Kennedy Jenks Reviews | Glassdoor

Kennedy Jenks Reviews

Updated February 28, 2017
17 reviews

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3.7
Star Star Star Star Star
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Keith A London
11 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good company"

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

    I have been working at Kennedy Jenks full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity for advancement, fun/nice coworkers, flex schedule, interesting projects

    Cons

    Lost some good people, training is self directed

    Advice to Management

    More focus on hiring and retaining good people


  2. "Title for review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kennedy Jenks full-time

    Pros

    Good work environment. Friendly co workers

    Cons

    Top heavy and too much overhead.

    Advice to Management

    Change your focus from growth and hiring executives to achieving higher quality service to your current customers.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Salem, OR
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Salem, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kennedy Jenks (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good environment, good people to work with. Good place to start your new career as a college student. Recommended for young engineers

    Cons

    Bad management, lack off management experience because of that so many good engineers left.they need to change some upper management


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Worked for Richard and David Kennedy and Keith London"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regional Chief Engineer and Principal in Federal Way, WA
    Former Employee - Regional Chief Engineer and Principal in Federal Way, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    I worked for KJ starting in December 1978 through March 2014, 35 years and 3 months. I saw the company grow from 72 employees to over 450. During the Kennedy years, the company gradually grew to its maximum of about 450 when it downsized because of the recession in 2008. I was able to work on some major projects mostly in California working with PMs in Oxnard and San Diego. The most fun I had was the design of some booster pump stations for the West Kern Water District. I acted as a mentor to most of the young engineers coming to work in the FWY office. It was a hoot until the recession hit. I retired in 2014 not because I wanted to but because what normally happens when a recession hits and everyone holds their work closer to home. Less work available and the change to the new CEO with a change in direction. I loved working at KJ. It was my home away from home for 35 years. Resources for everything are available just like in the large firms. A great place for young engineers to come to learn how to be an engineer. Too bad I am not there to mentor them in FWY.

    Cons

    The company has grown now with many new offices in the eastern and southern US. I am not sure how this affected staff but the commitment to grow obviously takes resources away from established offices and the development of new work. I have heard from the grapevine that new outside manager staff have been hired and they have not been easily assimilated into the KJ culture. A lot of senior staff that I worked with have left the firm because of unhappiness with their new micro-manager style. I have few real comments that are cons because I have been gone for about 2 1/2 years and have no experience since I retired. But while I was there I was happy most of the time.

    Advice to Management

    This is probably the biggest grip with senior staff. The CEO should do more managing by walking around. David Kennedy was a master at this as was his father Richard.


  6. "Design Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CAD Group Manager in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - CAD Group Manager in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kennedy Jenks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting work. Excellent work/life balance, employee owned. Company officers communicate regularly with all employees and they also listen.

    Cons

    Still building teams but are headed in the right direction.


  7. "Great people, suspect leadership"

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

    I worked at Kennedy Jenks part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Some good leaders. People are interested in providing good service and there are talented subject matter experts.

    Cons

    A typical consultant - don't share work unless you have too as they are quick to downsize you out. They hold onto low producers that are buddies at the expense of losing good employees and clients.

    Advice to Management

    CEO said we won't manage the organization to death but that seems to be exactly what has occurred.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Times are changing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Federal Way, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Federal Way, WA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kennedy Jenks full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, flexible hours, and a bunch of really smart people to work with.

    Cons

    When I started at Kennedy/Jenks the company was focused on retention of talent and fostering client relationships. Now the focus is more on utilization and internal corporate initiatives.

    Advice to Management

    Please manage by walking around and talking to the masses rather than looking at utilization and sales numbers and making changes from afar.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great opportunities for growth"

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

    I have been working at Kennedy Jenks full-time

    Pros

    -New company vision for growth from the bottom up
    -Increasing focus on employee development and employee partnership program
    -Friendly coworkers and laid back atmosphere. Employees help each other out.
    -Work life balance is good...not a sweatshop environment
    -Flat organization (i.e. the bosses boss will take your call and will listen to you)
    -Top level management seems sincere about influencing positive change
    -Company provides opportunities to network with other staff at annual conference and allows employees of all levels to attend professional conferences
    -Great opportunity for career growth for ambitious, high-performing staff. Staff are recognized and rewarded.

    Cons

    -Continual reorganization/change creates confusion amongst staff
    -Training is largely self directed, and new initiatives are launched without enough explanation
    -Increased focus on performance creates "silos" between business units and offices
    -Focus on growth may have led to hires that provide questionable value.
    -Financial performance has lagged but is improving

    Advice to Management

    Vet the new hires very thoroughly and be more selective about hiring. Don't put the cart before the horse relative to hiring and backlog. Continue to work on better defining expectations and performance measurement for staff.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Great opportunities for growth and mentorship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kennedy Jenks full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have worked at Kennedy/Jenks in Denver for 7 years. I started as a staff engineer with four years of experience, and have since been promoted to project engineer, senior project engineer, and now project manager. I have been given great opportunities to grow my career through technical and managerial mentorship and guidance. One of my favorite things about the company is that we are small enough to have the opportunity to get to know everyone in the company, including our executive leadership, and we are also big to have all the resources and expertise that we need. We have ~200 staff that work in the water / wastewater engineering industry. There isn't a water / wastewater problem we can't solve and that is exciting and powerful. On top of the great opportunities for growth and mentorship, Kennedy/Jenks is an employee-owned firm. Which means when we do well, we all receive benefits through bonuses and investments in the firm. This keeps our employees motivated to do well. In Denver I have a plethora of choices of firms to work for in the water / wastewater industry. I have no intention of leaving KJ. I really respect and appreciate the opportunities for growth and mentorship, the company culture, and the strong leadership that KJ has to offer and I don't think I could be happier at another firm.

    Cons

    While every firm had its ups and down through the recession, I think KJ has done a great job of stabilizing itself and becoming a better firm. I don't have any Cons to share.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Company with Promise"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Civil Engineer
    Current Employee - Civil Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kennedy Jenks full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Kennedy/Jenks (K/J) is a great company to gain valuable experience on a variety of projects and work with some smart people with many years of experience and institutional knowledge. For those that are willing to push themselves, there are opportunities available to take on tasks and roles that are above and beyond what you would get from a large company. K/J recently underwent a reorganization splitting the company into two business units, an Environmental/Industrial business unit and a water/infrastructure business unit, and this reorganization also led to restructuring and some substantial changes in leadership. The company leadership (old and new) is working hard to steer the company back on course and achieve organic growth by following a strategic plan that was developed by input from employees at every level (yes...as a junior engineer, I was able to voice my opinions to our CEO and other managers about where in the company I saw room for improvement, and I got to express what mattered to me in both the short and long term). There was a lot of focus on the new direction, conveying the message, and getting 'buy in" from staff. There are still kinks being worked out, but K/J has come a long way to dig itself out of a recession which hit the entire A/E industry pretty hard. I'm hopeful that with improving finances, the company will continue to grow and invest in its employees (bonuses, salary increases, and professional development opportunities). I've also really appreciated the fact that K/J is fairly flexible on hours and schedules, and that you can somewhat "build your own practice" within the company. K/J has a rich history, solid values, and has earned the respect and confidence of clients for almost a hundred years, and I believe this client-focused and quality/results driven mindset will help to propel K/J as a leading firm in the industry.

    Cons

    It is the nature of consulting to sometimes be extremely busy for weeks and then have lull periods where one might be looking for anything to fill his or her time, but K/J could do a little bit better job of recognizing workloads and distributing these loads. Individuals at K/J can be left to fend for themselves sometimes when it comes to finding billable work, which I've seen can be hard for some that don't have the personality to go and ask, but a little bit more guidance on how to constructively use their time during these slow periods could go a long way in reducing stress and the pressure of meeting utilization goals. After the re-organization (which I feel was much-needed) the company could do better when it comes to defining the new roles and responsibilities within the revised organization structure.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to push the company and employees toward growth and innovation. We can't get too stuck in the "how we've always done it" mentality, but developing employees and holding different trainings can go a long way in eliminating this mentality, and it also encourages collaboration, builds stronger teams and internal networks, and creates even more valuable employees. Seek out the "doers" when recruiting and work to retain the results-driven employees that make positive impacts on the company. All in all...keep up the good work, keep up the open communication, and keep the momentum going forward!



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