Kohler Reviews | Glassdoor

Kohler Reviews

Updated December 15, 2017
431 reviews

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3.3
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David Kohler
131 Ratings

431 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work-life balance with ability for flexible work arrangements (in 17 reviews)

  • variety, good pay, lots of job choices (in 21 reviews)

Cons
  • The company runs fairly lean in areas which can swing the work-life balance a bit times (in 15 reviews)

  • Little influence unless you are in upper management (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Stay away from this mad house"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose in Kohler, WI
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    None whatsoever! Work here if you like getting abused.

    Cons

    1. Utter disregard and disrespect for employees.
    2. Misleading career prospects provided
    3. Kohler family believes employees are dispensable commodities
    4. Located in a small town of 2000 residents

    Advice to Management

    Stop being psychopathic and inconsidered!


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Don't let Kohler's pretty pictures fool you."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management in Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Management in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you are out of options and are stuck in the Sheboygan area, then work at Kohler. Benefits are good thanks to the union, including week off from Xmas through New Years plus vacation weeks. People take advantage of tuition reimbursement to finish degrees. Marquette offers an MBA program at Kohler. Many people work at Kohler for decades, so loyalty is high and expected. When you join, you are taken in and treated like family. People are friendly and welcoming.

    Cons

    Pay lags behind Milwaukee. Off the chart expectations with no support (financial, people, time, outside resources) makes it nearly impossible to earn high marks at review time. Work continued to pile up with no end in sight. Kohler employs an absurd review program that is cumbersome and nearly impossible to score well on. Management is lackluster and oddly closed-minded to new ideas. Company is run by a family that thinks it is royalty.

    Advice to Management

    Kohler is still run like an old fashioned factory town with the Kohler family as the great benefactors to the working minions. Senior management would do well to stop polishing the turn-back-the-clock work experience and start retooling Kohler for the 21st century workforce. Visiting Kohler to play is quaint; working in Kohler has to offer more.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Beware Of the Modern day slave labor and sweatshop of Kohler."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mold Operator in Huntsville, AL
    Current Employee - Mold Operator in Huntsville, AL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The only good thing about working for kohler Is the pay rate Is fairly good. And for me The locastion Is great, I live about 4 miles from work.

    Cons

    There are so many downsides to this company that theres not enough room to type all. The heat In this place Is almost unbearable, Limited cold air comes out vents but you have to be standing right under the vent to get cool. They work people like slaves, I would compare It to a modern day sweatshop. Management treats us like dirt, The work Is hard, sometimes lifting and making Two 61 pound charges every 2 minutes throwing them In a hot press and also making cardboared. The workpace Is Insane!.

    Advice to Management

    Improve Quality, Listen to and treat employees with praise and respect. Slow down the work load, Make sure all employees are cooled off with extra fans and airconditioned buildings. Improve benifits package, as far as 401K and retirement.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Beware. Kohler recruits talent but loses most of it due to cultural issues in the work environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Say in Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Say in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Kohler offers fairly good stability of employment and has been in business a long time in the area.

    Cons

    The politics are higher than what I have seen with public companys and decisions are very centralized through a tightly controlled proposal process. Unless you are a yes man or yes woman, you will likely be dissatisfied with employment at Kohler.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees and leaders and most of all-follow the ethics policy. The ethics policy says no one is exempt from practicing the principles. These, unfortunately are only words and are not backed up by everyday actions.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Should have listened to the reviews below"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Hospitality Manager in Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Hospitality Manager in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Cost of living is very low in Sheboygan/Kohler region
    Kohler Village is a beautiful town full of nice people and amenities

    Cons

    Pay is low as Kohler strives to recruit the best and "pay at the median"
    Review process is abitrary and unevenly applied throughout the company
    All decisions are made at the very highest level and in a vacuum
    Entrenched, "this is how we have always done it" culture
    Kohler tries to run a luxury hotel using manufacturing processes
    Consistently confuses the concepts of management versus leadership

    Advice to Management

    Having stayed in a hotel does not make you an expert at running hotels. If you schedule a meeting "on call" for 4 PM and make ten executives wait hours for you to show up, it is a huge waste of resources. If you want to run a luxury hotel business, let the leaders run it as a hotel business and not a manufacturing plant. Having accounting and human resources personel who have never worked in hospitality is a huge drag on operational manager's morale. Having associates at a five diamond hotel on state medicare, food stamps, and WIC because of the low pay and benefits is embarassing.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "If you revel in frustration, poor leadership and 1950 management styles - this is the place for you."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager - Communications in Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Manager - Communications in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Global businesses, Diverse operations, midwest, recognized name, many people trying to do the right thing (but they get frustrated after 5 years or less and leave.)

    Cons

    Micro management, out-of-touch product development due to family controlled process, extremely poor (or non-existant) leadership, favoritism, long hours, very low pay, located in a rural area, not diverse (a lot of white men!), prefer status-quo despite telling people that being an entrepeneur is valid. And, the line about being "candid" that they give you is also not true. Leadership is based on emotions and irrational behavior instead of sound business acumen.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your talented people while you still have some left. And, I don't mean the Directors and VPs that have surrounded you for 10+ years. Most of those are only there to give you what you want to hear. You need to talk to the managers and listen, really listen, to what they have to say. Be open to their suggestions no matter how hard they are to digest and believe.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Self-absorbed egotistical control freaks welcome."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone is treated poorly, so you are all in the same sinking boat.

    Cons

    Management politics, lying, mixed priorities, indecision, micro management, personal vendettas...

    Advice to Management

    get rid of the fear - inspire by inspiration, not intimidation

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Beware - Not all It's cracked up to be at the Kohler Company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to start, make connections, and gain some experience. They have plenty of co-op positions and internships for college students.

    Cons

    You truly are a number - was told that. Way too many horrible experiences I've heard others have gone through working there. Will do whatever it takes to pull one over on you if it means the compay will benefit.

    Advice to Management

    Learn about emotional intelligence, please. What is NOT realized yet, and I am not sure it ever will be now that Mr. Herbert V. Kohler's son, David, has taken the reigns, is that Kohler would have a supportive, strong group of employees who truly would be willing to give a little for the company to succeed if they were treated better. Emotional intelligence is the key. Oh, and there was no reason for the terms Kohler Co. put forth this past contract negotiations. Recession? Yes. But the salary averages David Kohler compared Kohler to was missing some important information, that's for sure.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Being a Sales Associate at Baker Knapp & Tubbs (A Kohler Company) is not worth your time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    My experience with Baker has been completely demoralizing. This company hires regional managers who are completely not qualified for the job. Showroom managers are a collection of clowns with a few exceptions. Sales associates are consistently bullied and lied to by management and hr, which creates an environment of hostility and backstabbing. Stay away!

    Cons

    Decent dental and medical. The work hours are ok.

    Advice to Management

    A complete overhaul is necessary at Baker.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Conservative, narrow, uncreative culture defined largely by fear - and it all starts with the Chairman."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kohler, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kohler, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great consumer brand identity. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate the same way when you work there.

    Cons

    If you work in a creative field (i.e. design, advertising, etc.) and you are considering working at Kohler, run in the other direction. I was wooed by the brand but discovered the hard way that Kohler is all about what is best for the Kohlers, not the associate. They boast about how much they put back into the company, but little of that goes to associate development or developing a discernible culture. I can't believe how void of culture this place is, and if you are in a role that requires you to work with the Chairman, you will quickly learn just how toxic myopia, arrogance, micromanagement and lack of trust can be and the impact they have on the morale of the employee.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to support the businesses more responsibly - both fiscally and strategically. And it is time for HVK to step down. HIs finger has long been off the pulse.


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