There are newer employer reviews for Kaiser Permanente

 

Kaiser Permanente IT is awesome and super awesome

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Technical Recruiter  in  Pleasanton, CA
Former Employee - Technical Recruiter in Pleasanton, CA

I worked at Kaiser Permanente as a contractor for less than a year

Pros

Kaiser Permanente IT was great experience to work and learn.
Fantastic Team, Great Leadership and what a friendly environment to work with

Cons

Kaiser has lots processes due to Compliance. It can get in way of productivity but compliance is to protect company to guess you deal with it eventually.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Keep up the great work. I worked in Kaiser IT recruiting and what a knowledgeable and friendly team to work with.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

1622 Other Employee Reviews for Kaiser Permanente (View Most Recent)

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    More transparency needed in the workplace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Consultant  in  Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Business Consultant in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Kaiser Permanente full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Positives of working at Kaiser:
    - Nice campus at Pleasanton including privacy booths for personal phone calls (or conference calls without bugging others), free Peet's coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, and a small gym free to employees
    - The people (non-managers) are good people, very pleasant to work with, and want to get the job done
    - Kaiser has a point that fee-for-service health plans incentivize doctors for lots of services/tests/activity rather than member health
    - Kaiser does manage to do things in terms of research that no one else can
    - George Halverson's "celebratory" emails every Friday afternoon remind us that health care is different than most other workplaces (and of the things that Kaiser can do that others cannot). (George Halverson was the CEO of Kaiser until July 2013.)
    - If your group is not busy, you usually manage work-life balance and close to a 40-hour workweek
    - If you must travel a longer distance than to your "normal" workplace, such travel is paid for by Kaiser (mileage only if less than an hour's drive away, "full" travel costs beyond that)
    - Kaiser does not discriminate based on age and is willing to train people for a skill when they realize that skill is not readily available in the local workforce
    - Good vacation policy: 17 days off the first year, 22 days off the second year, increasing further after 5 years on the job
    - Kaiser "Healthtalks" - you can learn all sorts of interesting information to improve your own health monthly (this is also available to members on the Kaiser health plan)
    - Relatively low monthly premiums for health care compared to other employers

    "Neutral" things about working at Kaiser:
    - This place is very project-oriented with matrix management
    - If you want to work from home, you can do so easily in most IT jobs (although in some areas, you're now required to go to the office one day per month for networking reasons)
    - Because so many people work from home, the culture is to get things done with instant messages (via Lotus Sametime), Webex, and phone conferences

    Cons

    Negatives of working at Kaiser:
    - Politics. Management politics will cause "strange" things to happen (for example, multiple groups doing the same thing even though that is a waste of money).
    - Lack of transparency. When I started this job, I asked about overtime and was told (correctly) that there wasn't much overtime. However, they failed to tell me until after I was hired that strange shifts were required, including weekend shifts and 2nd and 3rd shift. Further, even "first shift" (during go-lives) is a strange shift that's great for 24-hour operations (typically 6 AM - 2:30 PM) but is unnatural for people used to working first shift at the office at other IT shops.
    - The "Cubicle police": If you want to have an office in Pleasanton, watch out! You better come to the office (and badge into the building) at least 3 times per week, and you better log on to the network mostly from your office, or else you'll suddenly be declared "100% remote" and forced to work from home whether you want to or not. (In at least one case, they did not give the person the option to return to 100% full-time at the office.)
    - Lack of choice: Many low-level managers do not bother to give people the choice of what type of work they want to do, because low-level managers are mostly project-focused.
    - Lack of work-life balance during "crunch" periods: During go-lives, although they said they would keep people on the same shift throughout a week, that was ignored when they suddenly needed to fill a slot. I've had periods where I've worked day shift, night shift (the next night), day shift (second day after the night shift). I had a second shift, third shift, and first shift, all in one 5-day period. I knew another person who suddenly was needed to create some training due the next week - she was basically denied her sleep for most of a week. Management seems to think treating people this way is acceptable and does not do much to avoid this behavior.
    - No paid sick leave. (Unionized folks - nurses, lab personnel, and other groups, do get paid sick leave and shift differentials but non-unionized folks - most of IT - don't.)
    - The worst of all worlds between salaried and hourly. You are a salaried employee but you're required to report hours (for project reporting) on a technology platform called RPM. The result is management will tend to harass you if you don't report 40 hours in a week, even though you aren't paid for overtime.
    - Casual-ness about required travel. They think nothing about putting people on planes to help with other regions' go-lives or to go to meetings (since many groups and divisions have people across multiple divisions).
    - Inability to take requested vacation days during crunch periods (while other employers have claimed this ability, this is the first employer I've encountered to actively use it). Further, this denial of vacation is just based on the "possibility" that something may go wrong during the time period asked for, not because something has actually gone wrong and needs to be fixed.
    - Bureaucracy as a way of life, including unnecessary bureaucracy. For example, Kaiser employees are not allowed to buy anything on the Internet for their personal use while on the job. So, if you know you're off next weekend and want to go to a play or out camping, too bad - your counterpart at another tech firm will get the reservation or ticket, not you. There is no reason why Kaiser employees should be restricted in this way. Similarly, contractors are not allowed to send emails to most non-Kaiser addresses for security reasons. Can you say "lack of trust"?
    - Cost-cutting in the employee medical plan. For example, too bad if your vision prescription changed within one year, Kaiser will only pay for glasses every two years.
    - A culture of hiring employees for only 2 years or less plus policies that guarantee no retirement benefits for anyone there two years or less. (There is no company match on their 403(b) - 401(k)-equivalent - plan, and their pension plan does not vest until after you've worked two years. A lot of employees are hired for "maximum 2 years - we'll keep you if we have the work" but they often don't have the work to keep you after 2 years.
    - A job/project focus, not a career focus. They have a mentoring program that has monthly phone calls, but if you use it, you're required to listen to those calls on your own time, not on the job, and the mentoring program feels like "lip service" in a culture that is focused on short-term getting the project completed over everything else.
    - FInally, it was announced last year that where-ever possible, new IT jobs would be in Colorado or Oregon, not California, for cost-cutting reasons. (I can't complain too much as I also find California to be a too-expensive place to live.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Be transparent about your actions - if you engage in a negative action, announce it and "why" to the employees right away. That's only ethical.
    - Put people concerns a little higher on the "importance" list. Yes, cost cutting is important, and meeting the needs of our clients/members is important, but if you don't consider the needs of employees, you will continue to pay in high turnover.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Project Manager II

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager II  in  Downey, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager II in Downey, CA

    I have been working at Kaiser Permanente full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great Benefits, advocate of work/life balance & certain dept are flexible with telecommuting

    Cons

    Certain departments are behind with telecommuting options. The pay is less competitive as this is a non-profit org.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let your employees work from home. It's good for the health and majority will end up putting in more than 8 hours a day when working from home.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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