Koch Industries Reviews in Houston, TX | Glassdoor

Koch Industries Houston Reviews

Updated September 1, 2017
31 reviews

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Houston, TX Area

2.8
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Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles G. Koch
Charles G. Koch
8 Ratings

31 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Competitive Work Environment, the company lives and breaths market based management (in 13 reviews)

  • Great company culture, intelligent co-workers and development opportunities (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • Do not work to ensure employee has a work/life balance (in 27 reviews)

  • Sometimes there are long hours, but nothing too bad (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Response to "Great Company & Huge Organization = Ample Opportunity""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Vice President in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Vice President in Houston, TX

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I'm a former Vice President within a KCTG business unit. I felt compelled to respond to a post by an anonymous Wichita employee that posted "Good people - mostly Midwestern. Koch doesn't recruit from Ivy League for a reason. People here care about their families and work good hours. " I would reply that Koch Industries hires on the basis of values-not on the basis of one's Alma Mater. I am currently enrolled in a Masters' Degree program at Brown University (yes, Ivy League) and any one of my colleagues have the requisite value set to be a Koch employee. To state that Koch doesn't recruit or hire Ivy League graduates is a contradiction to Koch's principles.

    Cons

    None noted- overall a good organization.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Watch Out for Koch Energy Services (KES)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Market Analyst in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Market Analyst in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Overall, Koch Industries and many of its subsidiary companies represent most of the positive reviews reflected on this page. Stable, forward thinking, rewarding place to work in many portions of the company. MBM is a business philosophy I will take with me throughout my career. However, there are pockets and subsidiaries that do not reflect Koch's culture and give the company a bad name.

    Cons

    Leadership of Koch Energy Services:
    - President is always worried about the next management update, concerned if people disagree with him and is always trying to seek approval and total consensus before making a decision. This leads to painfully slow and poor decision-making.
    -Constantly trying to put out today's fire rather than thinking about the big picture.
    -Very little forward thinking, vision and authenticity displayed by KES management. Instead, they just recite corporate buzz-words and repeat themselves ad nauseam.
    -Extremely hesitant to make any bets or take risks that could make them look bad. Instead, multiple layers of analysis are expected to be performed that will add little to no value to the company. Always try to play it safe.
    -Koch's "challenge process" is not fostered at KES. Instead, any challenge that is put forward that is against KES leadership's agenda is quickly stomped out. This is successful because the president has put in place directors/managers under him who are "yes men" who always toe the line when push comes to shove.
    -Young analysts brought into the group are not given the same opportunities as analysts at other Koch companies. Very hesitant to let analysts travel, attend industry conferences, or network with other Koch companies. They talk about mentoring and coaching analysts but this is all hot air if you are someone who doesn't agree with management 100% of the time.
    -Insecurity displayed as micro-management. I was asked multiple times per day what I was working on despite having discussed my projects with my supervisor weekly.
    -If you disagree with them or bring up any of the problems listed above, you will be ostracized within the group and within Koch as a whole. Since your manager has complete control over your destiny at Koch, they will actively work against you trying to get a job within another Koch company.

    Mid-Level Management:
    -Often given supervisory responsibility because they are good analysts, not because they have good management skills

    Advice to Management

    Advice to Management:

    The KES management team needs to be removed and replaced. The micro-culture that has been created there is toxic and results in value destruction at Koch Industries. Look at how many people who have been recruited from other Koch companies to join KES only to leave Koch a few years later for other companies. Promote managers who have demonstrated managerial skills.

    Koch Industries Response

    Jun 23, 2017 – KII Human Resources

    Thank you for your feedback. We value your comments and have shared them with KES leadership. We define the challenge process as using the best available knowledge to continually question and find a... More

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Koch Heat Transfer Changes Good for Business(?), Bad for Employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time

    Pros

    The work is challenging and time sensitive. A fast paced environment is encouraged. Roles are clearly defined. They are somewhat flexible on work hours.

    Cons

    Low tolerance for errors. They seem to prefer to let people go rather than allow them to learn and grow. Consequently, they is a high turnover rate. Many of my colleagues are afraid that any day may be their last, so they are looking for other opportunities. There is a segregation between departments regarding exchanger of information, meaning that other departments should not know about the inner workings of another department. This has been getting better, but still has a long way to go. It doesn't seem to matter if you are good, just keep the bosses happy.

    Advice to Management

    It is important to find root causes of errors and take steps to ensure they do not repeat. However, it is also important to allow workers to learn and grow. Records are kept of errors that workers make, but the end result of those errors should also be recorded as well as the steps that the worker took to correct the error. Bringing in new people to replace someone who has made mistakes just sets that new person up to make their own mistakes, so they will be replaced and the cycle continues. Implement a bonus program (nonexistent as of this rating, despite what they might promise).


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Good business philosophy, bad career development"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Market Analyst in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Market Analyst in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    MBM is actually a good framework. Koch is a good place to get your career started and learn valuable business skills. The people are generally nice and willing to help you out.

    Cons

    The company has become more bureaucratic over the years with layers of management. If you're not senior management, it is very difficult to get recognized or rewarded. Management does everything they can to keep costs low and employees replaceable. Politics plays a strong role in who gets opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Reward and incentivize your strongest employees properly. Have higher standards for talent.

    Koch Industries Response

    May 17, 2017 – HR Recruiter

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. At Koch, Market Based Management is at the core of what drives our corporate culture and I am glad to hear the positive feedback. Market Based... More


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Highly recommend reconsidering joining Koch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development Manager in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Business Development Manager in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Koch Industries full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    MBM is actually a good framework if the leadership team implemented MBM actions and not just words. Koch is a good place to get your career started however for experienced hires it can be detrimental to your career both from a perception and financial perspective. The people are generally nice and lack egos. Most investment decisions are very solid actions however the timeline to get a decision is painful.

    Cons

    Senior leadership tells the team that they listen to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) feedback but actions would dictate otherwise.
    The company has become more bureaucratic over the years with layers of management. If you're not senior management, it is very difficult to get recognized or rewarded. Management does everything they can to keep costs low and employees replaceable. They have the mindset that time is measured in years and the strong preference is to not lose money therefore little risk is taken as the senior leaders are 5-10 years away from retirement and don't want to get fired. Being a Kansas born and bred individual with the same culture and demographics as the old guard plays a strong role in who gets opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Re-read Charles Koch's books and implement MBM through actions. Make sure you implement a market based incentive compensation program because the majority of the team currently consists of B team players headed towards C team players. Koch's best days are behind them if drastic changes aren't implemented immediately.

    Koch Industries Response

    May 17, 2017 – HR Recruiter

    Thanks for the review! Feedback is a valuable learning tool. As stated in our Guiding Principles, we are desirous that all employees find fulfillment and meaning in their work, but we understand... More


  6. "Pipefitter technician I handle the day to day task of perform fits for plant structures in the chemical plant industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Pipeline Technician in Mont Belvieu, TX
    Current Employee - Pipeline Technician in Mont Belvieu, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Koch Industries full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very well diversified, opportunity for growth in which every field you choose. Show interest and the will to learn the possibilities are endless

    Cons

    Paid time off is pretty much out the question in the beginning. You have to accumulate years of work history.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management is fair. Of course on all levels you have to sleep with one eye open there's going to be someone that looks at things negatively


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Upper Management is Disconnected"

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

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

    Pros

    Immediate colleagues are great. The work provides room to grow and refines your skill set as no two jobs are the same.

    Cons

    Upper management is disconnected and they don't seek to understand. The culture is not as described, and it starts from the top.

    Advice to Management

    When you value and respect your employees, then the results will come. Invest in your employees as much as you invest in closing a deal to ensure they have the necessary support to get the job done. You can sale all the product in the world on paper, but without your employees. . . You simply can't deliver. Preriod.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Culture not as described"

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

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

    Pros

    The work provides an opportunity for diverse experiences with a different challenge to be responded to on a daily basis.

    Cons

    Koch Industries is a large organization with many sectors, each sector having multiple business units. In my experience and observations, the Koch Company culture that is written about in the books authored by the company president and bragged about during the recruitment phase doesn't seem to exist at Koch Heat Transfer.

    Advice to Management

    Run the business as if your most important resource is your employees and you will find success. Seek to understand the people on the team and the value they bring; the best organizations are open and collaborative. Consider reading The Science of Success and Good Profit and applying the ideas in the books.


  9. "Great Company Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Katy, TX
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Katy, TX
    Recommends

    I worked at Koch Industries as an intern

    Pros

    Everyone at OPD has a great attitude and they were all more than happy to help me learn how to do the work necessary as an intern. My internship with OPD was much better than another internship the year before at a similar company.

    While the environment does feel laid back and relaxed, people know how to work and when trying to get things done, everything went smoothly.

    Cons

    OPD is growing fast and at the time I was there, the company did not have a cafeteria. Upper management had a table to eat at but most other people ate at their cubicle.

    Advice to Management

    Get a cafeteria, there are enough employees that it is warranted. I think a few more organized company events would be good for the overall unity of a company that is quickly adding dozens of employees year by year.


  10. "Marine Operations Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marine Operations Coordinator in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Marine Operations Coordinator in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great supervisor. Completely understanding. No gossip, professional environment, great modern kitchens, birthday cake catering, benefits.

    Cons

    No work life balance while I was employed. My department was always first to arrive (before 7 am)and last to leave (sometime after 7pm). Work never seemed to end so evenings and weekends were for catching up on work (not required but the only way to keep up). Truly demanding and fast paced. Training is inadequate which makes your job difficult to accomplish, and keep up with workload.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more help so an employee can actually take a day off without feeling guilty, and/or take a day off for doctor appointments. Refrain from adding on work to an employee that is the responsibility of another separate department. Employees are overwhelmed and overworked, and in turn leads to being highly unmotivated to come work for such a great company.


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