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Committed employees are the bread and butter of any ongoing project

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Circuit Design Engineer in Rochester, MN
Current Employee - Circuit Design Engineer in Rochester, MN

I have been working at IBM

Recommends
Recommends

Pros

Job growth is pretty good, you good to work on the industry leading projects

Cons

Very so many layers of Managements

Advice to Management

Let the higher management know about the employer skills and abilities working under first line managers. Specially those contractors whose skill set are unique and very hard to match

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  1. Helpful (12)

    One former IBMer's view on being an IBMer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Former IBMer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Former IBMer in Austin, TX

    I worked at IBM

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    For a large company with over 330,000 employees, IBM does many things right as an employer. They pay competitively and have a solid benefits package. They have a great internal training program for things like management and project management. They delegate much of the human resources (HR) responsibilities to the first-line managers, so that key HR decisions are being made by those with the most knowledge about the employee instead of by HR representatives who couldn't pick the employee out of a line-up. They have a strong mentoring program (people who say they don't have a strong mentoring program probably weren't willing to put in the effort and time necessary to make those mentoring relationships fruitful). IBM is large enough that employees can have multiple careers without ever changing companies or having to rollover their 401k.

    Cons

    Anytime there is a large number of people, communications become harder. Project managers or engineers might think about the number of communication channels, which is n(n-1)/2 where n = number of stakeholders (Ref: PMBOK, 3rd ed.). For 330,000 employees, that means IBM has 54.4 billion communication channels. Obviously that is difficult to manage and work within. Recognizing that there is an inherent challenge in the liquidity of knowledge and information can help employees find ways to solve those problems, such as developing wikis for small teams. The other downside to having that many employees means that every time the company spends $3 on each employee, you just spent $1 million. Many employees don't understand this problem, and instead complain about only receiving free ice cream in the cafeteria after project milestone is reached when their cousin at the unprofitable, but well funded, start-up is getting free coffee and soda every day.

    Advice to Management

    Every IBMer operates to varying degrees baed on your position in one of three roles--doing, leading, and managing. For instance, a staff engineer will spend the majority of their time doing, and a small percentage leading or managing. Whereas, senior managers will spend almost all of their time leading, some managing, and almost none of their time doing (as it should be since they are the strategic leaders of the company). First-line managers have the toughest jobs in the company, however, since they are stretched the farthest in all three roles. Therefore, I would recommend that senior management look for ways to offload the "doing" role from first-line managers so that they can focus on leading and managing their teams. By doing so, first-line managers can spend more time developing employees, looking for ways to get the best out of each employee (do not read "most time out of each employee", instead read "best"), or recognizing when an employee would be a better fit in a different team, organization, or even company.

    Also, I would recommend that first-line and second-line managers cultivate a culture of allowing employees to try new ideas and new ways of working. I'm not saying that this isn't already happening or isn't being encouraged to some degree because it is, I just believe that managers need to do a better job at this. For instance, if employees have an idea to work better but it requires a website or computing power, as a manager don't say "that's not allowed by our IT department for security purposes" or "a new version of the w3 intranet wiki is being rolled out shortly" or my personal favorite (read: the one I rely despise) is "we've always done it this way." Instead look for ways to enable your employees to succeed. Remember, everyone at IBM was hired for a reason--someone saw that they had the knowledge and drive to be an IBMer, so take a chance and let the employees implement their best ideas, even the ones you as a manager think will fail (but use a little commonsense here). Oh and for all those IBMers who say "we've always done it this way", I would encourage you to go join the team designing the computing, tabulating, and recording equipment. Oh wait, what's that? You say that group doesn't exist anymore. My point exactly.


  2. Helpful (4)

    IBM: Great place to learn, bad place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Hardware Engineer in Poughkeepsie, NY
    Former Employee - Staff Hardware Engineer in Poughkeepsie, NY

    I worked at IBM

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to learn from others

    Cons

    Focus is given to those who only exist to contribute to IBM, without regards for any personal life. In other words while IBM touts "work/life balance" as being important, it actually encourages an "all work / no personal llfe" atmosphere. The moment a person realizes that they need to slow down and re-claim their personal life, IBM loses interest in that person and labels them as "making too much money...", hoping that the person will eventually get frustrated from a lack of forward financial progress, and simply quit. Alternatively, if the person doesn't quit, they get laid off.

    Advice to Management

    If you're going to not have a more even handed approach to dealing with all your employees, not just those dedicated to the "all work / no life" ethic, don't get upset when some of those "all-workers" look around, notice what is happening to their friends and colleagues, and decide they-themselves decide to quit while they still have their high energy levels…


There are newer employer reviews for IBM
There are newer employer reviews for IBM

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