This is best exemplified by the relationship between the company’s human resources and executive leadership.
“Thirty years ago, [IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad] never imagined or constructed an organization of ‘HR’ people, but rather outlined a philosophy that put the growth of people and the growth of the business on an equal footing,” said HR manager Jessica Murphy.
Describing their relationship as “symbiotic,” CEO David Hood said the two are in constant communication in order to reach shared business goals.
“We meet every week, chat every day, and sit close to each other. We’re accessible to each other. And of course, we have a common view about the direction and the importance of people in our business,” said Hood.
Murphy pointed out that IKEA’s business plan does not delineate between “sales” and “people,” but rather provides an overview of what direction the company needs to take as a single entity.
“Through a wide consultation process, we’ve decided what our priorities are for this period. Integrated within this are many ways that our people will help make this come to life,” she said.
Working together, Murphy and Hood have brought such progressive initiatives to IKEA as investments in leadership development, six months’ paid parental leave, internal succession, and others.
Of course, their fruitful partnership is further cemented by their chosen antidote to workplace conflict and stress: “A mutual love of good wine!”
This article was adapted from A perfect partnership. To read more click here
Most organisations feel that business objectives and HR strategy should go hand in hand. At IKEA, however, the two are seamlessly conjoined into one overall objective.