'There is no typical career path at IKEA'

by HRD13 Apr 2018

IKEA strongly believes in giving employees the possibility to grow, both as individuals and in their professional roles, D’Neale Prosser, Talent and Leadership Manager told HRD.

“A career with IKEA is as flexible as you want it to be, because we put co-workers in charge of their career journey – encouraging them try different roles and change between functions,” added Prosser.

IKEA also believe in giving assignments “one size bigger” to stretch and develop talent, as they believe it is OK to make mistakes.

“All of this means there is no typical career path at IKEA,” said  Prosser . “We like to look at it this way: there are many jobs within one career at IKEA, in fact 21% of our staff have been with us over 10 years.”

Indeed, this is reflected in the fact that around 60% of our co-workers have had three different roles within their career with IKEA.

Moreover, IKEA’s research found that 45% of Australians do not believe their current workplace is setting them up for a relevant career in the future.

“At IKEA we invest in people and are creating more rewarding jobs – globally we will recruit a co-worker every 7 minutes and that will mean recruiting and developing more than 75,000 new co-workers,” said Prosser.

To facilitate our growth, IKEA will invest in their current co-workers, as their ambition is 80% to 90% internal promotion, even in periods of expansion.

“We will also enable a variety of people, skills and personalities to reach our goals,” said Prosser.

Indeed, each co-worker is given a development plan which sets out how they can grow with the organisation.

IKEA know that people’s interests grow and develop, and so they encourage people to move around within IKEA, and think about what role they would like to have at IKEA after their current position

“While a quarter of Australians told us that they believe trained or specialist skills will be most valued in the future, we will look more to humanistic skills, skills that can be transferred, across roles and functions,” said Prosser.

Equality and diversity will also be critical to facilitating successful growth and a strong workforce in the future.

IKEA are already a diverse work place with a gender split of 53% female and 47% male, gender diversity in leadership sitting at 45% women and 55% men and equal age representation between 25 years and 50 years (31.6% of the workforce is 25 to 34 years and 31.7% are between 35 and 49 years).

For IKEA the future workplace is not about the next generation, or one generation.

“We will continue to see potential in all people and take an all-inclusive, multigenerational approach – celebrating diverse priorities, expectations, perspectives and ideas,” said Prosser.

“People will increasingly look for greater purpose and meaning from work and we will ensure our roles and ways of working reflect this.”

Technology and automation are the biggest concerns for Australians and what impact this may have on job loss about when thinking about the future of work.

“From our perspective, technological advancement will change how we work but we believe it will also create more time for personal, meaningful engagement,” said Prosser.

“More than 64% of Australians believe that job satisfaction will come from companies getting the right balance between human and digital aspects of work. On our journey to becoming the leading multichannel retailer, we will build technology around people to create meaningful roles today and into the future.”

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