IBM Reviews | Glassdoor

IBM Reviews

Updated June 22, 2017
4,503 reviews

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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
1,671 Ratings

4,503 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 847 reviews)

  • There is an expectation to work long hours to progress within the company (in 417 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. 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


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Where are you guys going?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Boca Raton, FL
    Former Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Boca Raton, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities if you know somebody and that particular somebody is part of the management IBM team

    Cons

    Your job may disappear any minute based on rules and results that nobody understands
    HR department is "against you" they will never help you in situations with unfair treatment from management

    Advice to Management

    put your act together

  3. "Complex Bid Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bid Manager in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Bid Manager in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunities for growth
    Considerable work flexibility

    Cons

    The current movement of many jobs and responsibilities offshore
    A culture where 60+ hour work weeks is standard
    A running joke is vacation means you stay off the internal messaging so you can actually get work done

    Advice to Management

    With regard to support personnel, letting many experienced US employees go may save considerable money now, but will ultimately result in a decline in overall productivity globally.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Downward spiral continues"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great co-workers and some neat technology.

    Cons

    Three performance appraisal systems in as many years.

    Advice to Management

    Give up on utilization, spend more on training, reduce our overhead, and start paying the market rate.


  5. "Not a dead company, but still many problems."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Digital Marketing in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Digital Marketing in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM as an intern

    Pros

    NYC office is a cool environment to work in, great location in general. IBM is leaning more towards a relaxed working environment, not everyone needs to be in a tight suit to get work done. Some of the people are incredibly smart - great people to work around.

    Cons

    Struggling to adapt to newer views - I was surprised at the lack of common sense within digital marketing there was at IBM before about 2 years ago when it started this "Cognitive Era." There is a lot of useless work that employees are doing in this area of business and there is certainly, from what I experienced, not much room to interject your opinion or ideas. Lots of useless data. The bureaucracy is god-awful, even your email application has a visible hierarchy diagram you can check just to make sure you know who reports to who and your rank in the business. The lack of communication between levels of management is ridiculous. Very low pay to live in NYC for a summer.

    Advice to Management

    The middle management is an issue that even the top-dogs at the company will admit. Better communication between levels of management. Maybe even less management in general.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Not the Company It Used to Be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Pre-Sales Software Architect in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Pre-Sales Software Architect in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Steady job with Salary and Good Benefits. When you have a good year, the bonuses can be very nice, especially working in Sales. You co-workers are really nice people, and pretty smart, too! They have built some great technology over the years, and some of it is still very valuable to customers.

    Cons

    I survived almost a constant threat of layoffs in 2016. I decided that I would not do that again in 2017. IBM is a financial company, it is only in business to make money. If you can improve revenues, cut costs, or innovate with very few resources, you are valuable. If you are here for any other reason, then you will not last long.

    Advice to Management

    Right now, you are a financial company. Your shareholders will not let you be anything else. But the problem is that you have to sell something to customers and make them happy. Right now customers aren't happy, employees aren't happy. For a technology and services company to thrive, you need happy customers and happy employees who buy from you and innovate and transform their businesses through your products. Good technology and services are like drugs. You give a little away, get them addicted, and then they are hooked for a very long time and willing to pay. The world is increasingly run on innovation. You competition is doing it, making less profit per unit, and getting much higher valuations. Here comes the advice: First, simplify. Your processes are too heavy and killing you. Second, sell business units that are not "strategic" to you. Right now, you're just running them into the ground. Third, you need to listen to your customers and make the changes they recommend. Fourth, make the big round of layoffs that you need to really make the numbers, then let your employees recover. Cut 3/4's of the company if you have to, but do it once. Don't have another layoff for another year or two. Support and help the employees you plan to keep, nurture them.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Pass on IBM"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    My salary was higher than the market paid in my area. When telecommuting was allowed, that was a huge perk for me.

    Cons

    Offshoring positions at any cost (including when comparable talent could not be found) might be good for the stock price, but it is tearing the company apart. Ginni told President Trump IBM could not find talent in our country-- what an outright lie.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Rocket Center is mediocre at best"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Development Specialist in Cumberland, MD
    Current Employee - Applications Development Specialist in Cumberland, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fresh college grads get much needed experience and a foot in the door, a lot of resources available to you to grow as a professional, very laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, great work/life balance

    Cons

    Salary and benefits are not even competitive for the area, career growth and prospects are virtually non-existent or entirely too long, low morale among employees, location itself is a little too remote, policies in place without any justification to their existence, project deployment is slow and the work is often unsatisfying

    Advice to Management

    Until IBM as a whole starts listening to its employees concerns and addressing the core problems, employees will continue to leave and morale will continue to decrease. If you're not going to adjust the salaries to be competitive, you need to do whatever else it takes to entice people to come here and stay.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Sales Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Broad range of opportunities available

    Cons

    Lots of changes every six months

    Advice to Management

    Bring in some outside ideas


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Power Systems"

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours. Relaxed dresscode.

    Cons

    Used to have more flexibility as to where you worked; that's going away.
    Salary / Bonuses - falling behind.
    Company is being managed to maintain profit margin while revenues have declined for 5+ years. That means each quarter people are cut, salaries never go up more than a percent, and there are insufficient resources to bring new products to market in a reasonable amount of time.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the Power systems group to somebody who cares.


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