

Charles G. Koch

(41 ratings)

69% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The core principles and business philosophies are sound and strongly advocated by the owner who is in his mid-70s(in 3 reviews)

  • Intellectual challenge, smart folks and a company that is not afraid to take risks(in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is poor, especially if you work in Atlanta(in 5 reviews)

  • The long hours were due mainly to poor software(in 3 reviews)

54 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great Place to Start Off Your Career

    Tax Intern (Current Employee) Wichita, KS (US)

    ProsPays Well
    Benefits
    A Lot of Training
    Leadership

    ConsDiversity is not a big part of this company
    Work-Life Balance

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate and build a relationship with lower level workers. They work just as hard as you.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Big company (with small company ideas) struggling to figure out how to successfully absorb very different acquisitions

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe core principles and business philosophies are sound and strongly advocated by the owner who is in his mid-70s.

    ConsA large segment of middle to upper lever managers are from other business cultures and do not fully embrace the guiding principles. It is not a transparent organization. Politics and back room maneuvering still drive decisions and promotions. The owner's direct involvement in driving this culture down below his immediate leaders is likely limited due to physical security issues for him. Plenty of managers promoted from technical ranks but no real leaders. The Peter Principle is in force in many management roles.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTop leaders should try to get out of Wichita and get direct feedback from the front lines to understand what is really going on. The message from the front is being cleaned up and deodorized before it gets sent all the way up. Leaders should ask the front line who the "servant leaders" are, and who walks the talk.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    It is all about creating value.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe companies core values are more than just words on paper, the employees wear it on the sleeves. The availability of training is quite good especially in the realm of Market Based Management (MBM). Good training for supervisors. This isn't a company that quibbles about $.02 on an business expense as long as you can show that it was a legitimate expense. Employee population heavily involved in giving back to the community.

    ConsThe pace can become "fast and furious" at times, maintaining focus, knowing what value you bring are important to keep in front of you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStay the course!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Awesome place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe people are fantastic to work with

    ConsHours can be long and the travel

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to them more often

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Koch brothers bought G/P and changed many things at its Huntsville Al. facility.

    Second Helper (Former Employee) Huntsville, AL (US)

    ProsThe corrugated box manufacturing plant was a terrible work environment when I began the job. I needed a paycheck so that is why I stayed for six months with perfect attendance before leaving.

    ConsWhen Koch bros. bought G/P it got worse. My job title and many other employees was deleted, which dropped my pay and piled on more duties and responsibilities. If you work for any of their divisions, I warn you. They don't care about the amount of service and years you may have worked for them, in fact, it could cost you your job. I saw many with 20 plus yrs. lose their jobs costing them retirement benefits.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI am the little guy and would not expect the management to listen to an underappreciated former employee. Thanks for leaving this bad taste in my mouth for G/P, Koch Industries and all products produced by the company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great culture

    Financial Analyst (Former Employee) Wichita, KS (US)

    ProsPersonal accountability, Meritocracy, Great People

    ConsNone. I really loved working at Koch.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Slave Driver

    Accountant III (Former Employee) Wichita, KS (US)

    ProsGood Advancement opportunities.. Ability to move around and explore different accounting positions

    ConsHorrible work home life balance... I was working 80 hours a week for 6 months straight.. I also had a baby a toddler and a little one at home. When I brought up the situation to my boss I was told "to move up in the world you have to make sacrifices" I left after that.. I'm not willing to sacrifice my family... The work atmosphere is like high school.. there is a lot of clicks and office gossip.. not a very friendly professional atmosphere.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork home life balance is extremely important... get that in line and employee morale will boost.. along with productivity.. You need to care and show you care about your employees in and out of work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Best job I ever had bar none. If you want to see what you can achieve- this is the place to do it.

    Executive (Former Employee) Wichita, KS (US)

    ProsIntellectual challenge, smart folks and a company that is not afraid to take risks

    ConsNot for the lazy- don't come here if you want an 8-5 job with breaks. Also, Wichita is not the most glamorous city.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake sure you are giving younger folks a chance to move up- sometime they can get sidelined at too low a level because they are doing a great job that is a critical function.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Big company, good leadership. Compliance-driven, poor work-life balance

    Supervisor (Former Employee) Atlanta, GA (US)

    ProsTalented, hard-working people.

    Leadership makes an effort to practice what they preach. Company and people, including managers, are always striving to improve.

    Ultra-conservative (this could be a pro or con, depending on your values and views.)

    Profitable company. Competitive wages.

    Everything is driven by the culture of "MBM Principles" (see the Charles Koch book "Science of Success"). One key element is allowing folks to challenge status quo or when something doesn't seem right. This includes subordinates challenging supervisors and others -- must be done respectfully, of course.

    The company is trying to change things to appeal to a younger generation of worker... but slow going.

    Performance reviews are very thorough and every effort is made to help employees improve.

    ConsAs others have said, better make sure you are ready to drink the Koch kool-aid.
    Huge company, so change can be slow -- like pulling a semi-truck with a bull rope.

    Work-life balance is poor, especially if you work in Atlanta. Horrible commute times to downtown (depending on where you live.) Other Atlanta companies get this and support "work-at-home". At KBS, there is no official WaH policy (it is on a case-by-case basis, if you can justify it) -- mainly because the folks in Wichita all live 10-20 minutes away from the office, have no traffic, thus have no empathy for those in Atlanta.

    Atlanta office is very depressing. It is grey and sour yellow, like a smoker's den in the 70's, with furniture and fixtures from the 80's. People look tired and depressed, and with good reason. No one would ever want to just "hang out" there, rather everyone bolts around 4 o'clock to catch their bus or train, for their 1+ hour commute to get home (or essentially any place that is more fun.) Not a good sign for productivity, of course.

    So much training and expectations on compliance and security, you feel like big brother is always watching. This is part of why things take so long to get done.

    Compensation is "pay for performance", which is generally good. But wage increases or spot bonuses are subjective. Some folks have gone 3+ years without any raise. As a Supervisor, it's basically up to you to justify how good someone is -- this could qualify them for a spot bonus or permanent compensation increase. The problem is your idea of great performance and corresponding dollar increase could be very different than another Supervisor peer in a different department. It depends how much you believe in your employee, how good you can write, and how generous your boss's are.

    For me personally, I was not connected with the mission of producing more fossil fuels, making chemicals, and selling toilet paper. Plus occasional Security guards at the doors and people picketing out front is not inspiring -- not my idea of a warm and friendly company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUnderstand you will have to start attracting a new generation workforce. As such...
    Update or move the Atlanta office, preferably to the Dunwoody or Alpharetta area (a majority of the team live on the north side.)
    Invest in technology, training, and innovation. Create cross-functional teams to allow technical folks to better partner with the business units and feel connected.
    Embrace work-from-home. Leverage the right collaboration tools and write policies to make it happen.
    Keep striving to improve. Apply MBM principles, and don't be afraid to change (principle 7) -- not for just profit, but for the attraction and retention of great people.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Worst place I have ever worked at.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsLots of perks for employees. Cafeteria, dry cleaning, discounts, etc.

    ConsI was treated like they did not want me there due to a change in management after I was hired. Training was horrible, different staff members trained me the certain way they did things so when someone else checked my work they would ask, "Why did you do it this way?" What made it worse was that the people who trained me wouldn't say anything knowing they showed me the wrong way to do something.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI spent a lot of time correcting managements mistakes, however, they acted like I was the one who made them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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