IBM Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

IBM Chicago Reviews

Updated October 26, 2017
56 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

2.0
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
25 Ratings

56 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • You have to manage your work life balance or you'll end up doing the work of 2 or more people (in 936 reviews)

  • Long hours like everwhere elses (in 446 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Wasn't like it was"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people are great. The quality of the IBMer in general is top notch. For the most part solid honest people. Compensation is fair and reasonable. We are attempting exciting things like Watson and a cognitive platform.

    Cons

    They seem determined to eliminate the north american employee. It was not what it was once. It has lost its way. It continues to believe it can cut its way to profitability. Instead of looking at the tremendous talent as an asset it seems to consider every 'body' a liability that can be replaced with technology or just done 'without'

    Advice to Management

    Time to remember its our customers that keep the lights on. Continuing to reduce our workforce well ahead of what technology can do is a bad business model.


  2. "A once great company that has gone down the tubes..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chief Architect in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Chief Architect in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits with low premiums if only insuring self. The work culture is good if employees are willing to be located at one of the strategic work locations, but work/life balance and flexibility is starting to decrease from what it was 10 or 20 years ago.

    Cons

    The company has fostered a culture of employees constantly looking over their shoulders to see if they will be next on the current round of layoffs. Layoffs (or "Resource Actions" as IBM likes to so eloquently phrase it) occur two to three times a year for the past 8 years. The company's overall business strategy is unclear and constantly changing, and it is hard to pinpoint just what service or product receives clear priority in their strategy. Base pay increases (raises) from year to year are very low at 1% to 2% and bonuses (when an employee gets them) are usually no more than about 1% to 2%.

    Advice to Management

    Protect your employees and push back on the executive leadership to work towards a more solid, clear business strategy.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Service Availability Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Service Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good people. Some are lucky enough to leave on their own terms.

    Cons

    Very rare to get raises or promotions. Always cutting staff to the bone and offshoring jobs.

    Advice to Management

    You cannot cut your way to prosperity. Your employees can be your best asset if you take care of them.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Project Manager (IBM Global Services)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Contractor - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Talented Teams, Remote position flexibility

    Cons

    IBM treats contractors -- and from what I understand, perm employees as well -- as a liability. When IBM needs to improve numbers, they trim the head count; they seem to be reactive to market conditions (example: a recent stock sell-off by a prominent shareholder resulted in moving remote workers to offices and a cut in head count.) I worked for IBM for 7 years-- finally: enough is enough.

    Advice to Management

    Retain your workers (employees and contractors)


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Customer Success Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Success Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Customer Success Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The size of the company allows you to network with a lot of extremely intelligent people. There are many interesting people from all walks of life that I worked with around the globe who I'm very glad to have met.

    Cons

    The size also contributes to IBM's faults. Everything has a process and many small issues can take days or weeks to resolve. There is a very "not my problem" mentality unless someone is going to get paid for doing it.

    Personally, when I was hired I signed a document that had an on target earning of a certain amount. Within 2 months my commission was placed out of my control and I was surviving on base pay alone most months. After that my manager quit and I was restructured. This happened three times. The company had a lot of trouble with the acquisition that I was hired on the tail end of.

    In the end I found myself in a role I really enjoyed, but the company wasn't ready for me to be a part of it. They laid off several of my coworkers and relayed their work to me without any sort of compensation to match.

    The company has no culture. Before the acquisition, the company was a cool start up with team gatherings and friends abound. Afterwards the office was dead silent every day and people left in droves. No holiday party, no happy hours, no drinks after work, no socializing. Not the best environment for anyone looking to be friendly.

    Advice to Management

    Please remember that there are people working for you... not just numbers on a spreadsheet. We have families and dreams and aspirations. Don't squeeze out the juice for the cheapest price. I look back on my experience with fond memories, but also with having learned to be more careful when dealing with large corporations.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Unrealistic sales driven deadlines, ridiculous bureaucracy, and general disinterest from management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - In the past there has been a liberal work from home policy. I'm not sure how much longer that will last.
    - The company 401k matching contribution is good and is fully vested from the start.

    Cons

    - Multiple (one or more) layoffs per year every year I was at the company (almost 10 years).
    - Terrible or none existent bonuses.
    - Management mostly concerned with how to preserve and progress their careers and has little interest in progressing staff careers.
    - Software engineering organization driven by rigid sales motivated deadlines with little consideration for sound software development practices. This creates substandard software services that are unmaintainable. But Sales doesn't care and engineering management team is too afraid to push back.
    - Bluemix IS an awful mess and any product or service that has to integrate with it WILL be made worse by having to integrate and adhere to the terrible bureaucracy that exists within it.

    Advice to Management

    - Reduce the red tape! It is strangling this company.
    - Stop ignoring the careers of your engineers until it's too late. For 10 years I was told that a promotion/raise was just around the corner but the only time I was offered any compensation and banding bump was the day that I gave my 2 week notice. I was told to name my price and I thought that if I was so indispensable then why didn't you care to reward me until I had both feet out the door. TBH I stuck around as long as I did because I worked remotely for almost the entire duration of my stay at IBM which was a tremendous perk but even that perk appears that it might be going away.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "P2P Services Delivery Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Service Delivery Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Service Delivery Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pay was decent. Ability to move to new positions in company if job ratings were good or above.

    Cons

    Constant layoffs year around. 5 years of falling revenues.

    Advice to Management

    Don't throw out your best people!. Oh, wait, you just did that for the last two years.

  8. Helpful (10)

    "Cybersecurity Software Seller"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cybersecurity Software Seller in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Cybersecurity Software Seller in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent people and products. Talented SME's and specialists in every area of IT. Wide range of products.

    Cons

    Unbelievably complex and incoherent management process. Lots of empty suits. Low morale with ongoing layoffs of talented and experienced people. The company is slow to react - to customers and industry. Many software products are too complex to be useful to anyone but the most sophisticated enterprises.

    Advice to Management

    Save your sellers and SME's - prune the management.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Collaboration Solutions Technical Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Sales Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Sales Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Challenging work environment. Great for self-starters and motivated people. "Could" be opportunity for career growth.

    Cons

    Current organizational trends are limiting career growth. Lack of direction for the brand, and no cohesive go to market message. Selling disjointed point solutions instead of solutions that fit best for the customer.

    Advice to Management

    Stop limiting career growth for people with the desire to succeed. Need to stop shuffling people around and changing the faces clients see.


  10. "Management Heavy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Results are more important than a strict/set work schedule.

    Cons

    Seemed like too many managers and not enough support members supporting the client.


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