IBM

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IBM Reviews

Updated 19 August 2014
Updated 19 August 2014
11,963 Reviews

3.1
11,963 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3,461 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Most managers are pretty flexible if you want to work from home a couple days a week (in 1228 reviews)

  • There are no unrealistic expectations causing work-life balance to be messed up (in 1189 reviews)


Cons
  • Though the company espouses work life balance there is no getting away from work (in 373 reviews)

  • Senior Management thinks that too many metrics are replacement for good management (in 202 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Take, Take, Take

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Big company, lots of opportunities, some really good individuals who really carry the overall company much further than it deserves

    Cons

    Reward and recognition is only for the golden few, the quarterly-driven Earnings Per Share focus drives stupid short term thinking

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    For a services company you cannot keep hitting the majority of your employees with such an atrocious compensation policy - the good people leave and you're left with the rest! You under-resource every account and then drive your employee base to work ever increasing unpaid hours to make up the difference, making client delivery almost impossible. Staff turnover is really on the increase and you really need to see that its management policy which is causing this - instead of creating more and more highly paid Partners and Associate Partners most of whom deliver nothing you really need to recognise and reward those below who are doing the real work and ensure they are rewarded too. Wake up IBM - your short term, EPS-driven focus is driving this company into the ground.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    No hope for big blue

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tech Support  in  Greenock, Scotland
    Current Employee - Tech Support in Greenock, Scotland

    Pros

    Good people to work with and great on C.V

    Cons

    Poor morale due to cuts, pressure to carry out more work with no additional pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start to focus on people and not numbers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Opportunities, even now when IBM is struggling to find its way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior IT Architect
    Current Employee - Senior IT Architect

    Pros

    Huge reach means that there's lots of interesting work (if you push yourself to find it). High quality of people in project teams and (on the whole) a genuine culture of respecting the individual. IBM can be great if you find the right people (IBMers and clients) to work with and awful if you don't.

    Cons

    Over-reliance on cost cutting has over many years taken its toll. Important things are done on a shoe string. The staff appraisal system is dishonest, simplistic and counter-productive. Everyone sees it as a way just to bring costs down without regard for contribution. It has nothing to do with client success. Put simply, non-executive employees don't share in the success of the company at all. Every year the appraisal system produces angry colleagues who either leave suddenly, or who spread disenchantment and fear. The long term effects of this will undermine the pros listed above.

    Working on projects with off-shored resources is usually awful. There's a massive disconnect between teams in India and clients in Europe. You have to compensate for the flaws in off-shore teams (apparently thrown together at random) with additional effort and even then it's usually not enough. Almost everyone I have worked with from India wants to leave, and it shows.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with yourselves and us, too much of what's happening now in the name of the 2015 roadmap is harmful. Long-term cost cutting is a brake on innovation, agility and integrity. It's not an adequate solution and you're living on borrowed time.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Archetypal Large Company - Good and Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Sales Specialist
    Current Employee - Technical Sales Specialist

    Pros

    Top brand name with plenty of scope for career advancement if your face fits.
    Can be good for flexible working.
    Since Ginny came along management have been more visible and in recent months some have actually started sounding like leaders who know what they are talking about.

    Cons

    The performance review system has evolved to a state where it demonstrates all that can be bad about HR in large companies - process over people, boilerplate objectives and a management star-chamber to separate the sheep from the goats. Once combined with a 'winner takes all' attitude to remuneration, it motivates only the extremes - the very top (or top perceived) performers and those who want to secure themselves a voluntary redundancy payoff. For the vast majority there is little connection between even a below inflation pay rise and the annual performance ranking.

    At the end of 2013, the board fed a news story that the senior executives had foregone their bonuses due to not meeting targets - in fact, bonuses where scrapped for all but the very top ranked employees (who presumably had performed just right but were let down by the rest). In fact, UK HR practice hasn't come out looking too good when exposed to the light of day and a critical eye (ref judge's report from recent UK Pensions court case). Tendency to renege on promises - so proceed with caution and get anything important signed in writing.

    Career progression depends on who you know. You must manage upwards. Failing this, getting a job offer at a critical time will likely work better for you than following the bureaucratic 'career' processes.

    Overall, the effect is that when push comes to shove, individual competition wins out over a team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reform the PBC / SIP processes ASAP - your current systems are driving the wrong behaviours. Recognise that 'star performers' need a bulk of dependent and supportive colleagues to drive any real business benefit.

    There is horrible duplication and inefficiency between the five or six sets of skills assessment, CV, professional certification and career planning and performance tools. Get rid of this duplication and replace it with systems that provide continuous assessment and support of employee performance based on deliverables and immediate feedback from the customers of those deliverables - instead of the "pick 12 friends" after the fact feedback that then gets studiously ignored.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Opportunity for big growth in the people business, but restricted to over specialised work and a segmented business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    Pros

    - Best practise leaders in behavioural assessment
    - Opportunity for high profile project responsibilities
    - Learning specialist skills and sharing work knowledge

    Cons

    - Culture is heavily biased to academic background and work styles; hard if your profile does not fit
    - Terrible quality of provided equipment, very poor IT applications and poor IT help and support (ironically!)
    - Faked people approach as a stated busienss value; all fluff and gimmicks, no real care
    - Poor level of management capability and employee support
    - Too much time wasted through heavily bureaucratic working processes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Focus on the people management effectiveness of your people leaders, develop the managers to be able to coach, develop, inspire their people. There are rare exceptions to this.
    - With so many legacy businesses being incorporated, the personal and hidden agends causes alot of mis-trust
    - Dont make it so hard to work! get better equipment, replace the overly onerous work tracking processes, get business areas to work together and not compete or ignore each other

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Seems to have little real understanding of the market

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England

    Pros

    Benefits can be fairly good. Lots of opportunity to try new things (if you can find it), as well as offers, discounts etc,

    Cons

    Way too many middle management types, little evidence that said management understand some of the companies they aquire. More mandatory internal 'training' courses than you can shake a stick at and, of course, you have to use the useless lump that is Lotus Notes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Good company Name - being ruined from the inside out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Service Manager  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Service Manager in London, England

    Pros

    Good team spirit, ability to work at home , you get involved in leading edge technology and people

    Cons

    Senior management are very much detached from the people on the ground. The sense of resources not people is prevelent. Compensation for Market rate work is poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are not resources, treat them with humility and care. Stop thinking of the share value short term and think long term for the business. People are the business, people is what makes IBM so special not the constant bottom line being trimmed to the point of people breaking

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    THE PROTOCOLS OF IBM

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Second Line Support Technician  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Second Line Support Technician in London, England

    Pros

    Good company name to have on C.V
    Opportunity to work with IBM technologies.
    Opportunities to work with other Blue chip companies that IBM has on it's portfolio; i.e. American Express, etc.

    Cons

    When it comes to billing client, the process is very regimented and laborious.
    Took a very long while to obtain credentials and access systems for tasking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Team Leaders need more presence and diplomatic skills when it comes to dealing with difficult team members.

    To listen to issues a team member may have that causes impact to team and it's productivity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Years of cut cut cut have left many loyal employees disillusioned.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Work-life balance to a degree is reasonable with opportunity to work from home however comes at a price !

    Cons

    Pay significantly below market rate and no longer invest in people and career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop alienating your employees with the seemingly endless threat of constructive dismissal (aka the PBC process).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great and Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Pros - Great opportunities to take your capabilities to the next level. Opportunities to win Hundred Percent Club. Easy access to 400,000 super employees. Watson is the #1 Game-Changer for IBM.

    Cons

    Little to no training (except online boring courses). All perks/benefits have been slowly removed over the last 10 years. Most people just sit at home and work from home since IBM is eliminating work office sites. All meetings are by conf call. Can't travel because of expense tracking. Pay and bonus have suffered.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit being stingy with storage and give every single employee at least 1 TB to work with in the IBM Cloud instead of everyone being in Mail Jail weekly because of a 100MB or 250MB limit.
    Bring back the incentives and perks to entice new people to stay longer. Of course the long timers will stay but there is a high turnover with new timers.
    Don't forget about "Services". Cloud is not the #1 future of IBM as all the EVP and SVP are drilling in our heads. Once a customer has Cloud then what? He/She will still need Services.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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