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

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Supervisor  in  Atlanta, GA
Former Employee - Supervisor in Atlanta, GA

I worked at Koch Industries full-time for more than a year

Pros

Talented, 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.

Cons

As 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 ManagementAdvice

Understand 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.

Doesn't Recommend
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

57 Other Employee Reviews for Koch Industries (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Worst place I have ever worked at.

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

    I have been working at Koch Industries full-time for less than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

    I 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    It has an upbeat company culture.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Service Desk Specialist  in  Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - IT Service Desk Specialist in Wichita, KS

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time for more than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Office 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 ManagementAdvice

    Be 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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