Koch Industries Reviews | Glassdoor

Koch Industries Reviews

Updated July 19, 2017
69 reviews

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Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles G. Koch
Charles G. Koch
18 Ratings

69 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The Market-Based Management (MBM) is something this is intensely emphasized (in 13 reviews)

  • Koch Industries is a great company to be a part of (in 20 reviews)

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

  • There were definitely some nights with long hours, but that can be expected in any accounting role (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Ok, for Entry Level, but be ready to move on."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clerk in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Clerk in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Gain Skills and Knowledge, Great Co-workers.

    Cons

    Very Clique Driven, Culture only followed by workers. Managers ignore all of company mission goals.

    Advice to Management

    None

    Koch Industries Response

    Jul 25, 2017 – KII Human Resources

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, positive and negative. That's how we learn. It is our hope that all employees feel comfortable sharing constructive feedback on their work experience.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Practice what you preach!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wichita, KS
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time

    Pros

    Pay is better than average for Kansas; Some very nice co-workers; Cafe food is great; Good volunteer opportunities. MBM principles are a fantastic concept. Charles Koch is one of the nicest and most humble people I've ever talked with!

    Cons

    Fired me for taking off work for my children being abducted. Not kidding! They teach awesome MBM, yet in my department, nobody was allowed to use it! Discouraged from talking to your neighbor even when you're new. Encouraged to only use the computer to answer any questions. Discouraged from contacting or talking to other management about anything. In my department, decision rights were not allowed. You are to know your "station" and keep your conversation to only the people who are within it.

    Advice to Management

    While holding a doctorate degree, somehow, HR still thinks I am not qualified for a management/development position.

    Koch Industries Response

    Jul 6, 2017 – KII Human Resources

    Out of respect for our employees, we do not publicly discuss details of why former team members are no longer here. We do our best to practice what we preach. That’s a necessity for staying in... More

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Sr. Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great salary, stable company, innovative

    Cons

    doesn't practice what it preaches. often breaches on it's own set of guiding principles with dishonesty and lack of integrity. not all employee's are treated or considered equal.

    Advice to Management

    follow all of the MBM principles to the fullest not just when it suits your needs and agenda. Be honest and have integrity and allow everyone to utilize the challenge process fairly without fear of repercussion or being terminated.

    Koch Industries Response

    Jul 6, 2017 – KII Human Resources

    Thanks for sharing your feedback. Our company gives all team members open access to point out potential inconsistencies with how we’re applying the philosophy of Market-Based Management. This helps... More


  4. 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


  5. "Tax Accountants: Don't start your career here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Analyst
    Former Employee - Tax Analyst
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Many of my co-workers were fantastic people that I was sad to leave behind.
    2. The MBM culture generally does make people behave in a manner that makes them pleasant to be around.
    3. Exposure to complex and interesting tax issues early in your career that you probably wouldn't see at most other places.
    4. Plenty of variety and options for mobility (both lateral and vertical) are possible, if you're willing to stick around despite the cons (which I wouldn't recommend).
    5. Benefits are very good. Pay is above average for the area.

    Cons

    1. The entire accounting and tax environment that I experienced can best be described by two words: chaotic mess. At any given time in any given group, a majority of people are not going to know what is going on (See point 3 for lack of training). There are constant fire drills, and disorganization causes even simpler tasks to take 5 times as long as they should.
    2. Turnover is through the roof (for good reason). Accounting and tax positions below the controller/manager level are just a continuous revolving door of 20-somethings straight out of college. This only exacerbates the already chaotic environment, and hurts morale.
    3. Training is non-existent, which is extremely frustrating given the complexity of the work you will be expected to do. Much of it involves Koch specific processes that there is no way you could have even learned in school. This is a recipe for a nightmare situation if your direct supervisor doesn't have a solid understanding of the work you're doing (which is likely to happen since people are constantly changing roles). Hiring tax professionals directly out of college is a relatively new strategy for Koch, and they are clearly not doing an effective job with it. Their CPA perks are a joke compared to public accounting firms as well.
    4. Horrible work/life balance. The tax department likes to market itself as an alternative to the infamous Big 4 busy seasons, saying that work is more spread out throughout the year. The reality is that you will basically be in busy season year-round due to the constant entity restructuring transactions that take place.
    5. Much of their technology is severely outdated, although to their credit they do seem to be working on this.
    6. The atmosphere is extremely cultish. Be prepared to spend hours upon hours pretending that the points made in Charles Koch's books are profound and enlightening. This is minor, but it's definitely creepy.

    Advice to Management

    Take a step outside of the MBM kiddie-pool and look at what's actually going on around you. Many employees are noticeably unhappy, and I have no doubt that turnover would be even higher than it already is if everyone had as few ties to their job and to their city as I did. Expecting people (especially new college graduates) to do this high complexity work without training them is just unrealistic. If this review can dissuade even one aspiring tax professional from working here, then it will have served its purpose. Your time and intelligence can be put to better use elsewhere. Life is too short to be miserable.

    Koch Industries Response

    Jul 6, 2017 – KII Human Resources

    We appreciate hearing your perspective about our tax careers. Professionals in this field have a lot of options for where they can work, so one of our goals is to provide exposure to a wide variety... More


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Not a good place overall"

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

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers for the most part. Everyone is really dedicated to getting the sale and working together to get the job done

    Cons

    Mgmt has a lot of issues, emphasis on speed over quality if work life. Don't care how many hours you have to work as long as you get the job done. Works out in their favor since most office employees are salary and it doesn't matter how long you work. Was working 80-100 hrs a week and it still wasn't good enough

    Advice to Management

    treat your employees better

    Koch Industries Response

    Jun 19, 2017 – HR Recruiter

    Thank you for your feedback! It provides a good opportunity for organizational learning and growth. One of our core Principles is for employees to find fulfillment and meaning in their work by fully... More


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Would not recommend Koch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Technologies Technician II in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Client Technologies Technician II in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Newer technicians will be able to learn new technologies
    You are able to learn while working if you have the drive
    You will be able to travel occasionally for projects.

    Cons

    Too much change in a short period of time, I had 3 managers in less than 1 year.
    No diversity or cultural diversity (if you don't use MBM buzz words or Jargon, you suddenly become unprofessional)
    Not allowed to challenge the status-quo or you appear to be a renegade.
    Pay is considerably low when comparing to the market and despite the MBM incentives.
    No real incentives when accomplishing a project. As a technical resource on several projects I found out the project managers receive the incentive while the resource who is physically doing the work receives nothing.
    No advanced notice about being let go when restructuring occurs.
    Footprint in Atlanta is being reduced to nothing as they appear to be continually expanding roles in Wichita.
    If you aren't in Wichita, your work will go unnoticed
    MBM is inconsistent and has various interpretations to various leaders.

    Advice to Management

    If you are laying off an employee, please consider giving them a notice so they can have their affairs in order.

    Koch Industries Response

    May 26, 2017 – HR Recruiter

    Thank you for your feedback! When applied well, Market Based Management is a very powerful tool in creating value for society. An integral part of its framework are 10 Guiding Principles that help... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Not Quite There"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wichita, KS
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wichita, KS
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Livable wage that is in line with the local market. Mostly good people to work with. Insurance and coverage is fully comprehensive and extremely inexpensive for how much you get. Most of the company is very open to moving/promoting/growing employees. It's not uncommon to see role changes within 2 years of work. The CEO is exceptionally kind and generous. There's a reason why people who work here adore him.

    Cons

    Macro Scale: Pension is no longer available to new employees (at least on the entry level). Very slow to respond to new market factors in terms of benefits.
    Division: Management seemed to be somewhat detached from employees and issues. Turnover is very high for younger employees. Did not have a lot of opportunity for promotion, lateral movement, or growth. Corporate level implementation of policies and technology seemed to reach our group last and take the longest to implement, if it ever was.

    Advice to Management

    Macro Scale: Be open and willing to consider new ideas in terms of compensation and benefits. The internet has made it a global competition for gaining and retaining new employees.
    Division: Needs to adopt corporate practices and culture. MBM is an excellent frame work for how a company should work, but even some managers admitted (behind closed doors) to not really applying it. Benefits need to be more in line with KII, at a minimum.

    Koch Industries Response

    May 17, 2017 – KII Human Resources

    Thanks for your review. We strive to support all of our employees by providing competitive benefits and opportunities, but with an organization of our size, it is difficult to completely satisfy... More


  9. 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


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Anonymous Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Decent work-life balance, although you could work overtime every week and still not be caught up. Professional environment. If you have no education you can still be promoted.

    Cons

    Micromanagement with no clear direction to providing answers of doing it correctly. No real formal training, and they did not suggest any classes that could help in the role.

    Advice to Management

    Management is very harsh with feedback. If they provide a direction in a hopeful positive manner it would be more successful on the morale. Do recognize good-there is a correlation with better performance with lifting people up than making them feel singled out.

    Koch Industries Response

    Apr 11, 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Thank you for your feedback. Our culture embraces constructive challenge and a sense of urgency so that everyone can make a meaningful contribution. We are glad these are aspects you find... More


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