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IBM Reviews

Updated October 18, 2017
30,970 reviews

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3.5
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
11,639 Ratings

30,970 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 916 reviews)

  • Long hours like everwhere elses (in 436 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Being an IBMer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at IBM full-time

    Pros

    IBM is the most user friendly company

    Cons

    There is no such things with IBM


  2. Helpful (485)

    "Advisory Engineer in STG, IBM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

  3. Helpful (6)

    "IBM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security
    Current Employee - Security
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexibility, Education, Job Diversity, Teaming, Remote Work, Travel

    Cons

    Compensation Regulations (internally) have a tendency to be a disadvantage to long time employees. Its easy for someone who has been with the company 5 years to be instantly out-paid (10-20k more) by a college grad, professional hire, new hire. This is to be considered someone starting at a low pay band and works their way up...the compensation increase plateau fairly quick for that employee while give way to someone with unproven capabilities making hand-over-fist more.

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget about your long-term employees


  4. "Good company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time

    Pros

    They compensate sales people well.

    Cons

    IBM is in a period of transition and that can be felt as an employee. For example, many different managers in a short period of time.

    Advice to Management

    Stop changing sales people's client list.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Good for women"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager Band 10 in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager Band 10 in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    IBM is a great place for women to work. I have had incredible mentors and managers who have opened doors for me to advance.

    Cons

    Thick bureaucracy and very political. Old fashioned command and control model doesn’t attract fresh young talent. Challenging business climate has taken a toll on morale.

    Advice to Management

    Flatten the org, change “band” model to one that allows for more rapid growth. Loosen up more. Take more risks.


  6. "Good people; Challenging work; Management practices very inconsistent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time

    Pros

    IBM attracts and retains some very good people, and recently made a concerted effort to continuously update employee skills. There is also a significant focus on encouraging innovation.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of consistent culture across the organization:
    - how people are measured,
    - how people team,
    - how management and technical leads guide or direct teams,
    - how individuals and teams are measured
    - indelicately encouraging competition to the point that it starts becoming unhealthy and leading to underperforming teams due to individuals undercutting others

    Advice to Management

    Train managers to establish a strong, positive culture that is more consistent across the organization. Encourage a culture that rewards strong performing teams versus a culture where performance is measured individually. Since the functional teams are formed across organizations, first line managers should be encouraged to work with their peers to form performance goals across reporting structures.


  7. "Consultant"

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

    I worked at IBM full-time

    Pros

    Wealth of IP to absorb
    Opportunities for trainings

    Cons

    Difficult to consistently get staffed

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in smaller talent pool, than in hiring larger talent pool with limited investment

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Overall Great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior IT Specialist
    Former Employee - Senior IT Specialist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I was a traveling consultant for IBM for over 7 years. Well balanced matrix type organization. Very vibrant culture - everyone values good quality of work. Wonderful learning opportunities. Great benefits.

    Cons

    After having two little kids and traveling all the time, I realized, I was missing out on a lot of stuff. Even after over 7 years of travel, I could not negotiate a non-travel role - only option left for me was to quit and find a local job


  9. "Great place to work with great employees and challenging opportunities."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager
    Current Employee - Program Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    IBM has so many great opportunities. The culture and energy of the IBM employees is fantastic. The IBM executive team encourages their employees to be innovative which creates a great atmosphere.

    Cons

    Encourage employees to take on new projects to expand their experience.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on removing layers of managers so the decision making is faster and easier.


  10. "IBM Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IBM full-time

    Pros

    Very innovative thinkers, work with very intelligent people, great opportunity to learn and get corporate experience

    Cons

    Lots of processes, long leadership chains


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