The judgment set out the remedies available to employees in relation to "Project Waltz". The project was implemented in 2009 to help the company meet its 2010 target for earnings per share (EPS) and cut costs and led to a quarter of UK staff being kicked off its final-salary pension scheme.
It follows a ruling last year that IBM breached its duties by giving staff the choice of either signing the non-pensionability agreements or receiving no pay increases in the future.
High Court judge Mr Justice Warren said staff are entitled to claim damages from IBM to reflect the salary they would have received had IBM not implemented Project Waltz. ...
IBM said it "respectfully, but fundamentally, disagrees with the Court's decision".
A spokesman said: "The Court has acknowledged IBM's right to make changes in its UK pension programmes, which encompasses IBM’s need to make changes in the fast-changing technology world. We believe the Court applied an incorrect legal standard in restricting IBM's exercise of that right. IBM plans to seek leave to appeal this ruling."
Selected reader comments follow:
They don't say how much of a cut they did in the United States, but the head of a national workers advocacy group says more than 1,600 regular IBMers lost their jobs in a recent downsizing.
IBM's global report comes as an exhibit in a required annual filing, called a 10-K, done with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In it, the company says that "for the year ended 2014" it had 379,592 employees, a substantial drop and a much greater one than in 2013.
About 38,000 "resources," as the company calls its employees, were gone due to divestitures of the business units in which they worked, the report said.
IBM used to break out how many people worked for the company within its home country, but it stopped giving U.S. numbers in 2010. It also has stopped giving local site headcount reports except when required by some law or often, terms of a tax-break deal.
Lee Conrad, national organizer for the workers' group, Alliance@IBM, said he has learned there were 75,622 regular IBMers on Tuesday, down by 1,686 from mid-February. IBM has not confirmed nor commented on that number. But the company has said that a "workforce rebalancing" this year would amount to several thousand jobs.
"The latest IBM employee number that the Alliance has received clearly shows that IBM is continuing to decrease its US employee population regardless of all the public relations talk of so called 'hiring,'" Conrad said. "For years IBM management has tried to hide the fact that they have been abandoning the U.S. workforce. We know and the IBM employees know what is going on and it is shameful."
IBM Denmark rejects the figures but the company can confirm that it has been announced internally that should happen redundancies - and that it is also announced, where in the organization, redundancies are to take place. IBM Denmark does not want to say more at this time and therefore does not know how many employees, it is all about.
1,000 fewer employees IBM Denmark has already said goodbye to quite a number of employees in recent years. Alone from the 2010 to the 2013 financial statements, the number of employees by more than 1,000, from 3,870 employees to 2,836. ...
Computerworld has previously interviewed Lars Mikkelgaard-Jensen on the dramatic decline in the number of employees in IBM Denmark. "It's a continuous process that reflects the development we are in." "In some areas it is a demand and a desire from our customers that they want it at a more competitive price than if you produce in Denmark." "That is to say that if you look at the number of FTEs that are being produced for IBM Denmark, it's bigger than ever. It just gets produced in India and elsewhere." "This is our local workforce in some areas down also to the extent that we move the business over to some of the new growth areas," he explained , among other Computerworld last fall.
Deep learning upstart Alchemy API collects, sifts through and analyses unstructured text and data. According to Big Blue, the acquisition will boost IBM's "Watson ecosystem".
The sale is part of IBM's move to rejig its traditional hardware and software biz after posting 11 consecutive quarters of declining sales.
Selected reader comments follow:
* apologies for unfortunately imagery, but see also: XIV, Fiberlink, Ascential...
So anything that impresses the traders in the banks and insurance companies is fair game. Firing employees, mouthing out meaningless BS about the latest big thing, mergers and acquisitions all impress our financial overlords.
There doesn't need to be any logic behind these "growth strategies" as you are only trying to impress the people who thought sub-prime mortgages were a really good idea. Remember these are the people who brought you Wall Street Crash and its many sequels.
If IBM had a theme song it would probably be “I guess that's why they call it the blues”, as the company is beset by problems: the cloud challenges the company's already-dwindling hardware business, its SoftLayer cloud trails rivals Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google. Outsourcing isn't as popular as it once was which means the company's consulting business is no longer thriving. It's even paying others to take loss-making business units of its hands.
One of Big Blue's strategies is a new album of products with an analytical beat. This patent could be a b-side in that effort, as it appears to add the chance for crowdsourced social feedback for Karaoke. ,,,
The application, filed with the US Patent Office, is written in densest patentese, but the gist of it seems to be that singers will appreciate real-time feedback and the ability to share performances across their social networks, but that rights-holders will also like the ability to associate a performance with the original work, with biometric watermarking of their performances and analysis available to the owner of a song.
IBM holds or has a hand in thousands of patents, including this one for a mosquito trap. So it's not entirely unusual for Big Blue to have waft at something a little odd.
An elected Employee Consultation Committee (ECC) is liaising between IBMers in Systems Middleware that are working in Platform, Integration and Smarter Process units, amid a voluntary redundancy process.
Around ten per cent of the division, which employs 736 staff locally, can ask to leave with a cheque. The notice period is one week per a year’s service, ranging from a minimum of four weeks to a maximum of 12. ...
“If there is insufficient uptake via the voluntary programme, we may have to consider moving to an involuntary programme," said IBM.
Asked if further lay-offs are expected later in the year as well, IBM responded “the business reacts to results and as such no comment can be made on this as no-one actually knows”.
Selected reader comments follow:
Wish they'd hurry up and announce more packages in my area. My name will be down again in a flash, like it was last time. Still, they're paying me to piss around on the internet all day despite me offering to leave so it's not all bad.
Last year Ginny Rometty failed miserably to achieve her sole strategic goal -pathetic as that was- of an EPS of $15 (what vision!)
She received millions in bonuses and I received less than 2 grand, or about 0.05% of our failure of a Chairman's.
It's well past time to sack her and her worthless board.
The suit filed by the City of Sterling Heights Police & Fire Retirement System in Michigan accuses IBM of having inflated its own share price by valuing its chip manufacturing business at US$2.4bn, when it was actually worth substantially less.
To be precise, it turned out to be worth substantially less than nothing.
GlobalFoundries eventually took the business unit off IBM's hands, but only after IBM agreed to pay GlobalFoundries $1.5bn to help prop up operations while it tried to get the loss-making business back on track. At the same time, IBM wrote off a $4.7bn charge for the transfer. ...
According to a report by Reuters, the Sterling Heights pension plan, which holds shares in IBM, is seeking class-action status on behalf of every investor who held the company's stock between April 17 and October 17, 2014.
In addition to IBM itself, the company's CEO Ginni Rometty, CFO Martin Schroeter, and controller James Kavanaugh are reportedly also named as defendants
Despite some glimmers of hope in cloud-related businesses, IBM could sink even further in 2015. Let's look at the top three reasons investors should beware of Big Blue.
The verdict. Contrarian investors might consider IBM to be a good, beaten up, blue chip stock that could recover over the next few years. However, the company needs to patch up some big holes in its hull before it can sail properly again.
Pros: There is some opportunity to work from home.
Cons: The company was founded on a culture of "Respect for the individual". That is all gone. People are viewed, and described as resources. With constant layoffs, minimal raises, and few promotions morale is at an all time low. Most live in fear they are next for the layoff ax. If you are looking for a place to work, look somewhere else.
Advice to Senior Management: Start treating your employees like you actually care about them. They are your biggest asset. Across the board I see employees being yelled at and insulted by senior management. The culture has become management by fear. Fix the corrupt appraisal system. It's a scandal how it is used and abused. Bring respect back to the IBM culture.
Pros: My part of the IBM organisation have team of dedicated professionals and executives providing a good service to our customer.
Cons: I joined IBM in the culture of "Respect for the individual", and was the best company to work for. IBM now lacks integrity with management who don’t make decisions and are scared to make decisions. It's now a culture run by fear. The PBC process is broken corrupt and abused by management. The last 3 year have been bad, since Rometty became CEO.
Advice to Senior Management: Dump Rometty now before it's to late. Stop controlling everything from the top, allow decision making for lower management. Bring back "Respect for the individual".
Pros: Telecommuting used to be a perk, but with forced, unfunded relocations to sites IBM apparently intends to keep open only a short time, there really are no pros.
Cons: Everything. I was promised direct hire but it never materialized. They cut my pay.
Advice to Senior Management: Stop shedding Western talent for short-term profits. IBM may already be lost, but if it isn't, you may still have a chance to recover. Rehire those in the West, eliminate the PBC system, eliminate incentives for management based on short-term profit, restore telecommuting, eliminate the GDFs, stop punishing employees for doing what management tells them to do.
Pros: Many employees, including me, are able to work from home. This is a huge benefit - saving on gas, commute time, enables work-life balance (to some extent). Good benefits and looks good on resume to have worked for this technology giant.
Cons: I worked for IBM for 10 years and recently let go due to a massive 'reorg' effort. Which really translates into...IBM needs to meet the quarterly budget forecast.
Working from home for IBM really means: "You will work 24x7!"
You are basically expected to be 'on call' and join any conference call that's required to troubleshoot and/or support problem resolution every day, and any hour of the day. During major project deployments, holidays are ignored and vacations must be rescheduled or postponed when project schedules change. You don't get paid any 'extra' or over-time for the 24x7 obligation.
I joined the company through an outsource from previous employer, and my pay stayed the same during the transfer, even though my actual NEW position did not match the same skill set.
There have been NO pay raises in the past 6 years, and bonuses are nonexistent at the Project Management level.
When a project ends, you don't have any say in your assignment - whether or not you are good match for the project background. They just move people around without regard to matching performance and skills to the particular position.
Management is totally disconnected from understanding individual performance, achievements and career counseling. Management is so severely disconnected from actual employee performance, I'm not even sure it's recoverable. It would take a significant amount of focus and resources to make improvements in the area of Human Resources.
They have layoffs every year and you never know when your number is up. The basis for layoff is a checklist,. Employees who have poor skills, or no skills are retained because they have a required certification — PMI for example. They do this so they can tell clients: "All of our PMs are PMI certified." Yet, they will NOT pay for ANY external training to advance employee skills!
Advice to Senior Management: This is futile, but IBM needs to recognize and appreciate individual employee contributions and loyalty. They need to invest in employees and build their skills. Without a solid, committed employee foundation, what do you really have?
Pros: Opportunity to work in many different job roles; working from home and flexibility.
Cons: Lack of awards, health benefits have been reduced significantly, lack of trust and vision; too many layers of management who do not make decisions but are highly paid and rewarded.
Advice to Senior Management: Remove the multiple layers of management and focus on spending your hiring dollars on key roles that will help you realize your vision in Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Security. You have highly paid executives not making decisions but rather adding layers and layers of processes. You want to "get simple" but you can't even make the simplest of strides in this area due to your management structure.
Pros: In some cases, the pay may be higher than other companies. There are a lot of great people to work with who have been duped by IBMs past reputation.
Cons: You won't be rewarded for your work. Advancement is very political. The company is rudderless. Pay and bonuses have decreased each year for employees while executives take home more.
Advice to Senior Management: Walk the walk not just talk the talk. The board needs to bring in executives that are competent in running a large company in order to turn the company around. The appraisal system needs scrapped and the original basic beliefs need reinstated.
Pros: It's a great stepping stone for fresh grads. Great eye opener because you get to travel a lot as an engineer. The office environment is clean and tidy. Good air ventilation.
Cons: Being on 24-hour standby can be challenging especially if you have a family. Escalation routes are rather strict, but in certain cases it is pretty acceptable.
Advice to Senior Management: Assess the managers and leaders of teams well, as not all of them are really doing exactly what they ought to do.
Pros: Big. Many customers who still think "No one got fired for buying IBM" (That is changing) are still providing forward motion, but with quickly decelerating momentum.
Cons: Big, too late to too many things. Slow moving, top-down oriented model, with seeming seriously lacking leadership at numerous levels. Atmosphere of fear, and back stabbing of long-time high achievers. Killing their best by finger pointing, and blaming everyone but high level leadership.
Advice to Senior Management: It's too late. Appears to be a company on a death spiral. The Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable too, but it appears one of the greats is going down, and quicker than you'd want to believe. Jump off while there is still time.
Advice to Senior Management: Abolish the PBC appraisal system. Focus on staff morale.
Pros: Flexible work schedules. Opportunity to change positions every 2-3 years if you speak up. Interesting products. Going through a transformation, which can be interesting to be a part of.
Cons: Very siloed with product lines not working well together on joint development; senior leadership is too in-bred (to lead the cloud initiative, Ginni passed over the CEO of Softlayer, who actually knew about cloud, and put a long-time IBMer in charge who had no experience with cloud); way too process oriented, not nimble like most younger tech companies; doesn't use some of their own best tools very widely, and conversely uses too many of their own worst tools, so the business cannot be managed effectively.
Advice to Senior Management: Bring in outsiders to lead key initiatives, especially the leaders of the companies you acquire since they actually know those areas. Start using the good IBM tools and good outside tools to manage the business instead of insisting on old home-grown technologies. Cut down on all the red tape and start acting nimble like almost every successful tech company.
Pros: So many to choose from. Ambition and confidence — the Smarter Planet story is a great example. IBM can improve the world, knows it and believes it. Who else could have created Watson? All those Nobel prizes, and its simple scale and breadth of capability.
Cons: Despite all the rhetoric and PR, has still not managed to compete the transformation from product provider to service provider — will not do so until it starts treating its people as human beings rather than stock. (The way the UK pension changes were introduced is a perfect example). Still governed from the very top by a culture of bullying and no trust. May have a female CEO but no real diversity. Financial controls which were suited to surviving a recession but constrain growth. Bonus schemes which no one understands.
Advice to Senior Management: Challenge the bullying which is reinforced by current management processes. Show employees some respect — stop fighting us over the pension issue — accept the court's decision and settle.
Advice to Senior Management: Stop replacing experienced top performers with inexperienced cheap off-shore labor. When it takes two weeks and many meetings to resolve a problem which took two hours with one call in the past, you know there is a negative effect to such decisions. It is a matter of balance. Supplementing with off-shore labor may have its benefits.
Pros: Still good number of bright colleagues. If you don't care about good compensation, you can define what you do to an considerable extend.
Advice to Senior Management: Make room for leaders with visions that go beyond key financial metrics. Leaders that understand that companies like IBM need *motivated*, *high skilled employees to deliver more than the ordinary.
Pros: Very few — There are still some bright technical folks working who carry the bulk of workload.
Cons: Leadership style, if self preserving, almost dictatorial. Upper management rank is filled with sycophants, who just do not care about people who get the job done. Company makes billions of dollars of profits but does not believe in sharing it with employees — very poor yearly raise, hardly any bonus, and forget training. Management will work you to death so where is the time to acquire new training and skills!
Advice to Senior Management: None. Management is deaf to feedback.
Pros: At IBM it very much depends on where you are in the company. The life of someone in Research is very different from Software Group or Global Business Services. If you're working in a hot area like IBM Cloud or IBM Watson Group, it's a terrific place to work, filled with some of the brightest and hardest working people in the world. As an added bonus, IBM is really good about work life balance and being flexible when life happens.
Cons: There's a relentless drive toward shareholder value that is hurting the morale of the company as it leads to short horizon decision making. In many areas of the company morale is very low because the employees are working in an area that is no longer the high margin areas that IBM gravitates toward. But where it's good, it's good.
Advice to Senior Management: There is a profound lack of transparency across the company. Particularly around things like resource actions (layoffs). These are often not communicated with employees, so when a pundit comes out and says "IBM is going to lay off 100k people" we have no way to combat that. In a world of social media your employees can be your best weapon against some of this, but we constantly feel as though there is no communication to those of us manning the decks of the company.
Pros: Used to be a great company to work for with prestige and cared about technology leadership. Now it is just another service and software company. Work/life balance can be managed well.
Cons: Company has relied on prestige too long and does not pay competitively or provide motivational compensation. No work performance you do can influence your bonus which is typically low. Execs still get well paid though.
Advice to Senior Management: Empower the lower management. Give them decision making and budgetary authority back. Trust your employees to do the right thing, i.e. their job. Simplify processes to improve agility. Cut out many layers of hierarchy.
Pros: I can not think of any long-term pros. The honey moon phase will be nice. You'll be wined and dined and promised the world but those are empty promises.
Cons: Low compensation based on the degree you were able to afford not talent, lack of direction in leadership, false promises to get you through the door, technology is of very low quality or misrepresented to press and outside organizations and very young immature new hires. Feels like a college dorm room a lot of times.
In the beginning you'll get a phone a call and you'll hear a lot about how IBM Design "will change the world". You'll work on projects "that will change the world". Unfortunately, this will not be the case. There is a lengthy 3 month process called design camp. It is to prepare you for what is like to work at IBM; it is not. It is for those coming directly out of college who have zero work experience but have somehow gotten through the hiring process and need some type of real world experience.
This creates chaos amongst those who have 1 to 2+ years of experience coming to IBM. There are dedicated recruiters to help find the 1,000+ designers they plan to hire but they bring in the new hires (those are the college students) to also help. They are now judging, commenting and deciding the fates of potential candidates that they are clearly not qualified to do. Immature remarks and fear of working with individuals who are more skillful and qualified make it so great candidates are over looked and passed on. Lots of MFA candidates with no prior job experience; just one degree obtained after another.
You'll be promised the world and receive very little. When being deployed to your project. you're told by leadership that "hours, even days! went into the process". The process is biased, haphazard and is never explained to you in the least. Nothing about your skill set being a match or what the logic was behind it. If you're lucky you'll work on Watson. Not because it's a good project, but it makes it easier to speak about to others outside the company because of the press and name recognition. 80% of the designers in Austin are trying to maneuver their way to that team because they have zero interest in their current project.
The Watson tech is weak and not artificial intelligence as it is often described. It does have some advantages and in some ways could be very powerful but there is no magic behind it; not a super computer; there are no such things as super computers. Leadership running Watson is weak and unpredictable. Pitching tech to potential clients and partners that does not exist and is years, possibly even decades from being a potential working product. Even going to the extent as to lie about whether or not a product is actually using a Watson service.
It is unfortunate that IBM Design has glossed over so much of what IBM company culture is like. Once you're in the door and have your sign on bonus you hear how this is a "long term mission", "the road will be tough". Any good designer has no problem working hard but reaching for an impossible goal is demoralizing. The GM of IBM Design will tell you "how they will write books about the success or failure of IBM Design one day". I'm sure they will write a book about this one day. I have an idea which one it will be.
Advice to Senior Management: Be honest in your recruiting. Don't sell college students the world and hire more experienced designers. The idea is to retain talent not push them away. Your compensation for junior to mid level designer is low for Austin and NYC. Rank compensation on talent, not the degree they were able to afford. Stop trying to hire 1,000 designers and focus your efforts on steering the Titanic (IBM) away from the iceberg. Be design evangelist to development leaders in the company and not the design police who force feed it down their throats when they won't cooperate.
Pros: If you happen to work for a manager who likes you, you'll be fine. If you happen to work in Asia-Pac or India (where IBM is moving jobs to — cheaper), you'll be fine. If you work in a part of the business that's growing, you'll be fine.
Cons: If you work for a manager who doesn't like you, if you work in a location IBM is moving jobs away from, or in a part of the business that's not growing, you need to be looking to work elsewhere, before IBM "encourages you to leave." And salary/compensation are simply awful.
Advice to Senior Management: The executive tier (between Band 10 and Ginni — some 6,000 people) are simply killing IBM — there is no accountability for failure. Ginni's top priority shouldn't be to reduce cost or shrink headcount; it should be to replace about half of this tier with executives from outside IBM that understand what it takes to grow the business, manage for profit and growth, and can make IBM relevant again.
Pros: Good pay if you're an executive. Many flexible work location jobs.
Cons: Pay for non executives' retirement is now below poverty line for even senior level people. Retirement doesn't include health benefits. Customers hate IBM and are no longer interested in buying from us.
Advice to Senior Management: Stop cutting the company to shreds so that you can prosper personally. You have no ethics, and have destroyed our reputation and ability to satisfy customers. Your focus on skills, and statements regarding lack of skills, are WAY off base. We lay off industry leaders every quarter so you can get your bonuses...it's a sad fact.
Pros: Good benefit options, but the employee had to pay for them. They had lots of money, so large projects and improvements could be possible. The name of the company carried weight due to the past company history.
Cons: I was excited to start working here because they "preached" about how they were so employee driven and how democratic the place was. This turned out to be a complete farce. Everything was top down, "good ole boy" management and promotion.
The company is way too large and not divided up into small enough business units to be effective. I saw tremendous waste of time, money, and resources.
I can't fathom this company surviving the next 10 years without a dramatic overhaul. Here is an example. I worked in IT, and had been there before our division was purchased acquired by IBM. Prior to IBM, if something became an issue in our data center, we diagnosed it and fixed it, usually in a very timely manner, say less than one hour.
Once we became IBM, if this same issue happened, we were not allowed to fix it. We would have to call India and report the issue and be assigned a case number. India had 2 hours to diagnose the issue and try to fix it. If they could not fix it remotely, they would call ATT because IBM had contracts with ATT to fix all the network hardware. ATT had a 4 hour SLA to fix the issue, so now we are talking about a potential 6 hour time frame to fix and issue our team would have fixed before in less than an hour.
The real kicker is that our division measured time loss at 10 million dollars an hour! Now you're are talking about 60 million dollars over 6 hours. Of course our division CEO would be freaking out to get it fixed, but there was nothing we could do. I sat in countless meetings where this issue would be escalated up to IBM management above our division, and time and time again, no one above us cared.
So my point is that this company was so big, they didn't give a damn about a 60 million dollar loss, which could have easily been prevented with simple policy changes. This is why I don't recommend working there and can't see them surviving the brave new world.
Advice to Senior Management: Break the company up into smaller business units, have some core values, principles, and values. Then let the smaller business units function independently.
Advice to Senior Management: Don't let the myopic focus on fulfilling an arbitrary promise to the shareholders (delivering $20 a share in 2015?) derail the values that made IBM a recognizable brand. Invest in employees.
Pros: Working from home has been the biggest benefit lately.
Cons: Always seem to be worried about next RA and how to stay off the list, raises few and far between, little or no bonuses, working to all hours.
Advice to Senior Management: Stop focusing on stock price; build a business that provides value to the customer. Put the customer and employees first; the stock price will follow. I was once told by an ex-IBMer "Good Business is good for everybody." Go back to that belief and IBM can once again be a great company both to work for and to do business with.
Pros: Benefits, pension, education opportunities internally.
Cons: Siloed work environment, change from creative to back in the 1970's style in the last two years, few and minimal salary increases, no support of external sources of learning.
Advice to Senior Management: Bring back the 360-style of evaluations for management; it seems bullying is standard now. Leadership training for teams. Recognition of remote employees and that they should have at least SOME face time with team members. Reputation is really falling as the trust level with employees has dropped.
Pros: Many smart, earnest people work and mentor there. I worked on very interesting projects that helped move my career forward.
Cons: Absolutely no promotional or monetary advancement. Worked for years with no promotion. When I left my manager had no idea; didn't even know my rank. I left for a huge raise elsewhere for a job that actually has less responsibility. It's clear that executive management is de-investing in the US work force, and I could never recommend to any one.
Advice to Senior Management: Fire the C-Suite, clean out the board, and start over. Really there is nothing that any one below VP has power to enact so I decline to give advice to line management.
Pros: Pay offer was competitive coming out of school. Definitely not as many hours as banking (unless you are pretty lucky).
Cons: Management, company culture, promotions/salary increases, morale are all pretty bad.
Advice to Senior Management: IBM isn't doing so hot right now which has definitely hurt, promotions/salary increases for the last 2 years were pretty low (I will admit, the initial offer was quite high). Morale among people within the company is pretty poor. Many college hires I joined with have left IBM already or are actively looking elsewhere to switch companies.
Pros: N/A— Don't recommend this to anyone. No specific HR team. No professionalism.
Cons: Had an interview with the company in July 2014. Cleared the Tech and HR rounds. And the company contacted my current employer even before releasing offer letter and without my consent. Very unprofessional behavior by these guys. Don't recommend.
Advice to Senior Management: Have a HR panel set up and look into the concerns by the employees.
Advice to Senior Management: More remote work opportunities for the consulting force. More weight on quality of work and less on the utilization in performance reviews.
Pros: Flexible hours, could work from home at times, good benefits, opportunities to travel, excellent people to work with in the organization.
Cons: Uncertainty of future employment due to down sizing in the US; in recent years the company seemed to be more interested in the balance sheet than in its people.
Advice to Senior Management: Return the the basic principals that made IBM a company people were proud to work for and made it a successful thriving company.
Pros: Excellent telework opportunities, great technology exposure, if you're willing to move around within the organization a lot. Unlimited access to RedBooks, the IBM Systems Journal, etc. so whatever you want to learn, you can learn if you're motivated.
Cons: Leadership is (and has been) woefully lacking. Middle management got there simply because they weren't technical enough in most cases and spend a lot of time managing up. Any time I had concerns about working relationships in the highly matrixed organization, I was told to just find someone else to work with. No team spirit — more of a team competition as there is always the need to justify your position to upper management. Bad energy.
Advice to Senior Management: Not sure upper management would be reading this they are so out of touch.
Pros: Flexible (depending on client) and pretty good work/life balance relative to other firms. Boots on the ground staff are usually very good, 80%+ of the time.
Very project dependent. Some projects are great, others not so much.
Middle management is hit or miss, but generally pretty good (bands 8-10).
Cons: However, senior management (aka management you never see) are not very good and disconnected from middle management. Middle management is not empowered and must try to play along with the changing games created by senior management. Senior management sets unrealistic targets/goals. Many policies are likely driven by IBM corporate, which have negative impacts on the consulting practice (GBS), which needs to operate fundamentally differently than a normal corporation.
The company is super stingy. It seems as though IBM will do whatever it can to push costs onto the employee. Compared to other firms, it's gotten to the point of being a joke. It can be a challenge to get basic supplies and many staff are still forced to use archaic software such as Word 2003. (I believe they may be starting to upgrade Word 2003 now in 2015.)
Advice to Senior Management: 1) Carefully assess any cost-cutting measures. Some substantially reduce productivity. Saving $200 on a software license that will end up making your employee lose hours of productivity over several years is dumb. Especially if their bill rate is >$100/hr. Would recoup the cost in less than 2 hours, but instead make you endure and probably lose dozens of hours of productivity over a few years.
2) Compensate your staff or you will lose them. A new graduate hire should never make more than a prior graduate hire in the same role with an additional 2 years of experience at IBM. Only at IBM does that ever happen.
3) Stop being short-sighted and driven purely by this quarter's financials. Plan for the long-term.
IBM supplemental employees and those designated as "assignee-in" or "assignee-out" are all excluded from these numbers.
Not all people who received their layoff notice had an exit date of Feb. 27th, therefore, the numbers above do not represent the full impact of this RA. Lastly, the deltas above are not strictly limited to the effect of this RA as there are many random hires/fires in any given day. My feeling, however, is that it is statistically representative of the magnitude of the the 1Q RA. -International Bowel Movements-
So with that, it seems that a renaming of HR is in order — to RR (Resource Resources). -FormerIBMer-
Managers in IBM are politically savvy, and are excellent in playing the political game, but the majority have no idea how to be a manager and understand product and how to treat employees with respect. To a IBM manager, it's all about year-end bonuses and the next promotion up the corporate ladder, and how many employees they can screw. IBM needs a union to stop this corrupt practice. -ANA
Yes, I applied outside of IBM, but there appears to be some age discrimination going on outside of IBM as well. Never hear back from anyone, and the people who do call back, they always ask why I would want to leave IBM, given the successful career I had.
I was a long time IBMer and the mistake I made was putting down how many years of experience I had. I think to those dot-com companies or those companies that feature young people on their web site, they look at IBM veterans with an unfair bias that we are hard to work with, set in our ways, etc. When I apply to jobs outside of IBM, I will probably list the number of years as 12, which is the number of years spent in my current profession. -I have a mortgage to pay-
I was 56 at the time and saw two attorneys who said this was age discrimination and there was nothing that could be done. Even my contact at Right Management that IBM sends us for resume help and retraining pulled me aside and told me it was age discrimination.
Some important tips I learned...if in NJ apply for unemployment insurance right away. Get a new life insurance policy; your IBM policy goes down to $25k if you are lucky enough to retire, and the extra policy with Prudential skyrockets in cost...get this done asap as you get older or get health problems you can be denied or the rate will soar.
Also when dealing with the IBM Service Center write down names, date, times and who you speak to. They cancelled my health insurance in error (on their part) and I had to fight like hell to get it reinstated.
Finally take a deep breath and enjoy your time off.
Get your resumes out there and don't panic. I ended up with a better job, more pay and pay a third of what I paid at IBM for my benefits, and I work 35 hours a week...no more 60-70 hours weeks for a company that does not care.
For older workers look at websites like USAJOBS.COM...the government is looking for people and they don't look at age...the process takes time but is worth looking into. Good luck! -Anonymous-
More broadly, I disdained unions as bringing corruption, nepotism and rigid work rules to the labor market, impeding the economic growth that ultimately makes a country strong.
I was wrong.
The abuses are real. But, as unions wane in American life, it’s also increasingly clear that they were doing a lot of good in sustaining middle class life — especially the private-sector unions that are now dwindling. ...
I’ve also changed my mind because, in recent years, the worst abuses by far haven’t been in the union shop but in the corporate suite. One of the things you learn as a journalist is that when there’s no accountability, we humans are capable of tremendous avarice and venality. That’s true of union bosses — and of corporate tycoons. Unions, even flawed ones, can provide checks and balances for flawed corporations.
Many Americans think unions drag down the economy over all, but scholars disagree. American auto unions are often mentioned, but Germany’s car workers have a strong union, and so do Toyota’s in Japan and Kia’s in South Korea.
In Germany, the average autoworker earns about $67 per hour in salary and benefits, compared with $34 in the United States. Yet Germany’s car companies in 2010 produced more than twice as many vehicles as American companies did, and they were highly profitable. It’s too glib to say that the problem in the American sector was just unions.
Or look at American history. The peak years for unions were the 1940s and ’50s, which were also some of the fastest-growing years for the United States ever — and with broadly shared prosperity. Historically, the periods when union membership were highest were those when inequality was least. ...
Richard B. Freeman, a Harvard labor expert, notes that unions sometimes bring important benefits to industry: They can improve morale, reduce turnover and provide a channel to suggest productivity improvements. ...
It may be that as unions weakened, executives sometimes grabbed the gains from productivity. Perhaps that helps explain why chief executives at big companies earned, on average, 20 times as much as the typical worker in 1965, and 296 times as much in 2013, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.