Kansas City Zoo

  www.kansascityzoo.org
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Kansas City Zoo Reviews

Updated Apr 26, 2014

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1.7 6 reviews

0% Approve of the CEO

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Randy Wisthoff

(2 ratings)

6 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Could be great under new leadership

    Zoo Keeper (Former Employee)

    ProsGot to have one of the greatest jobs on the planet.
    Foot in the door for better zoos.
    Extremely high turn over which makes moving into supervisor roles much easier, even if you don't deserve them or have the experience for them.

    ConsNo consistency.
    Curators and supervisors play favorites and often don't have the experience to actually teach you more than what they were taught to do 2 years ago when they were new keepers.
    There's a REASON for the high turn over folks.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThis zoo could be GREAT if management knew what they were doing instead of promoting yes-men with little experience over people who actually know their animals and have been there for years but have opinions of their own. If you don't start to respect your keepers instead of telling them and treating them like they're a dime a dozen, you're never going to be the great zoo you already, erroneously, imagine yourself to be.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Management belongs caged up

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat benefits and fun to see children enjoying themselves.

    ConsThe CEO is verbally abusive, rude, and demeaning to his staff. He cares more about putting on a nice face to the Board of Directors, city and county personnel, and legislatures, to gain more tax money than he does about the zoo employees or animals. The citizens of Jackson and Clay counties have the right to know where their tax money is going. The CEO has a "private" wine and liquor stash estimated at about $10,000 on Zoo property that was all purchased with tax payer money, and only used for the CEO when he has friends, colleagues, and someone he is looking to suck money out of visit the Zoo. I specifically asked if this alcohol was for fundraising events and was told no, it is the CEO's private stash. The Board might also be interested to know that when they are served lunch at a Board meeting that the CEO's staff is directed to purchase inexpensive boxed lunches so the Zoo doesn't appear to be spending frivolously but when potential contributors are at the Zoo for a luncheon there is no budget for what they are served. The CEO bullies his direct reports by demeaning them, controlling conversations, and by verbally attacking them. I have personally witnessed him bring one of his directors to tears, tell another director to "get the hell out of my office", and throw a document at another employee. I think the gorillas are better behaved than he is. As HR has only been in place for a few months, the CEO has never been held accountable for his behavior. It's about time he gets anger management counseling.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's time to clean house, starting with the CEO and his "private" liquor stash and spend tax money on caring for the animals not the CEO's ego and private agenda.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Not concerned with their workers

    Membership Sales (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsGet to work outdoors, meet new people

    ConsA lot of people who work here really haven't had decent jobs in the past. I was probably one of few workers who had previously received benefits and great treatment from their management. The way management will treat you here is wrong. On hot and long days they have no concern for your health and sales here are completely unfair. You would receive 50 cents per membership sale. Some peopel would sit inside in air conditioning and enter in mail-in membership applications and get paid over 20/hour while some people have to stay outside and try and cold-sell people. It's really not fair and management did little to help with this. I think the employees here need to have better standards. Horrible place to work. Not very many opportunities either for your career.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet off your power trip, it's the zoo and not the hilton hotel. A relaxed and fun atmosphere will go a long way for staff and customers alike.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Starter Zoo, not a reputable career zoo.

    Zoo Keeper (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsYoung, social staff. Great animal variety--easy to switch teams.

    ConsInexperienced staff, lack of professional training and research opportunities. Management uses questionable judgement, with the priority being zoo visitors, not the animals.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest more in staff, and be more focused on animal welfare.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Worst place I have ever worked

    Animal Care (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsWe have excellent and inexpensive benefits, probably the best overall benefits package I've had at any employer.
    We have a large/varied animal collection.
    We just received a tax initiative that will in theory make the zoo more financially secure

    ConsMany employees are afraid to voice concerns/complaints for fear of retribution from senior management.
    Many zoo departments are extremely understaffed and therefore the animals do not receive the care they deserve
    The money from the sales tax initiative that passed in November is mainly going to be used to build new exhibits/attractions rather than to staff the zoo to the appropriate level for our current collection.
    Staff are treated poorly by upper management (overworked, under-appreciated, some verbal abuse, etc)
    High staff turnover both from employees quitting and being fired (someone quits at least once a week, someone is fired at least once a month)

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to employee suggestions/comments rather than dismissing them. Allow for open and professional communication between management and non-management without jumping to firing people who express concerns with the zoo. Recognize the amount of time and dedication that staff are already putting in rather than constantly asking for more from them. Bring the primary focus of the zoo back to giving the animals the best care; anything else should come second.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Kansas City Zoo - Meh.

    Rides Cashier (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsI think the biggest pro would be getting to work outdoors. Being stuck inside working all the time can get pretty draining in my opinion. Working in the Rides or Admissions department can be pretty fun. If you're in rides and a driver, you at least get to drive around all day (yes, at a slow pace, but the day goes by pretty quickly). I wasn't in admissions, but it seemed like most of them got to drive around in golf karts all day running errands, so pretty nice. Pretty much any department other than Food and Beverage seems to afford employees a decent amount of responsibility.

    ConsWork gets pretty repetitive, especially as a cashier. Probably the worst thing is when the zoo is crowded at the beginning of spring, patrons are constantly complaining about how long they have to wait for their rides to and from wherever. Such slothfulness.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI don't know about the other departments, but the zoo directors are VERY terse with Rides. Even on insanely slow days when there's nothing to do, we aren't allowed to bring a book to read or anything. We just had to stand there looking around like idiots hoping SOMEONE will show up so we had something to do. The late fall and mid-summer are the absolute worst because of this ridiculous edict.

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