IBM Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
11,618 Reviews
3.1
11,618 Reviews
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3,579 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Most managers are pretty flexible if you want to work from home a couple days a week (in 1228 reviews)

  • There are no unrealistic expectations causing work-life balance to be messed up (in 1189 reviews)


Cons
  • Though the company espouses work life balance there is no getting away from work (in 373 reviews)

  • Senior Management thinks that too many metrics are replacement for good management (in 202 reviews)

More Highlights

2,152 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Reached a peak of job satisfaction 5-7 years ago, downhill since then

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Architect  in  Houston, TX
    Current Employee - IT Architect in Houston, TX

    I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Work from home arrangements, Name recognition, dealing with a global team... you will meet everyone from everywhere, but only if you travel on business. Benefits are still good, compared to other places, but being reduced each year.

    Cons

    IBM has a huge work from home culture, however I wouldn't necessarily call it work-life balance, as you are always expected to drop what you are doing 24/7 for conference calls. Your manager may be in another country and from a culture which is not similar to your own... but you will change managers every year and the only thing the new manager will know about you is what your previous manager tells them in the turn-over meeting. I probably had 8 managers in the last decade while staying in the same job role. I only ever met 2 of them in person.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not really worth the time, the band 9 and 10 managers have no power to influence or change anything, and the people above them do not listen to anything from "the ranks"

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Could have been better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Analyst  in  Greenville, SC
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Greenville, SC

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits, flexible as fsr as vacation and sick time. Decent pay.

    Cons

    The division I worked in was more like a sweat shop. Call center..need I say more. If a call center is your cup of tea then you'll do fine if not, its like living in hell! Not representative of the real IBM.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to your employees

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    No value of employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at IBM full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It is IBM and an old and respected name.

    Cons

    Work life balance are terrible, people with no experience and who are just good at interviewing get in the door. No chance for advancement, nor positions of interest to move into.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the old school IBM and adopt something more modern.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Boston Area IBM Software Group

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I am a twelve year veteran of IBM who came to the company via an acquisition. I worked in the Boston area exclusively with occasional trips to New York and offices that were in Dublin. I was part of the company's software group and spent time as people manager and individual contributor.

     IBM offered a competitive salary initially and a very robust benefits package to employees. They also offered many opportunities for skills enhancement through various education offerings both in terms of internally offered courses or reimbursement. Movement within the company to new opportunities was another attractive feature, but not one that I personally used in my time there. Telecommuting was an option for many and I was able to take advantage of this policy 2 days per week which helped ease the sting of my 90 mile daily round trip commute.

    The company is mature, has many established systems, and a specific way of doing things. People used to working in an environment with a very defined set of responsibilities and processes would do well.

    Cons

    IBM desires a high performance culture and purports to pay for that performance. While one can do well initially on base salary, performance is by no means a guarantee of reward. A key factor in leaving the company was lack of reward (of any sort) despite very good to excellent performance reviews (as experienced personally and also experienced by my peers). At my time of employment stock awards were suspended as a means of rewarding our best employees leaving managers with little to work with other than a shrinking bonus pool to offer top employees. Often the result would be essentially telling the employee that despite the business unit doing well their reward for performance would simply be continued employment (this was something experienced prior to the recession).

    Financial pressures on IBM due to the cost of health care also had an effect on the total compensation package. With each year available healthcare plans changed resulting in often having to switch doctors, higher deductibles and less coverage. While the overall coverage offered was still generally better than many other companies, it became a challenge to manage the yearly changes required of moving to a new health care provider's network (transfer of records, finding new doctors in my area, ensuring I had the right coverage for my family, etc...). More than once I had to battle the company bureaucracy to pay for federally mandated coverage.

    Work-life balance became a work-life blend. While policies like telecommuting were in place at the end of my tenure at IBM, executives were actively redefining what work-life meant at IBM. The end result was more of a blending of work and life rather than maintaining any separation. The option to telecommute became more restrictive with the building of a new campus and an expectation of being connected to work, even when on paid time off, became the norm.

    As a mature and large company IBM is process driven to a fault. Innovation and creativity are stifled leading IBM to often fail in recognizing a business opportunity or industry trend (need an example? then consider their delayed entry to cloud computing).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The conflict between claiming to have pro work-life balance policies and what was actually happening ultimately led to my decision to leave. The lack of any award system for high performers was also discouraging especially in quarters where the company and business unit did well. Executive face time with employees is insufficient. I can honestly say that my last two general managers are unmemorable and I can not even recall their names. The only thing I can remember is that they wanted their offices remodeled to reflect their status.

    If asked about a career at IBM I would say it's good for a 5-7 year run. After that you are better off taking your experience elsewhere.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    past its prime

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Exec  in  Fishkill, NY
    Current Employee - Exec in Fishkill, NY

    I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    great people, great ideal values

    Cons

    bureaucracy, way to slow, does not value innovation anymore

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    do away with 2015 roadmap

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Used to be great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IBM for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Great colleagues, for the most part
    Great brand and history of innovation
    Flexible work schedule

    Cons

    Layoffs are constant. Everyone is constantly concerned about job security. Most people are afraid and stressed. Many people have one foot out the door and are evaluating other opportunities. This does not lead to innovation or effective work product.

    You cannot move within IBM... even laterally. It was always difficult, but it has become nearly impossible. This is especially true across divisions. Everything is currently frozen. Transfers are blocked.

    Salary is generally below market rate. You may start at market rate, but salaries rarely go up.

    Financial model and EPS goals are preventing sufficient investment in future innovations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    IBM used to be a great place to work in which people were pleased to go the extra mile. Restore employee confidence. Respect the individual. How your employees feel will eventually be how your customers feel... how your customers feel will eventually be how your investors feel.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    IBM still thinks it's name means something more than it really does

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Security Architect  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Security Architect in Chicago, IL

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Salary was good.
    -You pretty much work entirely from home or a clients site.

    Cons

    - Turn over is a very big problem, at least in the business unit I worked in.
    - In 2 years went through 6 direct managers and really only talked to them once a month, maybe. You are really left on your own to manage most aspects of your job.
    - As an employee, getting support for IBMs own products is very difficult. I found it easier to have the clients ask IBM support for help on issues than trying to go through the IBM channels.
    - No training, you are expected to learn everything on the job.
    - As a consultant, there is no real career growth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Not innovating within the software divisions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Director  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Program Director in San Jose, CA

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work life balance was manageable

    Cons

    Job was highly political. There was more work internally selling than actually executing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire some lawyers and eliminate a layer or two of management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Learn a lot, work a lot, expect low compensation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Security Solutions Customer Support  in  Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Security Solutions Customer Support in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at IBM full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great place to learn new technologies, company invests a lot in training employees appropriately

    Cons

    No room to grow, no career opportunities and advancement, they pitch that after one year you can move on to other roles within the company, but the opportunities are not there, and usually movements are lateral with no pay increase.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Big Blue, It No Like You

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant  in  Rochester, MN
    Former Employee - Consultant in Rochester, MN

    I worked at IBM as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Work-life balance, friendly co-workers, flexible schedule, having a hard time reaching the 20 word minimum so...

    Cons

    No upward mobility, lack of compensation, monotonous work environment, unethical labor practices, a surfeit of management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ya'll need Jesus

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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