KaBOOM! Reviews

Updated October 19, 2014
Updated October 19, 2014
14 Reviews
2.4
14 Reviews
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Darell Hammond
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Feels like a continuous startup, challenges and group successes and all

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Select leadership is open, flexible, and understanding. Organizational culture and attention to structure are thoughtful, authentic, and an overall great learning experience. If you are looking to own your own projects with independence and responsibility, this is a great place to learn rapidly and fail fast...a pretty good environment.

    Cons

    Professional development and learning is dependent on your team and the team's ability to mentor. Expectations are definitely unrealstic and certain leaders are not as open to outside opinion as they claim to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show that you are open to conflicting opinions, not just with your words, but in your actions.
    Realize that unrealstic goals put a strain on morale.

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

    Previous reviews accurate

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people that are hired

    Cons

    Management doesn't understand that culture isn't the issue(too bad I can't bold this), it's the management , being overworked, and EXTREME lack of communication. They're oblivious to what is going on and how employees feel Or maybe they know and don't care.There's no safe environment to truly express being dissatisfied. Such a shame to lose great staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Same suggestions as the other reviewers. Compensation could and should be better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Like my job

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The people KaBOOM attracts are smart, fun, hardworking. The work is rewarding and the organization doesn't do things in a small way. I am challenged and work hard every day. The culture is fun and the message is that the people are important.

    Cons

    I work harder than I have ever worked, but I don't think that is a con.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let the culture change. Maintain the environment of hard work and high expectations. It is the magnet that brings so many good people to the organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    High intensity work environment with ever changing priorities

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Competitive health benefits and room for experimentation in flexible job descriptions.

    Cons

    The senior staff believes colleagues are replaceable and fails to retain and nurture top talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Moral is extremely low at KaBOOM!, listen to your staff and make office culture a priority.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    A wonderful mission gone sadly awry thanks to bad leadership

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The mission is wonderful and an easy sell. Some managers are incredibly respectful of work-life balance and very flexible with good workers. Unfortunately, that's on an individual basis and not supported by the company overall.

    Cons

    A serious case of Founder's Syndrome is going on, with lots of mission drift and continuous change of plans without the preparatory work required to support the shifts. No top-down transparency, a lot of lip service with not much follow through, and frequent self-contradicting by upper management. Incredibly talented staff often assigned to boring, low level positions that don't make use of their incredible skillsets. No drive by most managers to help employees grow and improve. Super unfortunate, since management could have serious successes if they only put to use the uber-talented workforce they pride themselves on hiring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use the skills you have in house. Be honest and direct. BE transparent instead of just saying so, or at least be honest about having no intention to share down information.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    KaBOOM! Is experiencing a period of extreme dysfunction - Beware

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Staff are smart and passionate about the cause of play. Vacation time accumulates fairly quickly after year 1.

    Cons

    CEO humiliates staff in public and is unpredictable. Staff are routinely expected to handle a work load that is appropriate for two people. New strategy is a massive undertaking for an organization of 100. KaBOOM! seems like it should be a great place to work, but many staff are miserable and trying to leave ASAP.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    31 people have left the organization in the past 12 months. This is not due to the strategic shift. KaBOOM! Hires fantastic people but then refuses to promote from within or actively listen to feedback. Employees do not feel valued. Sure it's easy to hire new enthusiastic people but the institutional knowledge and collective experience is flying out the door. This is detrimental to the cause of play and the children we all want to help.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Extremely high turnover

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time

    Pros

    Great group of people to work with, health benefits are good, free food

    Cons

    This place is very frustrating because focus is always on the wrong things and what they should be focusing on isn't seen as a priority. The Employees work hard for this company with No appreciation. It's very obvious that a few Directors/VPs just collect their 100k checks while a.) not doing any work, b.) passing the work off to someone else, c.) not wanting any accountability, d.) having no real experience to handle their positions. Some departments would rather hire from outside than promote from within. The pay absolutely sucks unless you're a director or senior staff. Some employees can barely afford housing/food. The CEO walks around and speaks when he wants, yet wants you to work hard for this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take notice that morale is EXTREMELY LOW and people are looking for a way out, with or without jobs. Maybe if you paid employees and showed appreciation employees would stay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging place to work

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent health benefits. Intelligent and kind lower-level staff.

    Cons

    The turnover at this organization is extremely high. The founder micromanages the staff and belittles them in public. There is a cult-like atmosphere and despite the play-driven mission, most of the staff are unhappy. It is difficult to get promoted from within. Ironically, it is not an easy place to work if you are a parent as there is no work/life balance. The direction of the organization seems to shift every couple of years with no perceivable benefit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    See above.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Toxic Environment

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time

    Pros

    Health benefits are decent.

    Cons

    Too many cons to list. Almost nobody is happy working there and staff turnover is ridiculous. Management does not value most employees and barely ever promote from within, failing also to utilize internal talent (and spending much more to hire outside consultants). Goals are amorphous and ambiguous. Mission drift is frequent (for example, claiming to focus on childhood obesity while taking money from Fast Food and Soda Company sponsors) and initiatives/focus change every few months. A book on "Founders Syndrome" could be written about this organization.If you're not an extreme introvert you will not fit into the cult like atmosphere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not the best, not the worst...

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time

    Pros

    The mission of the organization is by far the greatest positive. Fortunately, this is embraced and exemplified in many aspects of the organization including monthly staff field trips, in-house lunches, etc.

    Cons

    The senior leadership of KaBOOM! is the biggest negative. Although I am sure the Founder/CEO and his VPs started with the best intentions, the husband and wife team who run this organization do not operate in good faith. Oft times, they are manipulative, political and controlling in a cultish-like way. If you do not have to report into them directly, you may be good to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give your new hires a chance to thrive without micromanaging and/or psychoanalyzing them into submission.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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