October 10th may be globally recognised for mental health awareness, but Ingka Group’s dedication to taking care of co-workers’ wellbeing is always a priority.
“Prioritising wellbeing at work isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s essential. A healthy workforce is key to a thriving workplace and business. Our approach is built on a foundation of blending global and local programmes. These programmes are designed to address three fundamental areas of wellbeing: mental, physical and financial, ensuring a holistic approach”
– Ulrika Biesèrt, Ingka Group’s People & Culture manager, equivalent to CHRO
“Prioritising wellbeing at work isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s essential. A healthy workforce is key to a thriving workplace and business. Our approach is built on a foundation of blending global and local programmes,” says Ulrika Biesèrt, Ingka Group’s People & Culture manager, equivalent to CHRO. “These programmes are designed to address three fundamental areas of wellbeing: mental, physical and financial, ensuring a holistic approach”.
Mental wellbeing sits at the heart of Ingka’s well-rounded approach to co-worker health, especially post-Covid. Recognising the crucial role, Ingka has stepped up by launching a robust Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and ramping up a global training programme for mental health awareness. In addition, new tools, like a mobile app for personalised support, are being tried and tested in a few markets.
Biesèrt says a crucial component of Ingka’s holistic approach is the blending of global and local strategies. “This balance is critical, ensuring consistency in our vision while allowing adaptability to meet specific needs of our co-workers in their local market,” she says. A good example of this was our ‘RU OK campaign’ that was introduced globally a couple of years ago to raise awareness about mental illnesses. It found unique expressions in local events – from the EAP Awareness Week in Australia to Health and Wellbeing Week in Sweden and its yearly continuation in Canada.
In IKEA Austria, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) programme enriches co-workers with essential mental health support and awareness. This initiative is a beacon of their commitment to fostering resilience and establishing a supportive work environment, enabling staff to address mental health concerns effectively.
IKEA Canada focuses on building a supportive environment, with innovative offerings like Wellness days and extensive mental health training for managers and co-workers alike. The collaboration with the Mental Health Commission of Canada illustrates their proactive approach to mental health, ensuring diverse needs are addressed and every co-worker feels valued.
IKEA Spain is revolutionising work-life balance with its transformative ‘Right to Disconnect’ policy. This innovative policy ensures co-workers relish their personal time, undisturbed by work-related communications, symbolising a profound cultural shift towards individual respect and mental wellbeing.
Biesèrt, a former counsellor herself, recognises that healthy workforce is key to a thriving workplace, and the journey is filled with steps towards creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, seen and heard.
The company’s dedication to a thriving workforce is reflected in its Health and Wellbeing Index score, which reached 73% in FY23, as measured through the annual co-worker satisfaction survey – notable increase from 63% in FY21.
About Ingka Group
With IKEA retail operations on 31 markets, Ingka Group is the largest IKEA retailer and represents about 90% of IKEA retail sales. It is a strategic partner to develop and innovate the IKEA business and help define common IKEA strategies. Ingka Group owns and operates IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. It has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Read more on www.Ingka.com.