Kiewit Power Constructors

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Kiewit Power Constructors Reviews

Updated February 27, 2015
Updated February 27, 2015
28 Reviews
2.6
28 Reviews
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Dave Flickinger
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I think it's a nice company to work for They have good benefits

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

    I have been working at Kiewit Power Constructors

    Pros

    You have an opportunity to advance in the company

    Cons

    Sometimes you may have to go home early which really sucks

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    A great company to work for, but difficult to have a personal life.

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

    I worked at Kiewit Power Constructors

    Pros

    You get a lot of hands on experience in construction and a lot of responsibility in a hurry. Kiewit does a lot of training and tries to move personnel into different positions to give them experience and training as quickly as possible. Kiewit works hard to be a meritocracy, if a staff employee is not as productive as expected, they won't be around long. In general this makes working with fellow employees a lot easier.

    Cons

    Many long hours and a lot of pressure to meet deadlines. It's hard to have a life outside of work. You have to move a lot to be where the latest construction project is. Short notice on moves. During the last years I worked, I found that a culture of continuous change in procedures, and organization was very distracting and wasted a lot of time.

  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    A straight-forward review of the pros and cons from a long-time, former employee.

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

    I worked at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Medical, dental, and vision employee costs are amongst the lowest in corporate America, and the quality of these plans is excellent.

    The 401k match is top-notch and the vesting schedule is reasonable.

    Life insurance is great for growing families and saves you money on buying your own policy.

    The paid-time-off given each year is liberal, and better than most.

    After time, you may become a stockholder. Historically, this has been a lucrative program, but you will earn every penny of it.

    For young people, your pay will initially be slightly higher than you can get at other firms. The pay is not, and will never be good on a $/hr basis; however, it is on par with the rest of the construction industry.

    With exceptions and dependent on your personality, you will like most of the people you work with. My friends were my coworkers and your job satisfaction will be higher when that's the case.

    The sky is the limit for motivated and ambitious people. It is sink or swim, and you will be uncomfortable in many of the roles you are assigned. If you have the right personality, you will get used to it, and it eventually changes your perspective on what you're personally capable of.

    With exceptions, the work is interesting and exciting; especially for someone right out of school.

    You will move a lot, and I enjoyed it. I lived all over the country and in other countries. I experienced a variety of people and cultures that you just can't do when you stay in one place.

    While occasionally over-done and sometime lacking in value, the formal training program is top notch at all stages of your career. You will not appreciate this until you go elsewhere and are provided little training.

    If you leave Kiewit after a few years, you will be better trained, better prepared, and smarter than your peers at the new company. The opportunities and responsibilities you used to have will make most future challenges seem easy. Your ability to handle tough situations will be greater than your peers and your stress level will be lower than theirs.

    Cons

    Despite a lot of management talk to the contrary, Kiewit does not have a culture supportive of using the paid-time-off you're given. Some of this is a construction industry problem, but a lot of it is a result of old-school Kiewit culture.

    The stock program is no longer what it once was, and for a variety of reasons, will most likely never return to its glory days. The returns will no longer compensate for the work load and sacrifices people make.

    After a few years, the pay will seem unimpressive compared to what you can get elsewhere; however, it's easy to forget the cash-value of Kiewit's excellent benefits and the opportunities given that exceed what can be found elsewhere.

    You will work a lot of hours here compared to many other places. I enjoyed what I did, so time passed quickly. Weekend work comes and goes depending on your current assignment's needs. Giving up your weekends is tough and painful sometimes; however, it's also common in construction.

    The work-hard, play-hard mentality will rub some people the wrong way. It depends on your personality. I personally enjoyed it.

    With some exceptions, anyone other than a type A personality will most likely fail over the long run at Kiewit. The industry and the company's culture aren't built for passive people.

    All company's have a good ol' boys club and Kiewit is no exception. Sometimes you get into this club via merit and sometimes it's because you kissed the right rear-end. Unfortunately, this is just how the world works. I was in this club. I don't know exactly how I got there, but I know that I worked very hard and made sacrifices. For the most part, the hard work and sacrifices were rewarded.

    Moving frequently can be hard on spouses, kids, and extended family. Only you can decide if the excitement of the adventure outweighs the burden. Your situation will only go one way or the other. Either your spouse will enjoy moving, and your kids will be well adjusted, or your spouse will divorce you and your kids will have issues. A lot of this is dependent on parenting and how you manage your work life. It cannot be denied that working at Kiewit puts you at a higher risk of having family issues.

    Training has become obsessive such that it's too much of a good thing and becomes diluted. It often makes it difficult to focus on your actual work duties.

    The company has become very large in recent years and has started to behave like it. The growth of bureaucracy and corporate BS is mind numbing and drives away smart and talented people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put ancillary initiatives on the back burner and focus on re-building employee proficiency with core skills. Proficiency with core skills will develop itself over time if Kiewit allows people to become good at their job before changing it (see below).

    Get rid of the mentality that employees are either moving up in the company, or moving out. Kiewit needs specialists in specific roles to be successful. Right now, talent is diluted because people are not given the opportunity to employ the lessons they've learned from their mistakes before being moved on elsewhere to make more mistakes. Some people will survive this sink or swim culture and be successful. Most will not.

    The stock program is no longer a motivating carrot because it's not as profitable, and generation Y doesn't think long term. Drastic changes to the compensation structure are needed as a result. Pay is top-heavy and senior management does not contribute to the bottom line as much as Kiewit has convinced themselves that they do. Front-load compensation by instituting a bonus culture at low levels. Reward proficient specialists equivalently to those with management roles. Get rid of deferred pay increases for those entering a new role. Reward top talent appropriately before they leave.

    Drop the ego that Kiewit is the best at everything. Kiewit may once have been the best at everything, but it's not anymore. Resting on laurels and a "too-big-to-fail" mentality will be Kiewit's biggest downfall.

    Try to keep the new culture of politics, bureaucracy, and corporate BS to a minimum. Talented people don't have time for that.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Good company overall, but a few flaws

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Estimator in Lenexa, KS
    Former Employee - Lead Estimator in Lenexa, KS

    I worked at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very good benefits, competitive salary, and many job opportunities. Many of the managers are willing to work with you if you think you'd be interested in working in a different area or department.

    Cons

    Work/life balance is not very good. Little development once you're in a role. Definitely throw you in the deep end when you first start. Sink or swim is the attitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop instilling a culture that hurts employees who want to start families and be there for their wives and children.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Look elsewhere for quality of life.

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

    I worked at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Worked with some intelligent people. Learned about the industry.

    Cons

    "Good ol' boys club." Work harder/longer not smarter. Manager's often yelling when they have no idea how to do it themselves. Pressure cooker on the jobsite. Be prepared to work weekends. Will relocate you and then threaten to fire you. Fear is a heavy motivator. Toxic work environment. Blatant ethical violations in both employee treatment and reporting techniques. Shunned if you take advantage of the hefty vacation time they offer. It was 100% a professional nightmare, and I saw it happen over and over again.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know you guys are aware of your insane turnover. My advice would be to locate the source of this and begin fixing it. Work doesn't have to be a negative place. Many of your peers in the industry do the same things you do in a much better environment. Learn from them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    I am very disappointed with employee evaluation and rewards.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    This is a very large company which offered lots of opportunities for employees.

    Cons

    It is very hard to satisfy your superiors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more friendly and open minded, no one will steal your position if you do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Waiting... Never sure where you're going to end up next. I've been tossed around from department to department

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Estimator in Lenexa, KS
    Current Employee - Estimator in Lenexa, KS

    I have been working at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Treat you like royalty when you first start out, great people to work with, very helpful when starting out. Great benefits in 401K and stock options (big returns on investments)

    Cons

    Takes a while to get stock, work hours are demanding, will work on weekends

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a breather every now and then. specialize people in their branch rather than make a guy 5 years experienced switch from division to division

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Learn a lot and it will help your career tremendously, just dont stay long.

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

    I worked at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    They will throw you to the wolves and expect you to sink or swim which is great for highly motivated people like myself. If you prove you can take on more they will give you more, just dont expect to be paid more for it. You learn a great deal and having Kiewit on your resume will get you almost any job after you leave. They have great benefits, the 401K is great and if you stay there for 4+ years you will be 100% vested in it. Overall I liked the industry and what I did, just hated the people there, the companies values, how they were set up, and overall compensation. Please note my review is not biased and I wont drag Kiewit through the mud as this company has greatly impacted my career, its where i started and I have learned a great amount and it has allowed me to pursue better opportunities. I am glad I started my career there however I couldnt be happier that I left. This is a very truthful review that I hope people take to heart, especially new college grads.

    Cons

    1) Compensation - If you are a highly motivated person and want to continue to be the best you will be highly disappointed here. I moved up very quickly in the 5 years I was there and every year I got a 2-3.5% raise which is a joke. I never once received a bonus however I was nominated into the stock program before I resigned. The starting salary may look good but once you get to the field and work 60-80hrs a week even with the 10% field bump its a joke. You can make twice as much at other engineering firms in the KC area doing the same work (hint hint).

    2) Work/Life Balance - I wont harp on this too much because if you want to be successful you have to put in more hours than usual and its good to. However with the field jobs you will see they arent planned out well which leads to Fridays being "Hey you are coming in tomorrow right." It gets very aggrevating, especially if you have a spouse or kids with you, you will realize it isnt worth it.

    3) Stock Program - The stock program is a joke nowadays. Essentially for the newbies here you get elected into the stock program since its a private company. Usually that takes about 5-7 years, 5 being if you demonstrate you are a leader. You have to pay into the stock program (about $6k your first year) and take out a loan unless you have $30k sitting aside. The reason I say its a joke is it used to be called "the golden handcuffs" because it returned 20%+ every year and the options you got were a very high number. Now since the top 10 people in the company own about 60% of the stock and with returns being less than 11% a year you will see its a joke and will take about 15+ years before you see it pay off. Not to mention you cant contribute to the 401k once you accept the stock (most private companies allow you to do this still).

    4) Management/Job Efficiency - Overall I was shocked after spending 1+ years in the field and seeing how the jobs are run. There is no common sense and the people put in charge for the most part dont have a clue how to build a power house, let alone a lego set. They are run terribly, any input you have gets disregarded, and if you call out management good luck surviving. I couldnt stand it as I spent about 4 years in the field and knew a lot more than others around me who were making 2x as much. You honestly have to be in the good boy club in order to keep advancing and earn higher pay.

    Also turnover at the company averages about 15-25% a year, not kidding, so what does that tell you?

    Overall its a good place to start your career as the benefits and starting compensation are good. You will learn a ton of information and if you can stick it out for 4-5 years you will get 100% vested in the 401K and having that experience will allow you to take a better job elsewhere and be at a more advanced position. Just dont plan on sticking around for more than 5 years unless you want minimal pay for what you are doing. In all honesty I got a bigger bonus in the 6 months I have been at my new employer than my 5 years combined at Kieiwit, it truly makes me grateful that I left. Hope this review helps, I came into it if I could tough it out for 5 years I would be doing great and I did.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Know the company is ran completely backwards and fix it. Its a joke how much money gets lost on projects from re-tards running the show.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Expected More

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

    I have been working at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good Benefits: 401k, Health care and HSA contribution, PTO and weekly pay
    Culture is fun

    Cons

    Salary compensation poor, 60 hours per week standard, have to be chosen in the good ol' boys club to get stock, and to advance in upper management positions. Training is a joke compared to the industry, all you do is drink in Omaha and learn basic skills that you can google.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up and do managerial tasks instead of sticking to what you know technically.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company but too many systematic issues to be successful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Manager in Lenexa, KS
    Former Employee - Business Manager in Lenexa, KS

    I worked at Kiewit Power Constructors full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Genuinely good people, and genuinely good company.

    Cons

    The company cannot get its systems to work properly (SAP). This leads to many mistakes, unfair blame, and time consuming projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work for common standards throughout the company. No collaboration within the company on processes what so ever.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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