Kin + Carta Americas Reviews

Updated Sep 21, 2020

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4.1
79%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
Kin + Carta Americas CEO Kelly Manthey
Kelly Manthey
58 Ratings
Pros
  • "Carta for over 2 years (through the rebranding from Solstice) and I can say it's the best job that I've had(in 99 reviews)

  • "Training budget is generous, however my training request for Spring certification was denied for no good reason(in 43 reviews)

Cons
  • "Growing pains have persisted since the firm’s acquisition with only minor adjustments(in 25 reviews)

  • "Aside from that, pay & benefits are below industry standards while work life balance is pure fiction(in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Strong foundation of empathy will enable future growth"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Director in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Creative in finding ways to protect employees, establish career paths, and partner with clients

    Cons

    Experiencing a bit of change fatigue at the moment, which can have a negative impact on employee experience if not managed well

    Continue reading

    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    Thank you for your feedback. The operating model change is a big step forward in our maturity as a company. Many are involved throughout the business to help with change management but with any change, there will be a period of adjustment. We'll keep listening and supporting our Kin through our journey.

  2. "Collaborative, caring, fun culture and exponential growth opportunities"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Strategist in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    At Kin and Carta, work has never been this fun, exploratory, full of wonderful surprises. Here, we have each others' backs. I may not be the smartest on the team, the most experienced, or the best at building relationships. But we complement and watch out for each other and make sure we present the best work for our clients. I feel safe and cared for. Our company finds every opportunity to help us connect - cooking lessons are my favorite. Others like beer tasting, jam sessions, crafting. My professional network nearly doubled. Our executives provide office hours that anyone can sign up and share ideas and thoughts. You don't need anyone's approval to talk to them. If you look to transition to something else, there are innovation lab projects that help you learn and get some hands-on experiences. Last but not the least, the engineers and UX designers are the BEST I have ever worked with. For experienced employees, you will find massive opportunities to acquire leadership and management skills that you wouldn't be able to get at more structured companies.

    Cons

    For out of college or less experienced employees, it could be overwhelming to figure out what the next step should be. However, there are always mentors and tenured employees who are eager to lend you a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. It's up to you to make it happen!


  3. COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "More than just a place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people. the people, the people - some of the nicest and most sincere people, I have ever worked with. At first it was a bit strange, as I was not used of people being so nice and genuine all the time. The company politics are minimal as a result. Casual work environment - makes work seem like an extension of your home life. Culture - the company takes it's core values very serious and it shows. They don't just talk about things but act on what they say. This is very relevant when it comes to community and diversity initiatives. COVID - the company did a great job regards handling the COVID crisis and how it was communicated to employees. There was a lot of transparency into how the crisis was impacting the company and what it would mean for employees.

    Cons

    Can we a little chaotic at times, as there is a lot going on all at once!

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  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great organization, but lost a creative drive"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Really phenomenal culture and inclusion. There are lots of ways to get involved and grow. It’s a great company to develop skills with.

    Cons

    While it’s a great company to develop skills with, they lost a sense of creative product/strategic work.

    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    I agree that the culture of inclusion is special and helps drive personal growth. I am sorry you didn't have a better experience with finding challenging and creative/strategic projects. I believe our Connective proposition will continue to unlock new opportunities for our Kin to stretch and grow AND continue to keep us positioned as the strategic digital transformation partner no matter where our clients are on that journey.

  5. "This place changed my life"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President of Sales in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    I joined the firm as a Junior Business Analyst at one of our most conservative client sites. Today, I lead our new business efforts from the central region of K + C Americas. When I think about the reasons why I stay with the firm 8 years later, the following themes come to mind: Life-Long Friends - I can honestly say that the friends I've made at the firm are some of the best in my life. I've leaned on them in tough personal circumstances and had the most fun on the job that I can remember. New Experiences - I've had the chance to travel internationally. First to present to a client's board member in Germany. Then, for an offsite with peers in the UK. Up next on my list is to hopefully visit our colleagues in Argentina. I've also had many 'firsts' when it comes to leading a project, pitching for new business, and managing employees which have all helped me grow. Dedicated Mentors - I've been fortunate enough to have invested mentors that challenged me and helped me make steady progressions throughout my career. This has not been without stress or struggle but has made me a better, without a doubt. World Class Talent - The people that work at K + C have to be some of the most innovative, intelligent group of people in the industry. I've certainly learned more from the collaboration with my colleagues than ever in my life. Opportunity & Growth - I joined the firm at a time we had about 40 employees, we're now at 1,600 globally. Every evolution of our growth has provided new opportunities and stretched us from our comfort zone to constantly challenge.

    Cons

    For me, the 'Cons' stem from two things. (1) Being a Services Business - I think a big challenge in the tech industry is around product vs. services and the pros/cons that can come from this. As a services business, we're a client dependent business, so we have to make certain decisions to make our clients happy or fill a project need, but may not be the most ideal circumstance for our consultants. With that being said, I think we are making progress towards continuing to find the most innovative project work and negotiating arrangements that our employees prefer. (2) Being a publically traded company - as a publically traded firm, our performance is monitored month to month and quarter to quarter. So it can cause us to think in the short term and hamstring decisions that you may make differently as a private firm. At the same time, being a public firm also provides access to investments that can help our growth efforts.

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    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to share the impact being part of our organization has had on your life. I look forward to you having many more life changing experiences along our journey. We are never done and I take your advice to heart on where to stay focused.

  6. Helpful (2)

    "Used to be a happy solstie, now just a sad kin"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kin + Carta Americas full-time

    Pros

    -The people you work with are amazing. -This is a great place to start to your career. -There are so many learning opportunities (Ex. training budget, mentorship program & internal lunch and learns, etc.)

    Cons

    -The culture is not what it used to be. Once you’ve taken off the culture blinders, it’s just business. You’re just a number, and you don’t actually matter. -They will burn you out until you’ve reached rock bottom (multiple times) -Even when you escalate a problem to middle/upper management, it never feels like anyone is actively trying to help you. If they are trying to help you, it’ll take months (maybe even years) -Promotions are reserved for people who speak up, not for people who work hard

    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    Thank you for sharing your feedback. And thank you for spending 10 yrs with us. You undoubtedly made a mark on the business and played a meaningful role in creating the foundation we are growing from today. I have to agree that the people and the opportunities within Kin + Carta are amazing. I’ve always taken the promise of “Kin” (or family) to heart so I’m sorry to hear your recent experience didn't live up to that. I have learned the hard truth over our journey from start-up to global consultancy that sometimes certain individuals grow faster than the opportunities the business has to provide them with in the exact moment they are ready. As we manage through the transition from processes and practices that no longer serve or scale for a business our size that journey can be uncomfortable and carry some uncertainty. We take feedback from employees & former employees seriously, that's why I personally spend time on these reviews, and it’s what develops the internal initiatives the firm focuses on. At the end of the day, yes, we are a business and need to manage it responsibly above all else. Without a well-managed business there is no culture. I’m proud of the journey we’re continuously on in growing as a best place to work. We’re learning and adapting to the needs of our people, while balancing that with the needs of our business and our clients. Thank you for the time you had with us and I wish you the best in your new role.

  7. "Great Place to Work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I've been at Kin+Carta for over 2 years (through the rebranding from Solstice) and I can say it's the best job that I've had. All of the people are super nice and great to work with. They really take the "no-a**hole" policy to heart. You can talk to the executive team about any and everything. They're transparent about the goings-on in the business and they will answer the hard questions to make things clear even if it is ultimately a really tough conversation. They are always looking at the culture and are constantly thinking of ways for the employees to feel like they're "coming home" every day.

    Cons

    The flat organization has it's tough roads. I get not being hierarchical to the point where decisions/plans/solutions only come from the top but with not having some sort to defined structure people start to feel left behind or unsure of where they fit in the grand scheme of things and who to go to for what.

    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    Thank you for sharing. I am glad it feels like 'home', we work hard at keeping that feeling and no doubt you are doing great things to make it feel like 'home' for others. On the flat structure - I agree, it's time to evolve. And that's what we are doing. As we grow we have created organizational structure in each of geographic locations so that people understand where they fit, what their goals are, who is there for them to help steer their career and also day to day concerns. We aren't a culture of 'managers' per se but there is some comfort in knowing 'who do I report to' and 'where do I belong'? Our belief in servant leadership and giving freedom within a frame are the core tenets of our operating model that, I believe, will keep our culture and keep people growing without fearing the negative connotations that can often come with a 'hierarchy' or 'org chart'. When you are 50 people it's a bit easier to keep it more fluid, but as we approach 800+ in the Americas it's clear every needs to know what the boxes on the org chart look like. Keep challenging us and providing your input as we evolve.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "No longer a great place to work"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Training Budget Some great people Nice office

    Cons

    - Promotions are not based on your work/merit, but based on how good of friends you can become with a manager. - Culture is no longer what once made this company special. It's quite clear that the only intention of the company is to turn a profit, the destruction of people's lives that is left in that wake doesn't matter. - Management is not transparent. - Communication is slow and lethargic. - Management/C Suite has office hours, which seems like a Pro. But when you schedule 2 different meetings during the CEO's office hours, and then they sit through both of your meetings chatting with their assistant, it doesn't appear that they really have office hours. - Limited knowledge of pipeline of projects. Things are constantly changing, mainly because the organization doesn't know when or where their next project will come in. Which in turn, causes a ripple (see above)

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    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    I appreciate the time you took to share your perspective. Over the last year we’ve felt the pain points of our flat structure and are evolving our operating model. We’re currently rolling out changes that will better define leadership and accountabilities, change what performance management looks like, streamline communication, and allow for location-specific cultures to thrive across Kin + Carta. We’ve changed a lot over the past few years, and it’s been a good thing. Communicating the changes clearly, transparently and with a clear “why” is always our intention. I am sorry to hear about your experience at my personal office hours. My weekly time committed to this is one of my favorite parts of the job and I wish I could have shown up for you better. Things happen and schedules need to shift, it sounds like this could have been communicated & managed better. I wish you the best in your new role.

  9. "Great place to work!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kin + Carta Americas full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Culture, agility, engagement, work-life balance, and quite a few others!

    Cons

    None that I can really think of!

    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to share and for giving the things you love a shout.

  10. Helpful (1)

    "Lost What Once Made it Special"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kin + Carta Americas full-time

    Pros

    The people that work there are fun and great people to spend time around. Everyone is smart and driven to do great things.

    Cons

    I think K+C used to be something special, and a lot of people hang on to that idea. However, they are no longer the small tight-knit company they once were. Unfortunately when you scale, you lose the things that made it special. The company culture was one of the things that took a huge hit when they scaled. It is no longer what it once was. Since there isn't a large dedicated team to handle internal needs, there is an unspoken expectation that you put in your free time towards company initiatives. K+C also has many many HR issues they do not know how to solve. Since they are a "flat organization" (no mangers), there is no clear person to go to when you have issues. There is no clear path for growth or achieving your personal career goals. K+C has become basically become a staffing firm, putting consultants on projects where they are unhappy with no end in sight.

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    Kin + Carta Americas Response

    CEO

    I appreciate the time you took to provide your perspective and feedback. Culture is a never-ending journey, especially amidst the years of continual growth that we’ve seen. You’re right to mention that a lot of the ways we used to operate just don’t serve us anymore. As a people-first organization, employee feedback has continued to drive meaningful internal strategy and evolution. We’ve taken the restrictions of our historically flat structure to heart and have evolved our operating model to better serve employees. We’ll always be able to do better and we’ll never be done in providing support and opportunity to each employee. That’s why we’ve set up internal mechanisms to have these conversations that drive change. I wish you the best in the next step in your own journey. Thanks again for your time with us.

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