Kohler

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Kohler Reviews

Updated July 21, 2014
Updated July 21, 2014
163 Reviews

3.2
163 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Kohler Chairman and CEO Herbert V. Kohler Jr.
Herbert V. Kohler Jr.
110 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good benefits and flexible working time (in 9 reviews)

  • Friendly and helpful co-workers (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • very little training or advice from upper management (in 11 reviews)

  • Not much analysis goes into decision making in strategic sourcing (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

40 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    So close to being a great employer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Leader  in  Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Leader in Kohler, WI

    Pros

    Brand recognition and pride. High caliber of employees with a strong work ethic and energy. Clear and well known core competencies that are pervasive from one business unit to another.

    Cons

    The Human Resources organization is lead by a family member who does not understand employee engagement. Decisions and policies are based on "how things look" rather than doing the right things. There is no accountability. The Kohler Learning Organization's turnover in the past decade is a testament to the cultural collision between wanting to do the right thing, and the HR leadership's insistence on the contrary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great products and chances to develop, but management is from the Stone Age.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Kohler, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kohler, WI

    Pros

    Highly respected company in the market.
    Well-designed products.
    People in the trenches work hard.
    You can be proud of the work you do here (if you ignore the petty politics).

    Cons

    Top-down management style creates an atmosphere of distrust that filters down into teams and affects attitudes and productivity.
    Managers have their own secret agendas and actively compete with each other.
    Decisions are made by management in a vacuum with very little feedback or input from those affected.
    Employee development messaging is off-kilter from reality. We're trained to "own it" and take responsibility, but then aren't allowed to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Walk the talk. Trust the people you hire and practice what you preach about valuing emotional intelligence and other progressive workplace philosophies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Engineering decisions based on fear of being reported to HR not DATA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Supplier Quality Engineer  in  Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Senior Supplier Quality Engineer in Kohler, WI

    Pros

    Great Colleagues & great benefits.

    Cons

    Engineering decisions based on fear of being reported to HR not by thorough DATA analysis. I worked on a project and after thorough analysis of the quality data & flawed customer service data there appeared not to be a problem the product quality manager was reporting. Customer service data that they were in charge of was 65% wrong & after actually reading the complaint logs, which they FAILED to do, there were minimal issues and only due to customer installation errors. I was asked to make the change any way because they "felt" they were correct. The design engineer told me, "do what they say otherwise they will report you to HR". My manager told me to, "just do what she says otherwise she will cause problems".

    I stood my ground and made a case that by data analysis this is my decision and I dismissed the reported issues and included my very detailed report. I made suggestions to correct the issues and did further studies on the failure of the customer service reporting. I was reported to HR.......

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do some analysis on how many time people are reported to HR and by who. Making the hard decisions for the business sometimes will not make everyone happy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Life at Kohler

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good company to start your career

    Cons

    No or very less growth potential

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people reporting to you

    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    kohler experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Spartanburg, SC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Spartanburg, SC

    Pros

    interesting moving machinery and starting new line

    Cons

    very little training or advice from upper management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    more training, more communication

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Politically Eye Opening

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Hattiesburg, MS
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hattiesburg, MS

    Pros

    Great exposure to a national company with opportunity to learn. Enjoyed working with all the co-workers.

    Cons

    Policies were enforced for some but not all. Corporate office doesn't understand the culture in a small town and assumes that what works well in other locations would work the same in MS. Human Resource Department is very inefficient has had great turnover and Corporate HR is lacking in leadership. Their are some in your face discrimination that occurs but the vast majority of the discrimination is masked and condoned by upper management. I found it to be a very racist place to work for if you are a female or a person of color. I would not recommend this company to anyone solely because of the underhanded dirty politics that I saw first hand. The overall vibe just isn't a good one and most people would like to enjoy the environment they work in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do some self assessment and listen to your employees because without them there would be NO Kohler.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great stepping stone

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Kohler, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kohler, WI

    Pros

    Large multinational privately held company with a good brand reputation. Good benefits: medical, dental, vision, 401k with match, pension. iverse cross functional and cross industry experience opportunities

    Cons

    - Businesses and functions operate in Silos
    - High turn-over rates
    - Pay is below average to average with limited opportunity to advance.
    - Engrained culture, change is slow
    - Management lacks functional/business knowledge and managerial competencies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work to eliminate silos within and challenge known truths. Acknowledging and compensating employees will improve poor retention rates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    For a supposedly world class company, it is anything but.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Pay is average for what is demanded if you can make it past the front door.

    Cons

    Extremely high stress environment in any position. Every position is maxed out so no one can help anyone else out to ease the burden. Tight deadlines with no exceptions. Lots of mistakes, missed deadlines, unreal expectations for timelines given vs. experience and manpower.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come up with another method of measuring personnel performance. Communication between departments and within departments is poor. One person can be focused on reducing waste/cost. The person right next to them is focused developing a new product/process creating a lot of waste and cost. This is just one example. It is rampant across all departments. Quality wants zero defects down to .001" or less. Days worth of production is scrapped, tooling modifications bounced around, next day air shipping, and qualifications required before production. A week passes, no parts, production is shut down over .001" that doesn't effect the functionality of the part. On top of that the person taking the measurements didn't measure it right to start with. 50-100 parts cost the company $30,000 or more, sales orders are lost. The parts are worth <$1each to start with. Suppliers refuse to work with us and don't send anymore work.
    Five big changes need to be made:
    1) Anyone changing positions in the company has to be qualified for that position, experience and education. They also have to have 20% hands on experience in the manufacturing environment they are working annually. You can't make and account a quality person overnight and give them authority to halt production because of .0005" out of tolerance when it doesn't effect functionality of the part to start with. A lot of people are power hungry to run up the corporate ladder not caring what the collateral damage is they leave behind due to Max P and some people are naturally that way. Very common. Time in each position must be at least 2 years or more before being able to make critical decisions or approvals.
    2) Pull more work inside that is done by outside vendors. Huge amounts of cost are incurred by sending work to outside vendors. By the time Next Day Air charges are incurred both directions and expedited deliver time charges, you could have paid someones salary for a year. On occasion, in just one instance.
    3)Hire more staff that is capable of multi-tasking between departments, a liaison. If people in either or several departments need additional manpower it is available, schedules are on time, fewer mistakes are made, someone is able to see that two people or more are working on conflicting projects.
    4) A special projects department needs to be established at each facility to develop new processes without interrupting current production creating double waste in material, machine time, and manpower. Example, a process running in spec. is shut down, manpower changes process for experiment, scrap and machine time are lost for an infinite amount, usually days, manpower swaps process back, scrap and machine time lost due to getting the machine back to normalized production, qualification has to be done again which hopefully is right. It may take 2-5 times of sampling until is is brought back in spec. Hours and days can be lost for a sample run of something when it could have been done on a separate department making both processes infinitely more efficient.
    5) You can't run a company from a Palace on the hill and never consider what the peasants have to go through to achieve the desired results. Each facility has very qualified personnel to carry out the operations yet they have no voice in how or the time frame it's done in. Infinite amounts of cost and time could be saved if members of the facility had a voice in what would and wouldn't work. Instead, someone from the Palace says "Do this this way by tomorrow no questions asked" The peasant obliges, knowing full well it won't work. When it doesn't work, they get yelled at and told to make it work no matter what. The peasant says, "it won't work that way but it will this way". It doesn't matter I am king do it my way. A month later and untold attempts to make the first way work, the king says "you know what, let's try it this way". Nine times out of 10 it was the peasants recommendation in the beginning but the peasant gets no credit for it because he doesn't matter. The king takes the credit and all is grand.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Wow

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great toilets, sinks and products

    Cons

    I think a company like kohler would cater to the employees more and try to be in the best ratings for employee friendly business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wow a company like Kohler doesn't rate 5 star!! I would think they would be trying to be the best employee oriented company in the world

  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    I enjoyed the work and colleagues, but leadership needs some training

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Current Employee - Analyst

    Pros

    I loved the work and I learned a lot in my 8 years there. I really enjoyed working with the customers and many of my colleagues were great to work with as well.

    Cons

    I don't think leadership understands their customer or their employees. They need to focus more on work / life balance and promoting people when deserved. The culture is not very diversified. The fact that it is privately held probably hinders some of the needed diversity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There were certainly too many "chiefs and not enough indians" when I was there. They need to be more diverse and acceptable of different work styles. It would be good if they gave managers more ethics training as there were several instances and comments from my boss that made me cringe and really start looking for work elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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