March Review of the Month

Following the heels of yesterday’s news announcement that IBM would not be acquiring Sun Microsystems, the winner of our March Review of the Month and a $500 cash reward just happens to be a recent IBM Advisory Hardware Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC. The winner of the Review of the Month summarizes IBM with these few words: “Great people, great benefits, performance review process needs a change.”

The winning review offers useful insights as to what keeps IBM employees satisfied and what areas in the work environment need some improvement. In addition this review gives anyone looking for a job at IBM some real valuable pointers as to how to manage their career and what to be prepared for in terms of negotiations. This employee notes in their advice to senior management a constructive tip on how to improve the review process – something a job candidate could question in an interview:

“Go back to a review system where employees work with their managers to define their goals, and are rated based on how well they met those goals – not in comparison with what their peers are doing.”

In addition, the winning company review cautions colleagues and future job candidates on the ‘relative contribution’ element of performance reviews:

“The ‘relative contribution’ element of the employee review creates competition among coworkers, and if business conditions limit the opportunities available on a project, senior engineers can further limit these opportunities by taking on tasks that lower bands could assume – they need to in order to improve their own “relative contribution”.

Another thing that helps to make this a great review, beyond the warning signs, is the clear list of perks, including:

  • “Talented employees – coworkers are supportive and willing to provide guidance when asked.”
  • “The IBM Club provides opportunities to network as well as provide work/life balance.”
  • “The ability to use flex time/telecommute is a real plus.”
  • “No fixed number of sick days – no, you can’t have a cold for a month, but when you’re sick, stay home (statistics say fewer sick days are actually taken with this policy).”

Not to mention that this employee gives compensation & benefits a satisfied (4.5) rating.

Curious about what others think about the company and the industry? Check out the more than 750+ IBM company reviews to find out why employees give the company a neutral (3.2) company rating and give IBM CEO Samuel J. Palmisano a 41% approval rating. Here are just a few sample highlights of what other IBM employees say: