There are newer employer reviews for K12

5 people found this helpful  

Great place to start... just don't stay too long

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Herndon, VA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Herndon, VA

I worked at K12

Pros

- Generous time off package for salaried employees
- Flexible work hours
- Telecommuting options for many employees
- Fantastic people, tremendously creative environment
- K12 has an excellent product that every employee should be proud of

K12 was a great place to start my career. The work environment in Product Development was friendly and casual most of the time. The staff genuinely cares for the quality of the product, and it shows in the passion and commitment they pour into their work. I never had a problem requesting or taking time off, and never had an issue with my health benefits. The company is very profitable, and I never had to worry about job security or layoffs, even during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009.

I was satisfied with the salary I was offered on my hire date. I felt it was adequate compensation considering my skills, my experience, and the job market at the time.

Cons

- No career pathing or opportunity for professional development
- No objective system for performance review
- Very little training, and no corporate onboarding for new employees
- Salaries for non-executives have moved very little in the last five years
- Very rushed schedules, projects usually don't receive approval to begin until the last possible minute
- Contracted and temporary employees maintain their status for years
- Executive management is out of touch with the operations of the company
- Penny-wise, pound foolish... very reluctant to spend a penny planning, even if it will save a dollar in implementation

To sum it up, there is a gulf between executive management and the rest of the company... a gulf so wide, they can't see across it. Where most employees' salary and benefits packages have been static for the last few years, executive management have granted themselves increases and stock options year after year.

There is no drive within K12 to help employees improve their skills or advance their careers. Employees are not given performance goals, and nobody has any idea what they need to do to qualify for promotion. Hires for senior positions are almost always made from outside the company. And of the few promotions I did see, most were in title and responsibility only... the employees were not given salary increases to match their new job descriptions. In addition, employees are extremely pigeonholed into their job titles. You will not be given the opportunity (or even the ability) to contribute to the company outside of your very specific job role, even if you possess a wider range of skills. You're hired for a job, and you'll do that job and nothing else until the day you leave. My college education was almost entirely wasted at K12, because I didn't have the right job title to apply it properly.

This is why I believe that K12 is an excellent place to start a career, but it's not a company I would recommend long-term. The salary you're offered on your hire date is not going to change more than a couple percent during your career with the company, and there will no opportunity for advancement. Come on board, learn what you can, build your skills, and leave after three or four years when it's time for your next step.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

As others have said, management needs to understand that employees are an asset, not merely a resource. Management needs to better connect with the human element of the company... understand that "work/life balance" is more than a generous PTO plan, it's offering employees a way to grow and be fulfilled in their careers. Job satisfaction is more than working on a great product, it's working for a company that understands and values your needs. K12 has a great product, but the company is out of touch with its employees. A culture shift is needed, and it comes from the top. We're all waiting for Ron Packard to give his employees the same consideration and respect he purports to give his students.

Disapproves of CEO

173 Other Employee Reviews for K12 (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Company is making systemic changes in education.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Herndon, VA

    I worked at K12

    Pros

    This company is a leader in innovating alternative ways for students to attend school.
    They are growing rapidly, and their company name is recognizable.
    Everyone who works there believes in the mission of the company.
    The company offers great benefits, including matching 401K.

    Cons

    There is a large delta between management and employees - salaries, bonuses, and elitist attitude.
    K12 could do a better job of communicating with their field employees.
    Employees feel like a small cog in the wheel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Since executives at each company set the tone of the company, it would behoove K12 to pay attention to the reviews and comments from current and past employees may help lower turnover.

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    I'm bitter and disillusioned.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Development  in  Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Product Development in Herndon, VA

    I have been working at K12

    Pros

    flexible hours
    ability to work at home when necessary
    opportunity to do creative, exciting work
    interesting colleagues
    fast-paced environment
    products are decent
    excellent tech support

    Cons

    Management promises promotions and conversions to salaried employment that never materialize.
    Too much pressure on product development to work faster is starting to cause tension and infighting between and within teams.
    Lots of reliance on contractors rather than salaried employees.
    Contractors are never converted to salaried employees unless they extert leverage by getting another job offer. This rewards disloyalty and makes people who work hard and stay with the company feel like saps. Promotions seem based on the whim of the CEO rather than competence, loyalty, or performance.
    Products are put together in an assembly line fashion, with lots of pressure on employees to work faster and cheaper. It's very difficult to understand the product as a whole while you're working on it.
    Lack of communication, mainly because no one has any time.
    Failure to provide adequate training... which is inexcusable in an education company.
    Employees are treated like second-class citizens, contractors are treated worse.
    The company uses a confusing array of proprietary and off-the-shelf software, much of which doesn't work well together. It requires a lot of training for new employees... which is going to become a serious problem if people keep leaving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I've worked for this company for three years, and I've seen the CEO exactly once. He didn't introduce himself... I recognized him because one of the avatars we use in our lessons is Ron as a little kid. You might want to talk to some of the people who work for you. Maybe show up to an all-hands product development meeting once in a while, circulate for five minutes and say to a couple of people you haven't me before,"Thanks for all your hard work. How are things going?"

    Just-in-time production and delivery makes sense for companies like Toyota and Wal-mart, who have products and parts that take up real space in warehouses and stores. For a company that produces virtual content, it's just plain stupid. We're missing deadlines and costing the company money because schedules and budgets have been squeezed to the point that no one can meet them without working tons of unpaid, unrecorded overtime. Workers are starting to abandon the company because they see upper-level management getting huge bonuses but crying poverty whenever a front-line employee wants something extravagant, like health insurance. We don't want a pat on the back, we want to be adequately compensated and given enough time to do our jobs effectively.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for K12

Worked for K12? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.