Suggestions for improvement
- Step out of the way and promote good people.
What I like about the company
kCura’s façade is alluring. It looks like a young, hip company. There are no cubicles, instead having large desks that roll around and adjustable to stand or sit. Their kool-aid is free La Croix drinks.
The circus is complete with occasional free breakfasts, fresh fruits every day, and a Pacman game. The ring master is an entertaining cheerleader CEO. The clowns are middle management. It’s the workers who get whipped. For claiming being avant-garde, the product is almost entirely Microsoft based, with few coding innovations.
The bottom line is that cosmetically a lot can be said for this place, however, that runs thin very quickly.
What I dislike about the company
kCura’s management deludes themselves into thinking they are great. And while they’re free to think that, they hurt good people in the process.
Andrew, the CEO, is charismatic and well-intended but he shows no interest in management below him. The result is equivalent to a day care center without supervision. Middle management, those really running the show, is more about empire building. In contrast to the aphorisms written on the walls, they contradict or ignore every one of their own core values.
* Feedback is bad. There is a Shoot The Messenger environment. If you don’t go along with the predictably poor decisions, many find short careers. Some literally get fired.
* They have opaque decision making processes, the most cited unpopular aspect to the company, that often results in contradictory policies.
* New ideas are bad. Rather than an open door policy, or even a suggestion box at the hallway’s end, they have a dog and pony show, making the employees literally beg. In an absolutely demeaning event (the annual Culture-a-thon) employees are made to beg for new ideas by preforming skits in front of a middle management board. Jesters entertaining their masters. And the radical ideas they’re pushing? Flex time, and summer hours (a 36 hour work week during summers). Yet, they still don’t have good work from home policy, and they pit employees against each other at promotion time.
One good example is the documentation department. It’s relegated to being side show. And for good reason, too. The documentation management is especially inept and inexperienced. At one point, a manager actually had to be told to stop playing with a fart machine after several employees complained. Their management thinks enforcing styles and superficial cosmetics is leadership. That being the maturity level, it’s no surprise that the documents are amateurish with little insight or innovation.
The resistance to new ideas propagates to here also. Management tends to fire any experienced employee showing initiative. Literally. The turnover rate is appalling. In the last two years four writers have come and gone. All of them over 40, all of them experienced. Instead, they keep hiring junior writers, ones who can’t or don’t stand up for their ideas, and those who the management can easily control.
But the problem isn’t the low level management, but that upper management allows it. Andrew claims to want a world class product but allows slipshod components. It’s clear he doesn’t want to recognize it or be told. While it’s true those are his decisions to make, it hurts good people. The frustrated ones leave, and the others get brow beaten and intimidated.
Do yourself a favor and skip this company.