IBM Reviews | Glassdoor

IBM Reviews

Updated June 26, 2017
28,636 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.4
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
10,520 Ratings

28,636 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
Cons
  • You have to manage your work life balance or you'll end up doing the work of 2 or more people (in 850 reviews)

  • Working long hours is pretty typical (in 420 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (433)

    "Advisory Engineer in STG, IBM"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at IBM full-time (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 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.

    IBM Response

    Feb 12, 2016 – VP Human Resources

    Thanks for sharing your experience, and we're glad that you've had a positive experience working with talented colleagues and taking advantage of IBM's programs. IBM is in the midst of a major ... More


  2. Helpful (34)

    "Good News / Bad News"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in New Brunswick, NJ
    Current Employee - Manager in New Brunswick, NJ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    1) Scope of company means you can do many things - lots of opportunity to learn new skills, if you're willing to relocate and learn.
    2) Interesting work and a variety of people and cultures
    3) Good benefits
    4) Cutting-edge technology

    Cons

    1) Direction at the top of the company is poor. Not much confidence in the top execs.
    2) Too much focus on cost-side of the equation, a result of poor revenues for many quarters.
    3) Shoemakers children with technology for employees - i.e., 4-year cycle for laptop replacement, not a lot of internal Mac support, poor local support for IT issues.
    4) Push for 'co-location' after years of allowing work-at-home means many people are commuting long distances to a few sites to keep their jobs.

    Advice to Management

    1) Apply reasonable rules for co-location - if you support a global team, does it matter where you work?
    2) Minimize the cost-cutting, especially of good people. At some point it has to stop. It's a terrible morale hit.

    IBM Response

    Jun 19, 2017 – VP, Communications

    IBM has been a pioneer in new approaches to work as our business model changes. For a number of job roles (like developers, marketing, designers), working at home is balanced against the need for ... More

  3. "Overall a great company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Competitive pay, very supportive to a diverse workforce, cutting edge research, excellent resources to accomplish the research you're interested in, senior management is trying to shift the culture and business model in a modern and positive direction

    Cons

    Old mentality in some individuals, esoteric and inefficient policies for HR, purchasing, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hire a more diverse workforce.


  4. "Chief Architect and Distinguished Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Architect in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Chief Architect in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I work on futuristic innovative projects to address changing client requirements.

    Cons

    All members are not caught up on the changing IT trends. Educating them to embrace the change is challenging but achievable with planning

    Advice to Management

    Invest in transformation , embrace new age technologies. Form a team and give them time to work through the projects and implement them. We have to embrace matrix structure for a global team formulate them into specific project groups and help them to finish their project goals.


  5. "Designer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Designer in Austin, TX
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    An authentic culture of design in the Austin studios. Great people work at IBM and I love a lot of the people I work with.

    Cons

    I've heard there's not a lot of room for promotion. I currently fee under paid. Not a lot of perks in the office like other tech companies provide.

    Advice to Management

    Upgrade the studios, update the salaries - it costs more to live in austin than it did 4 years ago.


  6. "Vice President, WW Alliances and Business Development"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Poughkeepsie, NY
    Current Employee - Vice President in Poughkeepsie, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    IBM is an extremely forward-thinking enterprise, a pioneer in advancing diversity, inclusion, including LBGT+, in its workforce. It is THE GOLD standard in this respect.

    Cons

    Still a bit more work to break glass ceiling and achieve gender equality.


  7. "Nineteen years and counting with a great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Talent Manager in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Talent Manager in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Makes a real difference in the world. Very friendly to the LGBT community.

    Cons

    Can be a little difficult to navigate the organization due to size.

  8. Helpful (72)

    "Short-sighted company does not value its employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pay is not bad, nor are the benefits. IBM does not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment at the workplace. For the most part, my first-line managers have been people-oriented and tried to look after their employees. The company works on a wide variety of things, and it is sometimes possible to move around to different areas if you want to try something new.

    Cons

    Working at IBM is something like an eternal game of Russian roulette, except with layoffs instead of bullets. I survived the layoffs for almost 20 years, but eventually my luck ran out (despite never receiving a bad rating). I am still with the company as of now, but my last day will be in the next 3 months. I have seen this happen to very talented employees many times during my years at the company. The layoffs are often determined by what project you happen to be working on at the time that the layoffs are done, rather than being determined by your skills or value to the company.

    Up until recently, IBM was very good about giving employees the flexibility to work from home or even to work purely remotely from other cities. Recently it was announced that this policy had ended and all employees were expected to be on site for all working hours. For some employees, there was no local IBM office where they could work. Those employees were told they would have to relocate closer to an IBM office or they would not be able to stay with the company. This was another case where very talented employees were essentially forced out of the company.

    For the past 10-15 years, it seems like the company tries to reinvent itself and entirely change directions every couple of years. But IBM never sees any of these strategies through. It tries them briefly, and if they do not pay immediate dividends, something new is attempted. On top of this, IBM has had a habit of always being late to the party. Only once cloud computing was well-established by IBM competitors did IBM start trying to get into the market, for example. It is very frustrating as a worker to feel like the company has no real direction or sense of strategy.

    It also often feels like the executives making the strategy decisions are too far removed from the reality of the business. IBM has many layers of management between the regular employees and the executives that make the decisions.

    Finally, and I imagine this is probably true of many large corporations, IBM treats its employees in a very schizophrenic manner. When a project is behind schedule or high priority, IBM management tells its employees that we are a family, a team, and we all should pull together, work extra hours, go the extra mile, etc, to see the project to completion. However, when IBM decides that they need to cut costs, they'll have one of their frequent layoffs (except they will only refer to them as "resource actions", the same way downsizing to them is "right-sizing"). And when the layoffs happen IBM management makes it clear that this is a business and these things happen. Wait, what happened to being a team and a family?

    Advice to Management

    First, realize that one of your greatest assets is your talented and knowledgeable employees. Treat them that way.
    Second, stop floundering when it comes to the company's strategy. Stick with an idea for longer than a couple of years.
    Third, rethink the misguided decision to forbid working remotely.
    Fourth, try to remove some of the layers of middle management.
    Fifth, don't try to have it both ways. If you expect your employees to feel like members of a family or a team, then treat them that way.

    IBM Response

    May 4, 2017 – Communications Engagement Professional

    Thank you for your comments. As with any transformation, we’re prioritizing investments in areas that are aligned with client demand. For example, we’re investing $500 million in employee ... More


  9. "Solid company if you love what you do"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Support Representative in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Technical Support Representative in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Massive company with great benefits and almost endless opportunities

    Cons

    - Hard to be passionate about enterprise software and hardware
    - Management can be rigid


  10. "Emphatic YES to IBM as LGBT employer with top honors!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Being an LGBT employee is something that you can rely on the backing of colleagues and the company's leadership at IBM. There truly are things we do that make this a top notch company to work for as an LGBT employee. As we focus this year on getting people to be more visibly allies to us all, we see more and more focus on building relationships with our colleagues based more on understanding and less blind acceptance so it feels more "legit" to me to know that people know how to be a good ally and they still want to do it... meaning they have an interest in what's going on in my life and not just that they don't care about what goes on in my life. I have had colleagues talk to me about "how does it make you feel when..." especially now with all the divisiveness perpetrated in my home state... that makes me feel good about my choice of employer.

    Cons

    Sometimes it can be difficult when IBM goes through points in time when it searches for it's changing place in the world... but I know all companies who grow to a certain size and are around for a long time go through it... it doesn't mean it's not tough some times to feel stress or feel all the things that go along with these changes, but it's certainly at the same time something that makes you evaluate your choices differently.

    Advice to Management

    Leverage the expertise of our strongest asset (the people) and our experience to help yourselves more. We have some of the greatest people to ever work together in the company and many of them never feel like they're leveraged (everyone has something to suggest maybe...) so think about how to engage more in creative problem solving our greatest challenges as a company and it will put bedrock under IBM. I have personally seen many times where someone can bring up an issue and 20 IBMers jump out to throw ideas out to find a solution. Come up with a way to do that and focus it on the areas that need it. It's surely possible.


Showing 28,636 of 30,426 reviews
Reset Filters