Knowland Group

  www.knowland.com
  www.knowland.com

Knowland Group Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
34 Reviews
3.3
34 Reviews
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Tim Hart
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Those complaining were not capable of real work

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

    I have been working at Knowland Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The Knowland Group has had its problems just like any other company. Many of the negative reviews written here are from disgruntled employees that were let go-and those were not rash decisions. The atmosphere here is great, loaded with young 20-something's with ambition located both in DC, MD, and DE. There is a great combination of old and new employees and everyone is willing to lend a helping hand. There have been many changes with Knowland over the years and all of them for the better. We now have a new CEO alongside a new mgmt team that are all fantastic. Everyone at the company is open to different ideas and it's so great being a part of that change and watching where the company is headed. If you are willing to work hard and enjoy the thought of having a say in what goes on, this is a great place for you. Most of the ex-employees here were toxic to the environment. Many were not open to change and consistently complaining, but why would you want to work for a company that doesn't embrace change? We are finally headed in the right direction and if you work hard, it will pay off. Chaos comes with any start-up company and we learn through trial and error. The real question is are you up for the challenge. The thought of sitting at a desk with the same old boring routine does not entice me and that is exactly why I love working at Knowland.

    Cons

    As previously mentioned, chaos comes alongside any start-up company. I happen to strive off of chaos and love finding a solution to problems that arise. If you are hard working, imaginative, and determined this will be no feat for you. Now that we have rid of our old CEO, possibilities are endless.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up! We hit a slump with previous poor mgmt but it's an uphill battle from here.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    No company is perfect and this one is no exception

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

    I have been working at Knowland Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great co workers, good technology, and definitely the best technology of its type in the insular hospitality community. Company does always try to stay ahead of the competition and is more willing than ever to listen to constructive criticism from employees and clients. If you work really hard you will be rewarded and recognized both financially and by the acting CEO, who is very smart and willing to change and seems very willing to help the sales organization. The new VP of Sales is also very focused on sales and less on politics and winning fans and really tries to help his team.

    Cons

    Although it is improving, the executive leadership has been truly awful. With the exception of the new VP of Sales and the interim CEO, most of the executive team is unnecessary and continues to put a strain on the company with their hefty salaries. The former CEO employed a team that only told him what he wanted to hear. They were more like puppets on a string than effective leaders. Goals were always unclear and still tend to be at times. They offer little to no leadership, meaning they don't try to invest in their people, instead they only invest in themselves and often impede employee success. They also didn't (and some still don't) try to understand the nature of the business enough to make effective decisions and can be cut throat, even to their own direct reports. You still very much have some "look at me" leaders involved who step in front of their own people and take credit for their work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of some of the toxic executives you have in place. I encourage you to take a deep dive into what they are doing, and not just listening to all of the sunshine and fluff they tell you. Get the details. Talk to the people that report to them and when they tell you about all of the success they are having, note the people they continue rely on and are always involved in their success. You will find that they are not even a blip on the radar in most cases and are really a drain on your resources. The company doesn't need to be so top heavy, and I think the company is realizing that now with the recent departure of most executives. In the real world, truly successful and motivated employees often don't talk - they stick their nose in their desk and act. Look at the measurable results and make decisions based on that.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Happy current employee

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

    I have been working at Knowland Group (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    We are a small but strong company with great talent. Some relatively new staff and new management. We have hit a few minor bumps in the road but definitely on the road to success. I am looking forward to the coming year with a renewed positive forward motion.

    Cons

    Upper management has not always listened to staff although that seems to be a thing of the past.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage unity across departments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Horrific

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

    I worked at Knowland Group full-time

    Pros

    Very few. Good DC office location in Chinatown and some great co-workers. The former CEO is finally gone.

    Cons

    The company has been a nightmare to work for, mostly because of the lack of business knowledge and moodiness of the former CEO and founder. He treated employees and customers with contempt and as disposable things. Things may get better when a new CEO is hired, but a lot of damage has been done and a lot of talent has fled the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company. It is too damaged to continue as is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    The people really make the company

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

    I worked at Knowland Group

    Pros

    The employees are awesome. It's fun to come into work everyday and work with such a creative, dedicated group of young business professionals. Culture is infused with a lot of young 20-somethings. Had a tech company feel.

    Cons

    Disorganized and chaotic, constantly changing environment, which can be a good or bad thing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Do yourself a favor, STAY AWAY!!!

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

    I worked at Knowland Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    NONE. The only redeeming quality about this company were the people I worked with. We all bonded over our misery.

    Cons

    I laughed when I read one of the other reviews that said "The culture is extremely friendly and there is always a "buzz" in the office." This is 100% someone on the executive/management team. The only "buzz" that existed was when all of us would gather around and complain about the lack of structure, direction, and empathy from management. This company is going absolutely nowhere, evidenced by the fact that 14 people were let go last week. The cowardly Chief Sales Officer locked himself in a 'meeting' while everyone cleaned out their desk. Fortunately, I was not one of the people let go. This company is on a F.A.S.T. track to bankruptcy. If you value your career, don't even consider working here. You've been warned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    F.A.S.T., BFCs, "Moving week"....the list of useless acronyms and sayings go on and on. PLEASE stop talking to employees like they are corporate drones. Learn to listen to employees and take their input seriously. Stop being so conniving or employees will never work to improve the company. If your current practices continue, employee productivity will never reach full potential.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    No direction, high stress, fearful environment

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

    I worked at Knowland Group full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    None. If I could rank Knowland Group zero starts I would. The only pro was the few people I worked with on my core team. We supported each other when no Senior Management did.

    Cons

    CEO is insane and creates a fearful environment. People are fired or laid off for no reason other then he woke up one morning and decided it. When I was there people were constantly called in for a meeting and then just disappeared. HR will constantly talk about the Knowland values and the great work/life balance but it is all lip service. Pay is also very low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This company is poorly run.

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

    Hectic but rewarding

    • 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 Knowland Group full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The company is constantly changing and looking for ways to improve and move forward. The culture is extremely friendly and there is always a "buzz" in the office. The people are very bright, and many are industry veterans with a genuine desire to help coworkers learn and succeed. While growing, the overall size of the company is still relatively small, so everyone has at least some access to the C-level. Plus, the Friday happy hours in the DC office build camaraderie.

    Cons

    While change is good, the typical day-to-day is way too hectic. If upper management has a new whim, everyone is expected to immediately accommodate it and put down everything they're doing to make it happen (regardless of existing priorities). If you cannot adapt to constantly shifting priorities, you may not thrive at Knowland. Also, given the amount of work put in for this company, the pay is hardly competitive and the Paid Time Off leaves something to be desired...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick to priorities! If you want innovations and new products/features to be successful, more focus needs to go into each one. Constantly changing your mind about what the product team should be focused on makes the product development process a nightmare for everyone (right down to the customers).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    HR clearly writing reviews for their own benefit, wish I could give it zero stars

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director of Sales in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Director of Sales in Washington, DC

    I worked at Knowland Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not many. The one big positive is that some of the current employees are great people and very talented. The office location is pretty cool and a great space. After that, it's all downhill.

    Cons

    The executive leadership is a nightmare. As some of the other REAL reviews point out, the CEO is constantly changing his mind and is the walking definition of Bi-Polar. He will be super upbeat one day and ready to fire everyone in the office the next day. He cannot handle any criticism of the products or methods and sincerely believes that he is always right. I dont know if it is insecurity or a 'napoleon complex' but he really seems to enjoy intimidating people. He has surrounded himself with a bunch of 'YES" men who are basically paid to agree with him and tell him he is always correct. Any employee that doesnt suck up to him and agree with 100% of what he says/does usually doesnt last too long.

    PLEASE NOTE: The turnover rate at KG is incredibly high. They tend to hire and fire people at an alarming rate. The company is also on the downswing and losing clients incredibly fast. Over the past 2 years, the revenue has shrunk due to mismanagement and poor decisions by the CEO, competition, and over promising and under delivering to their clients. Most hotels have had some type of negative experience with KG and are hesitant to try them again. Of course, if you are interviewing with KG they will likely tell you a bunch of lies about how they are the largest readerboard company in the world and have so many long lasting employees. The fact is there is NO ONE in sales that works out of the DC office that has been with the company for more than 18 months. The only sales people that have been at KG longer than that work remotely and therefore avoid the psychotic tendencies of the CEO and his cronies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    LEAVE. No seriously, LEAVE THE COMPANY! The CEO is running this company into the ground, which is a shame because the products could be great. and there are some talented people working hard to make KG successful. Since the CEO is also the owner, he cannot make the appropriate decisions and would probably make the company more successful if he let someone else lead the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great employees, Great products but terrible executive management

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

    I worked at Knowland Group

    Pros

    Great products, very smart and dedicated employees, cutting edge technology.

    Cons

    Terrible executive leadership, CEO constantly changing direction and provides very little direction or leadership to staff. Several great leaders have come and gone due to his irrational behavior and failure to “get out of the way”.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CEO surrounded by too many people telling him what he wants to hear instead of what he should hear.
    Executive leadership does not think for themselves. Too concerned about what the CEO wants to hear. Not honest with themselves or the CEO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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Knowland Conference Room & Lounge Area
Knowland Kitchen / Break Area

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