August 2007

Providing flexible work options and support for employees

Taking a flexible approach to work allows IBM to recruit and retain valuable skills and keep institutional knowledge.

Global workforce diversity is a cornerstone of IBM's strategy to differentiate itself as one of the world's great companies. IBM recognises and values a culture of diversity and inclusiveness as an essential part of how it attracts and retains the best talent.

IBM's approach starts by having a good reputation as an employer, founded on its employees having a good experience of working for the company. IBM takes into accounts the desires and needs of individuals, from graduate entrants wanting to build experience across roles and locations to those wanting flexibility to raise a family to those transitioning to retirement.

Older workers
The days of a gold watch and goodbye at 60 or 65 are long gone. Older workers increasingly want to keep in touch with the world of work and continue enjoying a regular income. And employers are hungry to retain their skills, knowledge and experience.

Denise Lee joined IBM in 1978 and had a range of full time roles until 2003. "I'm now back at work as a contract project manager but without my prior budget, target and people management responsibilities. I'm feeling really good about being able to continue to contribute to the business and use my skills for IBM and our clients. I know my experience is highly valued and my age makes no difference. It's been great to come back into the IBM family."

Family and work
The choice between having a career or being a parent is becoming increasingly blurred. When employers and employees take an approach that allows flexible hours and remote working, the right balance can often be struck between work and parenting. IBMer Adrienne Sentch fits work around caring for two young children, splitting working from the office with working from home.

"I work a normal morning in the office then pick up my children and finish my day's work from home after they have gone to bed. It's great for the family as we have lots of time together and it works for my career and IBM as I'm able to be flexible around jobs and can extend my hours into the evening."

Spotting top graduates
Competition for graduates has never been more intense. IBM runs a dedicated graduate programme to attract and give graduates the best possible start in their careers.

IBM's reputation had already impressed Craig Wall when he pursued a place on the company's graduate programme following the completion of his Information Technology degree in Nelson. "My aspirations were to work for a company that would enable me to build a career. I wanted a challenging role, opportunities for ongoing training and the scope to work internationally. That's exactly what I got on IBM's graduate recruitment programme. It's been the best possible start to my career and I'd recommend it to anyone."

And IBM offered a professional internship to Karl Gatoloai who graduated with an LLB/BCom 10 years after being paralysed in a car crash - an example of IBM's ability to recognise talent and commitment, and provide resources so people can reach their potential at work.