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)

17 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Great Place to Start Off Your Career

    Tax Intern (Current Employee) Wichita, KS

    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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    • 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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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Supervisor (Former Employee) Atlanta, GA

    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

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    It has an upbeat company culture.

    IT Service Desk Specialist (Former Employee) Wichita, KS

    ProsGreat place to work, a lot of amenities at the HQ building.

    ConsOffice politics are too extreme. I feel as though I was not 100% welcomed. Diversity is a huge issue at the headquarters office. Most employeees treat you like a lower class citizen; lack of acknowleding a person when being greeted.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more concerned with the happiness of your employees rather than focusing on strictly the production. If an employee is happy, they will be more prone to work more efficiently in the workplace. My last supervisor was results driven and was not a people person.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Sr Mechanical Engineer

    Mechanical Engineer (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsNice working Environment. Nice people

    ConsBenefit is not as good as other companies

    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
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Too Much Management

    Project Manager (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsThere is a wide variety of experience that one could obtain by working at Koch

    ConsI think there is far too much management and not enough trust in their employees. Advancement is not so easy.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllow your workers to do their jobs and have more faith that they are capable of doing what they are hired to do.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    it is a good company

    Qunatitative Developer (Current Employee) Wichita, KS

    Prostop management is very good at steering the company at right direction. they are very practical. the company value increases a lot over the years

    Conshard to move up in this company. salary increase is much less compared to the peers. you need get a good entry price. but may never get a raise in many years

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    cool

    Mechanical Engineer (Current Employee) Kansas City, KS

    Prosbig company, big oil, big money

    Consbig company. i had no complaints

    Advice to Senior Managementcharles koch needs to share the wealth

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

     

    Ok experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros401k/ retirement pension, decent overtime

    Conspay, poor managers, human resources

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    The benefits of working at Koch just wasn't worth the sacrifices required to be successful.

    Accountant (Former Employee) Wichita, KS

    ProsMost co-workers were very smart and respectful people.
    Wages were very competitive.
    Culture thought "outside the box", which was a great change from what I was used to.

    ConsWork/LIfe balance was very heavy on the work side. My group was expected to work 10-12 hour days on a regular basis. One of my co-workers was working over 18 hours straight one day. The long hours were due mainly to poor software. My department used in-house IT, which proved to be very unreliable. I recomended contacting in IT support to fix the issues quicker, but the idea was ignored. The long hours were not thought of as being a problem, which was the sign I needed to find something different. If I am going to work 12 hours a day, it will be to make myself rich, not someone else. Koch is a private company, so none of the employees have ownership.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate more of a work/life balance for your employees. Most of the employees will not complain about the hours, but it shouldnt take a complaint to respect someone else. Show them that you care proactively and don't expect them to sacrifice time with their families to increase your bottom line. Also, do a full efficiency audit of your processes. During the short time that I was there, I saw multiple areas for improvement. When I brought up an issue, the answer I always got was "we do it this way because we've always done it this way". Koch has been very successful, but when working there, all I could think of is how much more successful they could be if they made things more efficient.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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