According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the following list can claim that distinction:
Selected reader comments follow:
Pros: With a company as large as IBM experiences will vary, but for me the best part of working at IBM was my peers. I worked with many amazingly talented individuals. We accomplished things I wouldn't have thought possible, especially considering how poorly we were supported by the business. Sadly many of the other positive things I would have had to say about IBM in the past have disappeared in recent years.
Cons: So, so many... You will be underpaid. By a lot. I'm kicking myself now for waiting so long to find out what my skills are worth on the open market.
The health benefits, which were once excellent, have gotten worse every year. Your options now are basically roll the dice with a high-deductible/HSA plan and hope you don't have to go to the doctor, or pay through the nose for a PPO.
Retirement plan is decent, though for new hires probably no better than the industry average. Be warned that you only get your matching funds if you are still employed by IBM as of December 15. This was changed in 2014.
As a line employee, your first line manager is basically worthless. Even if you have a "great" manager who is willing to go to bat for you, first lines have so little discretionary authority that their value to you is almost nil. On the other hand, a terrible first line can make your life hell and do real damage to your career.
IBM isn't a place where the gal who works hard quietly in the corner is going to do well. If you want to be recognized, promoted or get a raise you need to be playing office politics constantly. You need to be currying favor with all of the managers in your second line area.
Advice to Management: For all the talk and hype about agile methods so many of your core business processes are still mired in old, one-size-fits-all thinking and attitudes.
Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth about hiring and retaining the best talent. You are hemorrhaging top talent because your people are underpaid and your HR organization has refused to match competing offers. Give your first line managers some discretion to keep their best people.
Changing the 401k matching period was a body blow to the workforce. I'm sure that some Ivy League MBA made a huge bonus off of implementing this but it was so nakedly an attempt to screw your employees that it gutted morale (which I didn't think could get any lower).
Stop buying into every project management fad that comes down the road. Stop fetishizing the Spotify model as the one true path to enlightenment for software developers.
Pros: You may have some decent people to work with, and you probably won't have to talk with the ones you don't want to. The benefits are OK. They have an online library membership that has a few useful books.
Cons: I could list off the cons and air IBM's dirty laundry and it would be a very big and long review. But to keep it brief, there are a lot of things that will keep you shaking your head and wondering why you're still here. The absolute worst thing is it feels like the management doesn't trust the employees.
Advice to Management: Stop trying to track every move of every employee in triplicate. Having more of the same data you're already tracking is not going to make us any more efficient. Communicate openly; stop with the non answers. Take pay cuts at the top instead of the people doing the work. If you're losing money and cutting employees, you obviously don't deserve a bonus!
Pros: This applies strictly to the GBS (consulting) portion of IBM — both pros and cons. Things are probably different around the company; It is a big company. Bump in your resume, I guess, due to name recognition and the marketing that IBM does. Good salary and benefits. Around smart people.
Cons: You are literally on an island. There is little/no support from anyone at the company. I joined after finishing my MBA. I showed up at orientation where we spent 3 days going through a step-by-step process of configuring WiFi, setting up passwords, figuring out how to use the ancient hour reporting tool.
Again, most consulting firms are like this, but I was shocked to see what went on at IBM and how outreach there was to new hires. Most other firms have someone who will reach out to you, or a training to navigate the company, or get on projects or a career path. Here is it is maybe a 15 minute phone call, filling out some forms and that's that. All the while you get yelled at and told you aren't billing hours.
Me and my friends who joined with me were constantly harassed about not working enough despite the lack of available work for us to contribute to. IBM is a huge company. I have been at other big companies but IBM is a maze. The internal website makes it impossible to find what you are looking for. Everything is a link to another link, etc. To find what you need you need to jump through 3/4/5+ pages. Additionally, everything has a confusing and odd name/acronym.
Again, yes every company does this, but not even remotely close to the level IBM does. You'll waste a ton of time and miss out on important things because you never know what you are talking about.
Advice to Management: Culture has to be changed. Many more senior employees know how to navigate the B.S. that goes around while new hires have nowhere to go or someone to turn to. Staff new hires in roles that they can do or expand into.
http://www.endicottalliance.org/thedisintegrationofemploymentinIBM.htm To all Alliance supporters, send and share the above link to the article "The disintegration of employment in IBM" far and wide. Put it on your FaceBook page; send it to newspapers; send it with comments to your political reps and send it to your co-workers. Help break the secrecy of IBM job cuts. Put some pressure on IBM. -Alliance-
I used to be proud that I was a third generation employee but no longer the case after what IBM has done over the last several years to the hard working people that made the company.
I thought I had to wait until 59 1/2 to retire to collect on my 401k but to my surprise I discovered there is a 55 year rule that if you're 55 and retire from a qualified retirement plan they waive the 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Many I told didn't know this so I'm adding this to the post for anyone that may not know this and really wants to get out.
8/31 was my last day and the stress immediately went away and I feel so much better. Other than no real medical I'm doing great.
The FHA is a joke. I figured it would last me 3 years, if that (just for me), so since I am only 58 I have some time before Medicare. I'll stay on my wife's medical and then if the FHA is still there will use it to reimburse me for Medicare expenses.
I was nervous at first but so far is the best decision I have ever made. I work a couple of part-time jobs I love; no stress, and actually make more retired. Last thing I was supposed to get a retirement dinner and never got that so apparently IBM needed it more than me. -Over with at last-
I saw the handwriting on the wall and bridged out in 1993. Nothing has changed but it has only gotten worse.
I joined the Alliance as an associate member since I am retired. What is wrong with the current and recently past members. Why don't you join? It is NOT expensive. You have NO power as an individual and the US Federal government is so pro business and pro one-percenters (rich) that it is pathetic.
Join the Alliance and VOTE. I see no other alternatives right now. IBM upper management is so greedy and intent on enriching themselves at the expense of the corporation as an entity, what terrible people. GIMME GIMME GIMME.
Incredible how a corporation can be taken over by such greedy people. Obviously the BOD is complicit on this. TERRIBLE. Protect yourselves, NO ONE ELSE WILL. JOIN THE ALLIANCE. -Anonymous-
ANYONE who thinks Human Resources does any ANY advocacy for resources (ahem, employees) is just a plain fool. -Anonymous-
My advise to anyone leaving would be to not give any notice, and instead simply call your manager on the 1st of the month and say "I quit" and hang-up the phone. Otherwise, IBM management will spit in your eye one last time as you are on your way out the door. -Bruce-
Also, IBMers are being targeted by a skills assessment by a third party. When asked why this was being done multiple answers were provided; as usual nothing concrete. So could be that management plans on using the PBC process to weed out more IBMers. -Anonymous-
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.