Kansas City Power & Light Company

  www.kcpl.com
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Kansas City Power & Light Company Reviews

Updated August 15, 2014
Updated August 15, 2014
11 Reviews

3.4
11 Reviews
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Terry D Bassham
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Construction Site Manager  in  Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Construction Site Manager in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Kansas City Power & Light Company full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good atmosphere to work in

    Cons

    Away from home for long period's of time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None to offer It was 5 years ago

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Aged Workforce, Relatively corrupt HR practices, Declining industry, No Dev Ops, Focus on Pub Image vs Pub Good

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

    I have been working at Kansas City Power & Light Company

    Pros

    The health benefits are ok, though they've been changing to getting progressively worse each year as mgmt feels health benefits are too pricey and local economy gives power to employers (time off is actually not good for new employees).

    Work-life balance. Because you can do little in many departments the pay isn't bad for each hour worked - in some sense people are making just as much per hour of actual labor as the executives (though that is also a problem since some execs are just as ineffective as their staffers). Great if you have time consuming hobbies.

    There are some good smart people around (despite the problems).

    It's hard to get fired.

    Monopoly; you're probably not working for a bankrupt entity anytime soon. Regulators keep rates in check.

    Majority of the workforce will be retiring in the next 15 years. Should lead to opportunity if you're willing to wait.

    Cons

    Professional growth is non-existent for most everyone, with the exception being those who are closely held by someone high up. Professional growth at KCPL means using their 'KCPL University', which is a childish series of Microsoft Outlook classes or lectures about mgmt books - not actual opportunity to see who can sink or swim on their own. Because there is no competition with other power providers (monopoly) there is no true 'discovery' of talent in a competitive landscape - and the needed order to discover talent is often reversed; 'I like / pick you so you'll be good at things' vs 'you are good at things so I pick you'. Not always but often.

    Operates like a high-school in many regards. A very small clique runs a large part of the politics of KCPL - and since there is no independent review of management you'll see them strongarm more capable people out of opportunities in favor of friends or those who they want to keep happy. You'll see the same 5 people get 90% of new opportunities. For ex: I saw someone go into a department as an Analyst in her mid 30's. She could not do pivot tables, was primarily confused, and had quickly burned through short stints at large accounting firms (BAD sign) before but because of a VP was told to lead projects. She left to get promoted for a another job (but had little to few qualifications) and then to another job. The foundation for the job switching and promotions are a special relationship w/ a VP, and despite the lack of intellect, curiosity, or leadership ability it's a quick way to make sure they get a raise and stay quiet. I have not seen promotion of obvious incompetence anywhere like this example. As a rough rule: if you are an idiot you can hide in plain site as long as everyone knows that the VP will hold an umbrella above your head.

    Lack of courage by many managers. Many are afraid to try anything that has not gotten consensus - and why? The punishment is too high w/ the execs who will hold your "failure" as a trophy for their dept and a business model that is guaranteed. Also, there is a strong likelihood your boss will not have the power or desire to do anything about credit stealing by others (happens a lot), and other typical office injustices. I have several funny (albeit petty) examples about a boss not wanting to spend more than $12 per head on the annual holiday lunch - that is the timidity and undignified level of fear driven into management. Prepare to never see a decision be made.

    Corruption seems higher than expected as well given it's a utility though I'm referring to the actions of a few departments. Besides corruption in hiring and mgmt practices there are attempts at misleading the public. Statistics and figures often used in dealings with the public are gamed or misleading - though some departments are quite honest in their work. The company publicly calls for environmentally friendly action but privately funds a PAC which donates nearly all of its funds to Republicans who will hopefully vote against environmental initiatives at their request. Another source of corruption exists in the dealing of corporate communication activities (though this is not unique): while it can be well known who actually drives business, they will typically apply credit to only the same individuals, and they do it in public forums like email news bulletins to justify the actions they will be taking later). It gets old when it becomes plainly transparent and thinly veiled by childish corp comm language that overuses punctuation.

    Mgmt infighting exists quite extensively at times. The leaders of some business units can sometimes be seen stealing other employees in an attempt to undermine them before a high workload period, found discrediting other departments in email chains, or stealing resources from other units in order to vault their perceived value. Again, gets old. There are definitely departments you do not want to be in - and they have a reputation as being the losers in these political turf-wars due to the power balance on the executive floor (the exec floor is in a whole separate elevator lobby, which is funny).

    Culture is not ideal. This is the prototypical Midwestern utility - paternal, fearful, slow, not competitive, conservative, lifer tenure, demotivated, disengaged. Because there is no opportunity for growth and most people are in their 50's they have little incentive to care beyond the day's task. People barely communicate, often cut out early (me included), do not share information, get scared when things change even in the slightest degree. Exec mgmt itself just wants to get through the work week. Getting people to care is nearly impossible and if you're looking at the company, you should acknowledge that the culture will change you and not the other way around. If you're young you should understand that you're likely going to be isolated and unhappy, though this may depend on how much like them you are, and be aware there are better games in town.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Prepare golden parachutes: You are probably a turnaround story and there is much in EPS sitting in terms of excessive labor and mgmt that value should be relatively easily discovered. The Regulatory division and those leading efforts in rate case issues are the only ones worth saving in a sense as they make the firm money. The rest are fungible and would result in greater efficiency if rolled into a larger firm, IMO.

    Quit the corrupt promotion / hiring practices. It is the biggest driver of your demotivation and the reason why you are not considered a good place to work and have awful culture. You should conduct real processes to find talent and not hire a VP's partner in crime - even if it doesn't result in optimal talent usage (which your current method doesn't do anyway) it is recognized as fair and as attempted.

    Recognize the severe role of infighting plays in corporate culture and re-organize to reduce it.

    Time off is behind several competitors and seems out-dated.

    Industry in is in decline and you are a slow mover. Look at the actions of others (NRG, Excelon) compared to your strategic growth efforts. You move so slowly and the team you have selected to lead seems out-gunned. Look elsewhere / rethink this effort. Stick to what you know - you'll get beat in real competition. Culture won't adapt.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Excellent

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

    I worked at Kansas City Power & Light Company full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Cutting edge oracle technology and great working team

    Cons

    I do not have any cons to say

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep up the good work

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  5.  

    Good place to work. Good pay and benefits.

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

    I worked at Kansas City Power & Light Company full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, good job security, very good equipment and tools to do your job. Work environments are nice. Got new mgmt at the top a few years ago that is making positive changes.

    Cons

    Decision making is slow at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower directors and managers in the business. Encourage sensible risk taking.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Accountant

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

    I have been working at Kansas City Power & Light Company full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Salary, Vacation/Sick Time, Pension Plan

    Cons

    The invisible ceiling seems to follow minorities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote more minorities. Not just the same 2 or 3.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    I had worked for KCPL for years and have been admiring it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Electrical Engineer  in  Kansas City, KS
    Former Employee - Senior Electrical Engineer in Kansas City, KS

    I worked at Kansas City Power & Light Company full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    KCPL treat its employee quite well. It has excellent utility culture, rational pay and benefit, fair training opportunity, flexible work hour, not much overtime, and great high and direct managements.

    Cons

    Working in one of tradistional power utility is less challenging and has less opportunity to grow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less micro-management and more encourage

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    The work and pay were good, too bad the management wasn't.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Network Engineer  in  Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Network Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Kansas City Power & Light Company full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good pay, good benefits, nice 401k matching

    Cons

    "Good old boy" environment, incompetent supervisors and managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If a supervisor has so many complaints against him that HR has to send out a survey about him then it's probably time to let him go.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Not perfect but a lot more pluses than minus and well compensated for the job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor  in  Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Shift Supervisor in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Kansas City Power & Light Company

    Pros

    Compensation is very good in the generation positions. Time off, work / life balance is good. Very proactive in promoting and hiring young people, minority and military. They try very hard to show employee appreciation and improve the working enviroment. Make a real effort at trying to foster a family type atmosphere within the company. Managed to not have any layoffs even with the economic down turn.

    Cons

    The company doesn't seem to listen to input from anyone outside the HQ building. People out in the field and working at the generation plants seem to have their voice ignored.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are going to hold company events make them something people want to participate in. Don't give up, there have been some very positive changes in the last few years.

    Recommends
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Some things have improved while others have gotten worse.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Kansas City Power & Light Company

    Pros

    Good work/life balance although flexibility with work schedules depends on your manager; pretty good benefits package; great people; stable industry

    Cons

    Positions are often not filled fairly; there have been cases of blatant favoritism from managers; managers tend to be very "hands off"/don't want to get their hands dirty, so sometimes throw their subordinates under the bus; information sharing from manager to subordinate is VERY poor; complete lack of direction from management leaves people floundering; too many layers of bureaucracy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on putting real leaders in managerial roles and empower them to make decisions without fear of backlash and get rid of some of the unnecessary red tape that prevent people from doing their jobs well

  11.  

    Above Average Midwest Utility Employer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Front Line Supervisor  in  Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Front Line Supervisor in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Kansas City Power & Light Company

    Pros

    Management to Management employee relations are generally quite good. Most mid-level management employees are friendly, hardworking and dedicated to doing a good job.
    Wages are good, perhaps slightly above average. Benefits are good, and possibly even great if you consider that employees earn a pension AND a dollar for dollar match up to 6% for 401(k) contributions.

    Cons

    Some policies are unnecessarily arbitrary. As a management employee, it seems that the union employees are protected and the executives are protected (in both cases with contracts) but professionals and mid-management types are not. There is a perception that simple mistakes, or simply being the person who makes a decision can be enough to get you banished, transferred or fired. Overall, there is a deeply ingrained cultural reluctance to make decisions and go out on anything resembling a limb.

    There is definitely a bias to all things HQ. When KCP&L decided to move from 1201 Walnut to 1KC, an email went out to all employees describing the "exciting changes". Ok, if you were one of the 20% of the workers who got to make the move, maybe it was nice to get all sort of new amenities, pick out new furniture, vote on color schemes, etc. But for many of the employees not assigned to the HQ, it wasn't so exciting hearing that the people who already worked in the nicest offices were getting even nicer offices when many of the service centers have pothole filled parking lots that fill with 3 inches of water in a moderate rain fall or you work in an office that hasn't been remodeled (or received new furniture) since LBJ was in office.

    The company is far more proud of office and rank than other companies I've worked for. Each step up the ladder is visibly displayed through progressive larger and more elaborate offices. At the new HQ, the executives conveniently ended up on a floor that is served by a completely different elevator bank than every other employee. It creates the sense that the executives don't want to be forced to share a morning ride with with the masses.

    That said, the interactions I've had with with the senior executives have all been positive and they do seem to genuinely care about employee concerns.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give management and especially supervisory ranks the freedom to work without fear and reward risk taking and assertiveness. Recognize the employees who really go above. Follow through on all of the corporate speak and HR promises.

    Recommends

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