Kalmbach Publishing Reviews | Glassdoor

Kalmbach Publishing Reviews

Updated December 20, 2016
27 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.0
Star Star Star Star Star
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Gerald B. Boettcher
4 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Think twice"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Former Employee in Brookfield, WI
    Former Employee - Former Employee in Brookfield, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Kalmbach Publishing (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice office space, good location

    Cons

    Micro managing, a bit smothering
    Low pay within the industry

    Advice to Management

    Be more modern. Allow telecommuting.


  2. "Great Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Prepress Technician Photshop Retouching Video Production in Waukesha, WI
    Former Employee - Prepress Technician Photshop Retouching Video Production in Waukesha, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent environment and culture. Good benefits. I was a long term employee at Kalmbach.

    Cons

    None really. I enjoyed working there.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Struggling industry, not for the long haul."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    People are generally good to work with. Hours are great, good work/life balance. Decent benefits. Company is working on ideas of how they can grow outside of what they have been doing for 80+ years. Company is still financially stable despite declining industry. Good customer relations.

    Cons

    Compensation is well below industry standard and negotiation is near impossible. Way too many middle managers that cater more to upper level management and don't stick up for their employees. Industry is struggling and has forced many good people out the door (whether by choice or not). Readership is aging and sales have suffered. Difficult to advance for most positions. Disconnect between executives and lower level employees. Way too focused on bottom line and budgets and not enough on growing the product/serving the customer.

    Advice to Management

    Don't keep around lazy/difficult to work with managers. Listen to ideas of younger generation more. Customer Focus program has good values but needs an overhaul/less meetings. Add more perks to benefits package. Pay your people what they are worth!!


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Art department"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people are very friendly. It's a pleasant working environment, and they have a 37.5 hour work week.

    Cons

    There are too many cooks in the kitchen. Every project and decision has to be approved by so many people, and go through so many different channels – you begin to lose passion for your work. There is also very little room for advancement, the employees are overworked and underpaid, and the culture is very conservative.

    Advice to Management

    Give your employees more recognition, and make them feel valued. There is very little feedback (good or bad) once a project is complete.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Overall great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The company has a lot of integrity and continues to find new avenues of growth. Works hard to retain valued staff.

    Cons

    If the company decides you're not a "flight risk," you can easily get parked somewhere and forgotten about. Little opportunity for growth or personal development. Pay and employee incentives are sadly out of date. Whole environment feels stodgy and out of touch.

    Advice to Management

    Ditch the Customer Focus program. It's a bit of a joke that doesn't actually accomplish its stated goals. Learn how to be faster and more agile in responding to changing market conditions. Find some way to show appreciation for loyal employees who aren't a high flight risk.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Friendly Small Publisher With Aging/Declining Brands"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most folks are friendly (a few sharks to watch out for) and management is respectful to employees. Short hours, unlike most publishing companies. Management clears out at 5:00. Hard-core enthusiast customers are very loyal to the model-railroading brands. Private company avoids short-term financial pressure typical of most equity-owned publishers.

    Cons

    Mostly aging magazine brands serving older customers in declining markets:: model trains, model cars, beading, etc. Company bought science magazine "Discover" and is struggling to understand that market and make it work. Management is dominated by aging males. Can't figure a way to shake things up and bring more young women into policy-making roles. Management is very conservative and suspicious of new people with outside ideas. Management structure not typical of most magazine/digital publishing companies--too many cooks in most projects make progress political and difficult. Company has traditionally avoided doing customer research.

    Advice to Management

    Utilize the talent you already have on staff...Smart young women (and men) who see the world differently from the middle-aged guys who call all the shots. Do more research.


  8. "Good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Specialist in Waukesha, WI
    Former Employee - Marketing Specialist in Waukesha, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people were nice and friendly and the atmosphere was very professional with nice working facility. A customer focused company.

    Cons

    The magazine publishing business is steadily declining with many challenges. There was a fair amount of stress as a result.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Be careful with these guys."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staffer in Waukesha, WI
    Former Employee - Staffer in Waukesha, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kalmbach Publishing full-time

    Pros

    They still publish magazines and have jobs, albeit low-paying ones, for editors and writers. People are generally friendly. Reasonable work-life balance is possible.

    Cons

    Low pay. Hollowed-out benefits. Rigid, cheap management that refuses to invest in modernizing their publications. Culture of mediocrity. Management tries to junior out the staff to pay as little as possible, so older employees should watch their backs and make contingency plans for their future. Management gives lip service to caring about employees (what they call the Customer Focus program) but treats them like commodities to be kicked to the curb at management's convenience.

    Advice to Management

    Do what you say and say what you do. And try actually listening to your employees' opinions for a change. A lot of the time they know more than you do.


  10. "Kalmbach Publishing is a customer-focused company that is good to their employees."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial in Waukesha, WI
    Current Employee - Financial in Waukesha, WI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Customer focused approach to doing business; people are very nice

    Cons

    Declining financials due to print products

    Advice to Management

    Less management - more worker bees


  11. "Once strong, a company with good people faltering under leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waukesha, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kalmbach Publishing full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Talented workforce, friendly people, professional environment, solid orientation, organized at many levels, committed to providing high-quality products and services for customers

    Cons

    Poor opportunity for advancement, training geared toward managers, new leadership prioritizing cost savings above all else, HR department uninterested in addressing the concerns of well-reviewed employees

    Advice to Management

    Really treat your employees like you treat your customers. Invest in good people to make your products even better.


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