IBM Reviews

Updated July 6, 2015
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
4,625 Ratings

Pros
  • You can work from home or office (when you are in town) (in 1347 reviews)

  • Depending on projects - excellent work-life balance (in 1315 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is basically non existent (in 423 reviews)

  • Senior management has lost it's sense of what the corporate mission is (in 214 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

14,219 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (200)

    Advisory Engineer in STG, IBM

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

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 8 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    Neutral Outlook

    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 Management

    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.


  2. Helpful (29)

    Great place to work if you have the right manager

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

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are boundless opportunities and it is one of few companies where the sky might be the limit.
    There is a real commitment to work life balance and the company provides opportunities for volunteering.

    Cons

    This is one place where one person holds their career in your hands. If the manager does not like you, your career is pretty much over.
    There is a constant fear of being RA'd (IBM's term for laid off).
    The relative contribution metric pretty much assures that you will in fact not share your accomplishments with the team. Instead of making the slice of cheese larger, an increasing amount of people compete for a smaller slice of cheese while the executive ranks get the big bonuses.

    Advice to Management

    They really need to do away from the relative contribution model.
    STOP bleeding mid career talent in favor of college kids!
    Today's millenials are taking jobs and training and then leaving in two years because they are not afforded any oppotunities. The middle management needs a vigorious shakedown.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Great Innovation Culture...But In Trouble

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Essex, VT
    Current Employee - Engineer in Essex, VT

    I have been working at IBM

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are no smarter people than IBMers.
    The diversity is real and most appreciated
    Coworkers are awesome...IBMers are special people
    Concern for the community is great...lots of outreach opportunities

    Cons

    IBM is in trouble at the moment. It needs to learn how to act a lot faster, and has tons of catch-up work to do to get to the level of a Google or Apple in speed of execution and delivering innovation to the marketplace. This could be an opportunity for people looking for that challenge.

    There are a lot of well paid people in IBM that don't really understand how the work is done. This slows down the delivery of new innovation and make setting clear realistic goals difficult. Hoping leaders realize Agile applies to them first, but I'm not seeing much sign of this beyond a few videos.

    Advice to Management

    I like the focus on Agile, but you need to follow the old saying....you can't think you're way to a new way of acting, you need to act your way to a new way of thinking. For Agile to be successful, top management needs to change the way they work. Daily cycles, and doing to where the work is done instead of asking it to come to you (which is what you do when you schedule meetings in your conference room...try going to the daily scrum meetings instead...you'll learn a lot more and feel like you're part of the team.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    In my experience...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Channel Sales in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Channel Sales in Seattle, WA

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Worked remote though easy to build long term relationships with my core teams. Benefits at that time were tremendous.
    i enjoyed my career and education with ibm

    Cons

    Antiquated processes for a high tech company


  6. Partner Program Manager

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

    I worked at IBM (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Overall, great company, lots of external networking, room to move and grow.

    Cons

    Management change constant, many times incompetent managers.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to original values that made IBM great: Respect for the individual: THINK


  7. Helpful (1)

    Excellent Employeer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Boulder, CO

    I have been working at IBM (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    IBM provides excellent opportunities for learning and growth in some very interesting cutting edge area's. The opportunities to pivot from the path you are on to a whole new area provides a dynamic place to work.

    Cons

    To the delight of some, like me, IBM is restlessly reinventing itself to serve our customers better, so if you don't like change, this isn't a good fit for you.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at IBM

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great environment to work. There are constant challenges coming forth that give you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and abilities.

    Cons

    Very limited room to grow. Evaluation method is archaic and does not really represent what you have done.

    Advice to Management

    You should allow young people the opportunity to show their potential, even if you have "seasoned" personnel that is "next in line".


  9. Helpful (3)

    BIg Dinosaur

    Current Employee - Portfolio Marketing Manager in Armonk, NY
    Current Employee - Portfolio Marketing Manager in Armonk, NY

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Learning, Many Resources, Sophisticated Process, Smart People

    Cons

    Declining Business Revenue, Tighter Management, Collapsing Moral, Restructuring

    Advice to Management

    Many people has to quit due to keep EPS. They were good people, and mgmt will meet they lost great resources.


  10. Helpful (2)

    No longer the same ideals or values

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

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Innovative people and excellent ability to scale up successful endeavors to global proportions. Reasonable pay, and good benefits.

    Cons

    Executive Leadership has lost its way. The folks selected to serve at the most senior levels behave like tyrants, are not likeable and in some cases aren't trustworthy. That means the people they lead don't give their all and the company is suffering as a result. It's a big difference from where the company was 10 years ago.

    Advice to Management

    Replace the bullies in the top ranks and put back the true leaders.


  11. IBM

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

    I have been working at IBM full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great working environment and life/work balance

    Cons

    No easy access to managers.

    Advice to Management

    .



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