Krames StayWell

www.kramesstaywell.com
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Krames StayWell Reviews

Updated February 25, 2015
Updated February 25, 2015
35 Reviews
2.1
35 Reviews
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Trent Sterling
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Interesting work, great colleagues, ineffective former CEO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Vice President in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Krames StayWell full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    -The ever-changing landscape of health care and the variety of challenges faced by clients keeps the work interesting and challenging.
    -Most colleagues are smart, innovative, and committed to clients.
    -Hours can be long at times, but--overall--there's a good work/life balance (although this can vary by office location).

    Cons

    Training and opportunities for promotion and personal growth seem to vary by department: great in some, nonexistent in others.

    The company's biggest downfall was its former CEO, who seemed out of touch with client needs and the strengths/weaknesses in his own organization. His recent departure should do wonders for the company's growth, competitiveness, and employee morale.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Rapidly unraveling company in desperate need of strong leadership.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Witheld in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Witheld in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Krames StayWell full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Despite the often unpredictable work environment and the lack of value senior leadership places on the employees of this organization, this place is home to many smart, capable, hard working professionals who are a privilege to work alongside.

    Cons

    Weak leadership. Complete lack of company direction. Poor benefits. General instability.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company desperately needs direction in order to be salvaged. Identifying an end goal of getting sold does not motivate employees to work hard, nor does the general lack of value placed on the folks who have managed to keep this place afloat despite years of poor executive decision making.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Higher You Go, the Worse it Gets

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

    I worked at Krames StayWell full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    After years in the trenches at KSW before finally being given my freedom, I can say nothing made me sadder than to see all the good people I left behind. Because this company was and still is full of very hard-working, talented, and creative people trying their damndest to just keep their heads above water. The fact every single person not at the VP or above level didn't just quit or throw themselves off the balcony is a testament to their perseverance and determination to try and do a good job.

    Cons

    The problems start all the way at the ownership level. The private equity company that likely hoped to quickly flip the company for a profit is instead stuck with them on their books. So the only way to make something useful of us was to keep finding ways to slash the budget and generate a nice return for them. The higher-ups never mentioned in meetings how much of our profits were sucked back up but it doesn't take much to guess at it and how much better shape our company might otherwise have been in.

    The management on the ground would try to keep things together, but every time the ax fell and a new set of highly paid VP's was named the deck chairs on the Titanic would just get shuffled. Certain departments in the company seemed to be treated far better than others. Managers in one department would have to explain why the group was short-staffed while other departments went off on junkets to resorts for "planning." It was made clear that the groups that generated the content were considered a dime a dozen. The question of what content would be there to be pitched to clients with the creative groups was never adequately answered.

    And when short-staffed and dealing with management changes the best thing to do is to shift the company's approach to be more "agency-like" and be all things to all clients. Except everyone is siloed and using processes that are half-publisher and a quarter-agency and a quarter-confused. So in the end clients get promised things by people who have nothing to do with providing the things that are promised. And then the people who have to provide them are flying blind trying to get things done.

    Meanwhile very well paid people were spending months creating a logo for one of the seemingly endless internal mergers/re-brandings. Using resources well and prioritizing was not a strong suit of KSW.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide what you want the company to be. Is it just something to be squeezed until the last drops of cash are extracted? Then quit pretending like there's any other plan. Is the company to be a modern agency that can leverage all of the properties in the Medimedia family and provide cross-platform communications? Then get a system for posting online content that isn't almost old enough to drive and seems straight out of a Geocities page. Want to be an old school print publishing company? Then focus on that, put more money into providing a very high quality product, and try to at least be the best at custom publishing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    run away, far away

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

    I worked at Krames StayWell

    Pros

    there are no "pros" - this company will eat itself.

    Cons

    completely incompetent leadership. sinking ship. abusive managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good company with approachable management and executives.

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

    I worked at Krames StayWell full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I enjoyed working there. My manager was professional, helpful and friendly. Company executives were very approachable. Pay was reasonable.

    Cons

    There weren't many opportunities for advancement. There were also issues with communication between departments that were never resolved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When issues between employees arise, make an effort to address them right away instead of allowing them to fester and grow.

    Recommends
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Black hole in my career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer in Yardley, PA
    Former Employee - Designer in Yardley, PA

    I worked at Krames StayWell full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice building and grounds, satisfactory cafeteria.

    Cons

    A very departmental company where you don't know what the person next to you does. No staff development. Constant threat of layoffs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Know who your good people are.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Evanston office no more

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

    I worked at Krames StayWell full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Creative, talented co-workers. Work can be interesting & creatively rewarding.

    Cons

    Constant upheaval amongst management, round after round of layoffs, and now all Evanston staff work from their own homes because company didn't want to renew the lease on office space. But the logistics of actually supporting a staff of creatives that large, given the amount of work that still needs to be done, doesn't seem to have been fully thought out. Hopefully, this will be a forward thinking, cost savings idea that will lead to a brave new way of structuring publishing... & not just a intermediary step to yet more layoffs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Who knows? Upper management seems to change every several months.

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

    Opportunity for good work if you are flexible and bold

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

    I have been working at Krames StayWell full-time

    Pros

    Decent work-life balance, smart coworkers, modern office environment, respectful culture. It's all about customer service, the clients call the shots. If you want to simply show up for work and be told what to do, this probably isn't the place for you. If you have some initiative/creativity and are willing to speak up/offer ideas, this can be an interesting place to work. Every day is different, mostly because the clients throw curveballs.

    Cons

    Lots and lots of change and churn, which can be distracting. You have to be able to roll with it and reinvent yourself as needed. Profound changes can happen in the space of a day. Heavy workloads make it challenging to maintain creativity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Immediate upper management is solid, there are good people who are open to ideas. But frequent restructuring makes everyone jittery, hard to focus. Corporate-level decisions seemed based on short-term numbers rather than long-term strategy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Creative environment that promotes teamwork

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

    I have been working at Krames StayWell full-time

    Pros

    As an employee of any media company, you have to have thick skin and let change roll off your shoulders, as the industry is always changing. Though this company is going through significant changes at the moment, management has been consistently supportive and motivating. Hard work does not go unnoticed. A positive attitude and realistic approach to workload is appreciated. Strong work-life balance is encouraged. No micro-managing; you have the ability to work independently but you also have a team-oriented culture to fall back on.

    Cons

    Structural changes can be distracting, and it can be a struggle to find the right balance between staying on top of your workload while also completing tasks related to structural changes. Sometimes the reasons given behind structural changes are vague.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    This company won't be around much longer.

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

    I worked at Krames StayWell full-time

    Pros

    Might be a good spot if you're looking to gather intel for a business case study on a once-strong company that has been wrecked by bad senior management and out-of-touch ownership.

    Cons

    Constant reorganizations in pursuit of EBIDTA have swamped any sense of strategy. Senior management has not delivered any product innovation in over 5 years -- and has wasted money, time and talent on ill-conceived "strategic partnerships" rather than investing on building solutions from within. Meanwhile, the divisions that create valuable solutions and support client partnerships have had resources slashed. Really don't know what the board could possibly be thinking -- they are pursuing buyers, but it's at the point where this company will be lucky to be sold for parts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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