Customers see Billy bookcases, Poäng chairs and Fillsta lamps, but IKEA is more than just a furniture store. The furniture giant offers employees various work opportunities, that may not be known at first glance, although "we do try to make it clear to our employees," says HR Director Liesbeth de Kruif. "Students come here, for example, for a part-time job while they're studying, but they don't know there's an entire world, behind the stores. There are numerous career opportunities for example in retail, supply chain, IT or design."
By developing career opportunities, De Kruif is sure that one of the most important tasks is to identify where there is talent, and keep it. "I'll discuss with the General Managers of our stores, to help explain to their staff all the career and development opportunities that are possible. A first step might be to offer a student-worker an internship." But it doesn't stop there, "We also explain, for example, about our adventure backpacker program," continues De Kruif.
Within that program, an employee has a chance to follow a six-month course abroad, often outside their comfort zone. "Recently a logistics employee spent six-months sales training in Shanghai. Now he's being further trained in Groningen to become a sales manger." De Kruif explains, "With these types of initiatives, we provide staff the opportunity to get a bigger view of the organisation, and we cultivate future leaders."
Humility and openness are important values within the company. "It does not matter what's on your business card, anyone of our employees can email the CEO," says De Kruif, "This is because we have a diverse workforce." The people who work at IKEA branches are local people, who live in the same area. According to Kruif, this model fits in her opinion what IKEA's strongest point is: working from one vision. "Our mission is to create a better life for the many people. That also stands for our employees." She continues, "As an employer, you not only have to set expectaions for your employees, but also set a good example for them... In that respect, we are very honest business."
There are currently 340 IKEA Group stores in 28 countries*. IKEA is a values-driven company with a passion for life at home. Every product they create is their idea for making home a better place. At the IKEA Group, we have 340 stores in 28 countries. IKEA was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad as a sole proprietorship. IKEA offers functional and well-designed furniture and home accessories at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. Learn more about IKEA by visiting www.ikea.com *As of August 31, 2016
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