Koch Industries - Big company, good leadership. Compliance-driven, poor work-life balance | Glassdoor
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"Big company, good leadership. Compliance-driven, poor work-life balance"

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  • Culture & Values
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  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Supervisor in Atlanta, GA
Former Employee - Supervisor in Atlanta, GA
Doesn't Recommend
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

I worked at Koch Industries full-time (More than a year)


Talented, hard-working people.

Leadership makes an effort to practice what they preach. Company and people, including managers, are always striving to improve.

Ultra-conservative (this could be a pro or con, depending on your values and views.)

Profitable company. Competitive wages.

Everything is driven by the culture of "MBM Principles" (see the Charles Koch book "Science of Success"). One key element is allowing folks to challenge status quo or when something doesn't seem right. This includes subordinates challenging supervisors and others -- must be done respectfully, of course.

The company is trying to change things to appeal to a younger generation of worker... but slow going.

Performance reviews are very thorough and every effort is made to help employees improve.


As others have said, better make sure you are ready to drink the Koch kool-aid.
Huge company, so change can be slow -- like pulling a semi-truck with a bull rope.

Work-life balance is poor, especially if you work in Atlanta. Horrible commute times to downtown (depending on where you live.) Other Atlanta companies get this and support "work-at-home". At KBS, there is no official WaH policy (it is on a case-by-case basis, if you can justify it) -- mainly because the folks in Wichita all live 10-20 minutes away from the office, have no traffic, thus have no empathy for those in Atlanta.

Atlanta office is very depressing. It is grey and sour yellow, like a smoker's den in the 70's, with furniture and fixtures from the 80's. People look tired and depressed, and with good reason. No one would ever want to just "hang out" there, rather everyone bolts around 4 o'clock to catch their bus or train, for their 1+ hour commute to get home (or essentially any place that is more fun.) Not a good sign for productivity, of course.

So much training and expectations on compliance and security, you feel like big brother is always watching. This is part of why things take so long to get done.

Compensation is "pay for performance", which is generally good. But wage increases or spot bonuses are subjective. Some folks have gone 3+ years without any raise. As a Supervisor, it's basically up to you to justify how good someone is -- this could qualify them for a spot bonus or permanent compensation increase. The problem is your idea of great performance and corresponding dollar increase could be very different than another Supervisor peer in a different department. It depends how much you believe in your employee, how good you can write, and how generous your boss's are.

For me personally, I was not connected with the mission of producing more fossil fuels, making chemicals, and selling toilet paper. Plus occasional Security guards at the doors and people picketing out front is not inspiring -- not my idea of a warm and friendly company.

Advice to Management

Understand you will have to start attracting a new generation workforce. As such...
Update or move the Atlanta office, preferably to the Dunwoody or Alpharetta area (a majority of the team live on the north side.)
Invest in technology, training, and innovation. Create cross-functional teams to allow technical folks to better partner with the business units and feel connected.
Embrace work-from-home. Leverage the right collaboration tools and write policies to make it happen.
Keep striving to improve. Apply MBM principles, and don't be afraid to change (principle 7) -- not for just profit, but for the attraction and retention of great people.

Other Employee Reviews for Koch Industries

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