IBM Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
11,580 Reviews
3.1
11,580 Reviews
Rating Trends

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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3,561 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

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Teaming culture with integrity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Executive  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at IBM

    Pros

    IBM has a culture of collaboration, integrity, and performance. Individuals are given contribution targets and are expected to achieve them, but working with others is a prerequisite for success. The company often manages by matrix, meaning that you can have objectives from different managers with different objectives; e.g., manage costs and grow revenue. This tension makes for better overall performance, in my opinion. I have worked at firms that belittle their clients when they're off-site and IBM doesn't tend to be that way.

    Cons

    You can get lost in the matrix if your manager isn't covering for you. It's a big company and you need to have some political savvy as well as the ability to "cold call" within the organization to find the help you require.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay the course

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 11 people found this helpful  

    Advisory Engineer in STG, IBM

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advisory Engineer  in  Hopewell Junction, NY
    Current Employee - Advisory Engineer in Hopewell Junction, NY

    I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Disclaimer: A lot of what I'm writing below of course depends on the work area and management chain. But I found this to be fairly pervasive policies in IBM in my 9+ years with the company.
    1. IBM's policies and management are very flexible when it comes to working remotely or accommodating various life situations (sick days, doctor visits, etc.). Management is encouraged to measure an employee by their work and impact, and not by hours spent at their office.
    2. Great colleagues! Though unfortunately, many have been leaving due to the instability of IBM's HW development business.
    3. At least in my area, there's a high level of flexibility on which projects should I undertake based on my and my management assessment of business impact.

    Cons

    1. Unfortunately, IBM still uses the "normal distribution" rating system, where at the end of the year each employee is ranked as a top contributor (5%), above average contributor (15%), average contributor (~75%), and bottom contributor (5%). This curve is difficult to apply in the R&D world, where you may have many members of the team working long and hard hours, and end up being "average contributors" at the end of the year, because there just isn't room for all to be top contributors.

    2. The above may not be so disturbing, if only IBM didn't practically cancelled all raises, performance bonuses and incentive for the non top-performers. I've had a consistent "above average" rating in the last 4-5 years, and my raise and performance bonus were ridiculous mere 1.5-2% of my salary. Were I rated "average contributor" I would have gotten NOTHING. So you can imagine that people can go year after year without any raise to their salary.

    From talking to manager friend, this is IBM's way to eliminate the non-top-performers without having to fire them, as part of its direction of reducing US manpower.

    3. Hiring freeze in many areas - again, as part of IBM's attempt to reduce its workforce across North America and Europe we see many jobs move to the India and Far East markets. This is of course upsetting to see local teams shrink and disappear, especially when many great local IBM colleagues and experts begin to drop out. From my experience thus far working with India SW teams - they are still very far away from the standards I would have expected from US and Europe based teams.

    4. Poor top down communication about company's and divisions' future. Employees learn from rumors and news websites what's about to come...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management must keep in mind that it today's world, which is saturated with brilliant companies that hire top talent, IBM must remain competitive to attract great talent and hold on to it. In the meanwhile, we're seeing the opposite trend, where great people leave IBM for other companies, be it because of a more competitive package, dropping morale and many other reasons.

    Neutral Outlook
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Market Segment Manager  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Market Segment Manager in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Flexibility and work/life balance are great. I work from home so save time commuting each day. Benefits and vacation are also good. 3-weeks of vacation as a newbie.

    Cons

    everything moves slowly, constant shifting of roles within company makes it difficult to keep things moving at times. Huge company so often inefficient.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Pretty good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advisory Software Engineer  in  Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

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

    Pros

    Flexible work hours. Appraised by results, not by how many hours worked. Excellent people - intelligent, well-motivated. Excellent opportunity for customer interaction.

    Cons

    Trying to do too much with too little. Understaffed. Often trying to catch up with technology.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in R&D. Do more to keep the top talent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Big Blue is Hip and exciting

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Digital Marketing Professional  in  Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Senior Digital Marketing Professional in Atlanta, GA

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

    Pros

    In 14 years I have had the ability to design a new career twist every year. I keep on the cutting edge and have the opportunity to work in a socially collaborative global organization. I brought in big data and analytics skills, I got to apply them to small and very large scale projects. When digital came along I was an early adopter and evangelist. Every new turn brings something new and challenging. We are not the old Big Blue, we are enthusiastic about changing the world in new ways, and I have been delighted to be a part of it. Where else would I work in a culture like this!

    Cons

    They are constantly reducing the workforce in North America and outsourcing to China, India, Romania and Latin America. While this brings a global perspective it make you feel uneasy. Great people have left because of the behaviors of building a globalized workforce.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We know our values, we work collaboratively. In a company that is always changing and always growing, it would be nice to know when you are safe from being cut. Even high respect and expertise won't save you. Build methods of in person team building below the senior executive level, and this workforce can innovate!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Demanding and Rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Service Delivery Manager  in  Southbury, CT
    Former Employee - Service Delivery Manager in Southbury, CT

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

    Pros

    Education opportunities and not just classroom.
    Makes good use of skills
    Challenging customer environment
    Good team environment

    Cons

    Long hours.
    Lack of unified mission across delivery centers.
    Process to excess.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Push decision making closer to the customer and don't expect perfection. If mistakes are made, don't take the decisions back to a higher level of management. This would improve customer satisfaction significantly.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Gbs Fss
    Former Employee - Gbs Fss

    I worked at IBM as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    good experience, with friendly co workers. The internship had a lot of first hand experience which helped a lot in understanding what IBM expects from you.

    Cons

    unfortunately, the internship was unpaid, at the last minute as IBM had to cut their cots down. However, the experience was good enough to not care that much.

  9.  

    Sr Information Security manager operating globally to solve all security problems around utilities and gaming.

    Current Employee - Senior Security Architect  in  Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Senior Security Architect in Las Vegas, NV

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

    Pros

    It is the tip of the spear for consulting.

    Cons

    You travel 100% of the time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The administrative portion takes time away from clients.

  10.  

    IBM and the other old guard companies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Design Verification Engineer  in  Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Design Verification Engineer in Oakland, CA

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    They have been in business for a very long time, have re-invented themselves repeatedly in order to stay relevant, and they are relevant still. They are also very DEEP and forward thinking in terms of technology, still have one of the cutting edge semiconductor research capabilities along with software as well. No they aren't always as sexy as the latest valley social media knockoff startup but are still, in my mind, as an engineer, pretty solid

    Cons

    They are a LARGE company, and you do have to spend some time figuring out how to navigate within the organization. Due to their size they can sometimes be. I worry a bit because like many other tech companies, they undervalue doing development domestically at times and are under pressure to streamline in areas where I think in the long term could be leaders

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company but a slow moving ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative, Business Analytics  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative, Business Analytics in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Competitive pay
    -Steady earnings
    -Good/loyal client base

    Cons

    -Hard to get promoted
    -Get lost in the shuffle
    -Change is ALWAYS

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being such micromanagers to the inside sales teams

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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