Kellen Company Reviews | Glassdoor

Kellen Company Reviews

Updated June 16, 2017
39 reviews

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3.2
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Peter Rush
25 Ratings

39 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Innovative, Mission-Driven Association Management Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kellen Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - my team constantly explores new technological solutions
    - the company focuses on helping clients achieve their mission
    - diverse, welcoming and talented Washington, D.C. office
    - regular 'Team Kellen' events
    - opportunity for mentorship and career advancement

    Cons

    - limited vacation
    - employee stock ownership plan takes a year to kick in

    Advice to Management

    - continue to help associations adapt and grow
    - make the annual manager's summit biannual


  2. "Some good, some not so good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kellen Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    True association and nonprofit management professionals, especially in the upper echelons of the company, who are generous in sharing their experience with colleagues.

    Some terrific clients with whom to develop long-term partnerships.

    Cons

    Nepotism is eroding employee confidence in the C-suite.

    Salaries not competitive in some cities, so increasing employee turnover.

    Rapid acquisitions of smaller companies in the industry, without the infrastructure already in place within Kellen to merge IT, corporate culture, etc. has resulted in disjointed senior management and loss of some excellent leadership in the company.

    Business development overpromises and underbids.

    Advice to Management

    Realize that the ESOP mainly benefits long-timers for its eventual payout value, and that millennials do not perceive as ESOP as a strong corporate benefit that will lure them to the company. Offer a stronger pay + benefits package to improve retention.

    Read Glassdoor reviews with a grain of salt--but read them.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Growing Company Struggling Mightily to Reach Its Full Potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakbrook Terrace, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakbrook Terrace, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kellen Company full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Genuine camaraderie and effective leadership among client teams in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, office is a positive. In the same location, you’ll find a strong creative department, which produces quality design work and excels at project management. There are promising initiatives underway to improve customer service to clients’ members. Kellen clients are largely in professional fields and typically appreciate and respect the work done by their staff teams.

    Cons

    There is a lack of strategic vision from very top of the organization and a floundering approach to recruiting and retaining clients. Operationally, client services can be inflexible. There is an emphasis on developing assembly line processes vs. client-tailored approaches. Some internal business units are particularly self-interested and unmotivated to understand individual client needs. Proposals and billing for services can be confusing and inaccurate. Leadership wise, the lack of diversity and noticeably conservative culture in the C-suite is alienating and creates distance between employees and senior management. Kellen’s growing reputation for one-sided vendor relationships impacts negotiations, limiting client options and outcomes. Poor employee compensation makes attracting and keeping quality staff a challenge. While Kellen offers internal education, it is limited and its one-size-fits-all does not address individual employee needs. Compounding this problem, Kellen does not support employee participation in professional associations such as ASAE, PCMA, etc., except at the most senior level. This leaves executive directors, meeting managers and other managers in client-facing leadership roles without the networking and broader educational opportunities provided by these organizations.

    Advice to Management

    Kellen needs to make strategic, proactive efforts to improve client and staff retention and recruitment. On the client side, this means developing true partnerships. At the executive oversight/corporate level, Kellen needs to improve dialogue with clients in order to help both parties better understand their respective business needs and operations. At the moment, these critical motivators and components are in silos, which tend to cause misunderstandings and generate mistrust. Given the company’s 30% annual staff churn rate, it is critical to improve and repair management/employee relationships and bring compensation in-line with regional comparables. When there is an acquisition, uniform job descriptions and staff titles (which do not currently exist company-wide) need to be implemented, especially within blended offices. This will reduce confusion and internal conflict as staff move between client teams.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kellen Company full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Solid company with a stellar track record for maintaining clients and good talent.

    Cons

    Adopting new technologies can be very slow, primarily due to the nature of the business.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Kellen Company Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kellen Company full-time

    Pros

    Client and project diversity
    Very smart and talented co-workers/managers - great mentors, though no formal mentoring program
    Great opportunities for first job
    Seem to be changing their ways, may be a different company in 5-10 years
    Ability to gain business travel experience even in low level roles

    Cons

    Upper management
    Male-dominated
    High workload
    Overtime seen as the norm
    No value of lower level employees
    Limited flexibility in terms of vacation, work from home, etc.
    Extremely low pay for the market value, workload

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees!


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Drowning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kellen Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours and easy work

    Cons

    Boring, mismanaged, sexism, racism, lack of ethics, poor coordination between offices and departments

    Advice to Management

    Sell and cash out. You have no idea what to do in a minders economy and it shows. If you don't get out now more associations will leave resulting in more layoffs and more reorganization.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Kellen is a great place for business stars to shine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager, National Volunteer Manager for MGFA in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager, National Volunteer Manager for MGFA in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Horizontal staff structure. Top management shares the same lunch kitchen. Kellen never closes, and their professionals so client work in other time zone is easy.
    Wonderful initiatives for bright young professionals to learn and grow.
    Stellar brain pools from top to bottom.

    Cons

    There are so many quality left overs in the kitchen from lunch meeting with clients every other day, you might gain weight if you don't pace yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work on the younger professionals. Open up some learning opportunities for the more seasoned professionals.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Kellen A Good Place to Start Your Career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kellen Company (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, nice, hardworking people, decent benefits, good work-life balance, opportunities to move up., good comraderie and culture.

    Cons

    Atlanta office in a medical building, (but they planning to move over the next year or two). Office technology is a weak spot, not the most current hardware or software, not enough bandwidth.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in contract IT support when you add businesses so everything doesn't take forever to get done, overworking people and creating backlog.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "communications"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Communications in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kellen Company (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    family atmosphere, hours aren't bad, not particularly difficult work

    Cons

    mentorship non-existent, low pay, vice-presidents in the dept. very insecure and not particularly talented, employee morale very low, revolving door there

    Advice to Management

    too much to type


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Changes happening"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kellen Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers, quality of clients, professional opportunities.

    I've seen a lot of change happen in the time I've been here. Things are getting better and top management is slowly taking into account what employees are saying. I see more and more competent people finally getting a say in the direction of the company.

    There's room for promotions because we're growing; a person's level of responsibility is largely tied to the volume of work you produce, so if you're ambitious there are opportunities at Kellen you won't find in other agencies.

    I have found the work we do here to be incredibly interesting. You don't learn one small set of skills. You can learn a variety of skills from communications to public policy to financials all because our client base is so varied. You can learn a lot about particular industries like food & beverage or healthcare which directly translates into future career opportunities.

    Cons

    Limited investment in employees, high turnover, high workload, top heavy, nepotism, low moral.

    I think the changes in the economy are forcing Kellen to pay more attention to the needs of their employees. More than once employees have been referred to as "expenses" by top brass and that doesn't make one feel very valued. While morale is low because the basics of employee benefits are still being ignored, there are other ways the company's mid-level management make people feel valued and there are investments being made in the offices that weren't being considered before.

    There is a strong emphasis on working more than 40 hours a week. Volume of work and hours billed is valued above quality and efficiency. However, the volume of work required isn't compensated at Kellen. Kellen is consistently below market value and offers only very basic benefits. Competent people don't stick around because they can easily double their salaries moving to another company.

    Healthcare costs continue to rise and plans change almost every year. They offer an ESOP, but that only benefits management and C-level employees. People continue to request matching 401Ks and management continues to insist that employees are just ignorant of the value the ESOP provides.

    Kellen provides only basic leave time and there is no progressive maternal or parental leave policy. Work flexibility seems to be limited to the few "special" employees.

    Kellen seems to value time-with-the-company, nepotism and "yes men" over competency when it comes to promoting people to management. It feels very much like a "good ol' boys" club with no women on the board, only one woman on the Executive Committee, and a complete lack of diversity (both in color and in age) among management. More than anything else nepotism has dealt a major blow to the morale of the company across all the offices.

    Advice to Management

    Please review your pay structure, promotion policy, employee benefits, and bonus/raise structure. It's more competitive out there and not addressing compensation makes current employees feel like the company finds us easily replaceable.

    Give more consideration to the value of diversity.


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