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In a relentless, ill conceived drive to cut cost and to increase earnings per share, IBM executive management put this once great company on a path of ruin. Business units were sold off and in the case of chip manufacturing IBM even paid a company to take that segment. Job cuts and force outs have been the order of the day. Off shoring of work and the bringing in of foreign workers on guest worker visas have been a slap to the face of hard working loyal US employees who have lost their jobs to this insidious business model. Employees of companies IBM bought face a bleak future as they transition into IBM and then their work gets moved to another country.
IBM in the 21st century is a shadow of a once great company. It is now a company selling a myth of greatness.
This didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t go unnoticed by many IBM employees or the Alliance. It did go unnoticed by many in the country. The myth of IBM as a great and successful company lived on. But now that facade is cracking.
After 13 straight quarters of dismal revenue, questions are being raised about the company leadership. Unfortunately concerns weren’t raised when IBM embarked on this path and the “Roadmaps”. All is fine and good when the stock price is up and dividends are paid off. Nobody cared about the workers losing their jobs or the damage done to their families and communities.
But with the latest job cuts in July and the push to move more work out of the US, it has to be asked: what is the future for IBM US employees?
Here are some comments from IBM workers caught in the latest job cut...
Pros: Flexible work from home arrangement. No micromanagement. Managers expect you to take initiative and base your ratings on volunteering for projects.
Cons: Systems administrators/support team are low on the totem pole and don't get much respect. Don't expect raises, even when you've achieved your commitments. Layoffs are a common occurrence. Contractors are also expected to take furloughs when layoffs occur, so that fewer people are left to do the work. You will work many hours on weekends.
Advice to Management: Respect the employees more and don't layoff employees in the US to hire more offshore workers.
Pros: Good training. BIG FISH company.
Advice to Management: Treat every employee equally as the IBM logo means.
Pros: You can learn a brand portfolio; most have more than one product, which makes for great resume line items when you leave. The people you work with are great and will help you out when they can, but like most organizations, there is more work than hours. The benefits are decent.
Cons: No pay raises for years, and archaic evaluation system where management hands down the ratings and your manager gets to figure out how to fit everyone into what upper management sent down. There is always failed to meet rating they have to give, and will tell you someone has to get a low rating, they have to give out their allotment, so managers play the favorites. There is little to no movement upwards, and it is a "who you know, not what you know" system. Most have not have a pay increase since the economy dumped in 2008, so don't get your hopes up, and work-life is more work; hope you can find a life in the hour or two we let you have on the weekend.
Advice to Management: Give a pay raise or two. The good folks leave for better pay. Think of enticing managers to move to new positions so they don't play favorites. The PBC System is a joke; let managers decide what ratings to give. Don't hand them the numbers and tell them to place folks in them. While it looks like the company may still be floundering, not believing in your employees or valuing their opinions will put this place in the grave.
Pros: Had a fantastic run in IBM because career choices were there. Can always move around within the company. People mostly were of high calibre but deadwoods were there too. Fantastic process. While can be overbearing at times, it made sure everything were done properly
Cons: Too slow to react to market change. CAMSS had been in the market for several years before IBM decided to enter it. IBM was a market leader, innovator. Now it contends to be a follower (the late move into CAMSS is a prime example). It completely lost its innovation leadership and I fear the end is close ala Nokia. Career opportunities are now limited to presales and sales roles. Not a lot of other roles left.
Advice to Management: Execs should not only know what the current technologies are but also what the future technologies should be. Have more entrepreneurial Tech leaders run this company rather than promoting people from Sales with no tech knowledge.
Pros: Outstanding company. Great people. Excellent training. Rich history. Global brand with tons of product, and in the process of re-inventing itself (again) to capitalize on emerging trends toward cloud analytics mobile social and security (CAMMS).
Cons: Very large global company, with tons of different products/services. Changing strategy/direction always takes time, but it's even harder with a company this big/complex, especially when the world continues to evolve even as you make the changes. Management has its hands full.
Advice to Management: You have the right plan, but try to go forward with everything you are doing even faster.
Advice to Management: Please stop worrying about how good you look and put a little bit more effort in developing the employees under you.
Pros: IBM offers a great deal of education in a shorter period of time than many companies. They are a process-driven firm which helps individuals become familiar with their job role more quickly. They have moved to a pool environment in many areas which provides structure to each of the technical teams.
Cons: The pool environment tends to limit exposure to other areas of technical interests. This also reduces the ability to focus on any given account or segment of the business causing customer dissatisfaction. The processes documented do not address much more than the most common courses of action which places some additional limitations on staff functionality.
Advice to Management: Management has taken a more limiting view in technical services as they reduce the skills required to perform the work and become more reliant on documented processes. They further attempt to co-locate their staff in lower wage areas where technical skills are lower. The reduction in skills in their pool environments places a higher workload on their Subject Matter Experts which are becoming a rare breed in the company. The overall customer satisfaction suffers as a result of this model.
Pros: Great opportunities, to learn different platforms, services, offerings.
Cons: No Management leadership, direction, involvement. Management never learns from mistakes; you can reinvent the wheel every day. Management cries wolf too many times, they do not know how to manage the customer. Every employee is on death row waiting for the call to come in that you are no longer needed.
Advice to Management: Listen to your employees. Learn from your mistakes. Manage your customer and quit blaming others when you should be pointing to yourself.
Pros: The job has very flexible hours. Decent pay. Work from home options. Decent benefits. A nice quiet atmosphere (most days). Room for promotion (if you are a favorite to management. If not get comfy where you're at.)
Cons: Don't care about their employee opinions. One manager is rude to most employees. Clear signs of favoritism. Work through lunch on busy days + mandatory hour of over time. They are understaffed most of the time and extremely busy most everyday.
Advice to Management: Please go back to the service desk attitude. Care about your employees. Don't turn it into an uncaring dictatorship.
Pros: Provides an opportunity to work with some extremely bright people. Forces you to look at issues from every angle (sometimes to a fault), but is invaluable experience for career growth. A great place to learn and then move on so you can advance in your career both level wise and $$$ wise.
Cons: No life balance at all. Work, work, work at all hours, since the organization has most of its employees outside of the US you need to be available at all hours. Employee morale is horrible (at least in the US) and the focus is always on costs...ALWAYS. Those at the top are very well paid, with lots of incentive; however, the workhorses are not as well rewarded with pay and other types of remuneration. Obviously, I'm not a long term fan.
Advice to Management: Treat your employees with dignity and respect. Remember that without the workhorses, IBM would not function like the machine that it is.
Pros: Depending on the job, working remotely from home can be a nice perk, although some divisions are beginning to change back to seated positions. Peers and management are generally professional. Employees are more mature and experienced, which could be a pro or a con, depending on your preferences.
Cons: If you want to build up your resume, not a bad place for a couple of years. If you want to grow with a company, this company is not for you. IBM won't hesitate to offshore, outsource or divest your job in a heartbeat, maybe replace you with an H1b.
The company has become rudderless and the CEO has led the company to 13 straight bad quarters; it is living off of its past reputation and the IBM stock has dropped like a rock. Only about 82K US employees left and dropping about 5-10% every year. Most jobs now are in India, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Eastern Europe, etc. Company is top heavy and has too many middle managers. HR is from another planet, you can expect tons of propaganda.
Advice to Management: Advise your employees on getting out before the battleship sinks.
Pros: IBM is a good name to put on your resume. Nearly unlimited sick days and good vacation/floating holiday package. Flex scheduling. Ability to work from home part time as long as your accounts are maintained.
Cons: High turnover, little to no employee appreciation, bad pay, people who were with Pepsi for years are now racing to get out the door, have trouble replacing people as fast as they're leaving so that puts more workload on the employees that are left and even though you may have one person doing two peoples' job, getting overtime is like pulling teeth, mediocre training for new hires (who are all temps, they never hire on with IBM), lack of communication around the office (people who have been with Pepsi and IBM since the beginning are leaving and leadership doesn't even communicate this to the teams, it's all hush hush like people disappear into thin air), this list could go on and on.
Advice to Management: Appreciate the employees who stuck with you after the Pepsico/IBM outsourcing even after that terrible 10% pay cut — you're going to need their knowledge if you want to be successful. Make people want to stay long term instead of offering no incentives to stay and replacing full time employees that leave with temporary contractors. Focus more on the positives that people do instead of the constant drone of emails stating how terrible we're doing — if you reward the positives you're going to see a heck of a lot more of them! Management needs a complete makeover — most supervisors and managers you only see when you're doing something wrong or they want you to do more.
An RA is a firing. IBM management terminated your employment. When you retire you terminate your own employment and leave on your terms. It is a BIG DIFFERENCE!
If you don't want to say you are retired, it is your right. You can and should commence your retiree benefits when you want to retire. If you don't want to retire you can collect UI benefits if applicable if you don't officially retire and look for another job and work. -Anonymous-
Alliance reply: We need more specific information from everyone that is getting replaced by an offshore worker. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need customer account name, where you are located and where the work is being moved to or where the offshore worker coming to the US is from.
Please, for those not RA'd yet, start looking for another job now instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop. You owe it to yourself and any who are dependent on your income, don't wait until you are forced to hunt for a job along with thousands of other newly RA'd individuals. -T2R-
Message: Kicked out the door after 30+ years with no respect, with a 2+ and making or beating all targets. They could not get together the final severance check on time. They could not find a local manager for exit interview. I got a UPS box to pack up my 'stuff' before they would send me my checks which are 2 weeks late and not given on departure as per the law. On my last day went into the Tampa office to find a roomful of Indian's on H1b's being onboarded. Spoke to several who were happy to be in America. They are being paid about 1/3 of our US workers and quite frankly are too young to have any experience of value to our clients. Just project cannon fodder.
This company is lost in the weeds. The senior management team knows only 3 things: cut staff, buy back stock, and engineer the financials. That is a road heading to the edge of a cliff.
The so called CAMSS strategic plays are marketing spin as they have minimal market share and consist mostly of legacy stuff pulled out of the offering stack and bundled to look like there is strategic growth.
Bottom line is 13 quarters of decline in an industry that turns over tech every 18 months. L for Loser. Happy to be off this insane treadmill of endless CYA reviews done just for show to placate the layer upon layer of redundant directors, VP's and GM's who add no value. They are the ones who need to go, not client facing Americans. Your day will come. -Anonymous-
Do not despair; simply find another job right away and forget IBM. It is clear that IBM has no idea what business it is in; it is simply cutting expenses to the bone until it can figure out how to place the billions in cash in the pension fund into the pockets of the senior executives. Since THEY have no idea what business IBM is in either, that is really the only path they have to more cash.
Get out while you can and PLEASE stop whining; IBM is way over and has been for years unless you are a highly-paid executive or have some job where you are protected, so get out, move on, and make a career for yourself somewhere else. Most good tech companies are hiring. The posts from "surprised" employees are getting old; YOU KNOW your job is going away, so GO! -Anonymous-
It might depend almost entirely on your connections with folks — execs — who matter and what that exec might be willing to do for you. I been RAed twice. The first time I took the package came back as what then called a "term-employee" that was a special case of regular employee with higher pay but less benefits. Upon termination of the five-year term-employee contract I was rehired as a regular employee at the same level — band 10 — as before but only with the intervention of an executive.
Years later when that exec who I was working for was RAed, I was again RAed. I had an offer from another exec to stay on, but being over 70 I decided to take a package the second time. I'm aware of only a few other similar situations, but it's mostly luck, being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right executive. So, it's possible, but perhaps only slightly less possible than the existence of unicorns. -Anonymous-
When I got hit with my RA in 2013, It was part of a company-wide RA. I had another manager who went to bat for me to try to get me into a job opening he had. Even after management approval up the chain, HR stopped the transfer.
There are other ways though, If a manager likes you and wants you bad enough for the job, he can bring you back as a contractor. He just has to prove to HR that the new job is totally different than the previous job you had. Hope this helps. -miss_understanding-
Well my neighbor has been informed his new position within GF is now in Malta and was given a September 1st start date. Month or two to relocate and change the direction of your life. So much for treating the employee with respect and decency. Have to say how shocking it is for me to hear the suggested surprise those who have been RAed post with. As if this is some great surprise to them. Same sad sorry over and over again. "I did my job well and they let me go anyway".
Well that has been the case at IBM for nearly 25 years. Did you really think you were the exception to the rule. And this most recent post asking about finding a new position within IBM! My question is why? Why would you wish to get down on your knees to work for a company that has no respect for its workers or its customers? Why would you wish to prolong your being there for even a day more?
I have to wonder about those who post to this site about their own RAs how many joined the Alliance prior? How many prepared themselves for life after IBM knowing full well this day was coming. How many bothered to be honest with themselves as their coworkers walked out the door before them that their time was coming. The Alliance was the only real hope IBM workers had. Organizing was your only chance. Speaking as a union member for 3 decades. That chance might in fact be over.
Just have to wonder if those left will do anything or just hide under their desks till their day comes. You teach people how to treat you and what you will put up with. Just what have the former and current employees at IBM taught IBM to this point? Most are willing to little to nothing. Whining here after the fact accomplishes little. At that point it is over. -GF News-
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