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Better lives

Our co-workers at the heart of our business

IKEA is made by down-to-earth, straightforward people sharing the same vision.  

The unique IKEA spirit manifests itself in our culture and values, which are at the heart of our way of being and doing things. We believe that creating better lives for the many people starts with our co-workers – because everyone has talent, and everyone must have the opportunity to grow and reach their best potential in a safe, fair and inclusive workplace.  

Our approach

Our people strategy aims to prepare us as individuals – and collectively as an organisation – to thrive.   

That means that the safety and wellbeing of our people is always our highest priority – and in the face of a pandemic, caring for our people has meant bringing our cultures and values to life as never before. 

At the same time, we want to keep building our business for future generations – by attracting and rewarding people who share our values, working to create a meaningful, inclusive workplace where we can all be ourselves, develop and grow, and where everyone is equipped to take care of our business, our customers, and each other.  

We follow three paths to build better lives for our co-workers:  

  1. Work-life with IKEA – we collaborate, perform and thrive together
  2. Inclusive IKEA – we are fair and equal, welcoming everyone to be themselve
  3. Democratic learning with IKEA – we develop ourselves for continuous growth through lifelong learning
co-workers having a cup of coffee

Progress and challenges in FY21

Some of the highlights from the year included: 

  • Delivered a range of global initiatives to support co-workers’ mental health and wellbeing, including our ‘Are you OK?’ awareness programme, as well as Covid-19 hardship programmes which provided local support for people’s physical, financial and mental wellbeing.
  • Rolled out our global values-based recruitment training.
  • Launched our Global Roadmap for Ethnicity, Race and Nationality, and strengthened our work to build a fair, equal and inclusive workplace by focusing on gender equal pay, supporting LGBT+ co-workers, and launching Co-worker Resource Groups (CRGs).
  • We upskilled 8,000 of our home furnishing experts and integrated more home furnishing content into training programmes across the organisation and rolled out our 30 minute introduction to sustainability, reaching 64% of co-workers.
several co-workers walking forward inside of an IKEA store
  • Continuous work on IKEA Responsible Wage Practices, as one of the IKEA approaches to meet 2030 ambition of “becoming a leader in creating a fair and equal society that benefits the many” and work towards the IKEA direction 2025 through a more positive impact on people, society and the planet. A new global framework and assessment methodology was finalised in FY21 after a validation in several Ingka units and countries. This new framework and methodology take a

holistic approach to the wage topic in IKEA value chain by placing equal focus on equality at work, pay principles, competence and dialogue and a living wage. Our aim is to enable people and families in the IKEA value chain to live a decent life, wherever they are. We’ve now begun to conduct the self-assessments throughout Ingka Group. These will provide us with the means to define baselines from which to set goals and actions. 

Number of co-workers


Vacancies filled internally


Gender balance in Group Management


Co-workers who believe Ingka Group is a great place to work


Caring for our people

People are at the heart of the IKEA business, and for us, wellbeing is more than being healthy. We strive for a high quality of life for the many. 

We want to ensure a healthy and safe place to work for everyone, helping co-workers to stay healthy physically, mentally and financially. We want them to feel connected with colleagues and to maintain their work-life balance. This has been more important than ever over the last two years, when the challenges and anxieties created by the pandemic have affected everyone’s wellbeing.

Our approach

We focus on co-worker mental, physical and financial health, from 3 different points of view: prevention and education, access to treatment and continuous support. Over the last year, our approach has included:  

  • Caring for our people during the pandemic – a range of financial, practical and mental health initiatives to support co-worker physical and mental health  
  • Our Employee Assistance Programme, which provides emotional, legal and financial wellness services for co-workers in all our countries.  
  • Ongoing local health and wellbeing initiatives, including training and healthy living initiatives, supported by a Health and Wellbeing Leader in every market 
  • Our Group Rule on Safety and Security and our Safety and Security processes and induction training 

We’ve developed a global Health and Wellbeing Framework to increase consistency between our markets. We postponed its planned launch in FY21 so we could update it to reflect what we’ve learnt from the experience of the pandemic, and will roll it out during FY22.  

Women and man having a conversations

What did we do in FY21?

Caring for our people during the pandemic

Since the start of the pandemic, we have supported co-workers to deal with the financial, practical and mental health impacts. This has included securing income stability during the onset of the pandemic, expanding access to our Employee Assistance helplines to all countries and during national lockdowns we secured all coworkers, through online trainings, could focus on upskilling and reskilling themselves and building their individual resilience. 

In FY21, we were particularly focused on mental health and wellbeing, with training made available to all leaders and co-workers. Our awareness campaign, ‘Are you OK?’, encouraged everyone to check in with their co-workers, even when they were physically apart. The campaign shared some simple steps, developed by non-profit organisation R U OK?, for having better conversations about mental health and spotting when someone might need support. As part of the campaign, all co-workers were able to take a ‘Me Day’ – an extra day of leave to mentally recharge – and received an IKEA voucher to spend on products to improve their wellbeing at home.  

Our countries also offered a range of local support to help co-workers look after themselves and each other. These varied by country but include:  

colleagues hugging each other
  • Hardship funds to help our most vulnerable co-workers deal with financial difficulties brought about by the pandemic.  
  • Additional parental leave for working parents  
  • Free meals for co-workers in our online business and fulfillment centres who were at work when our stores were closed.  
  • Medical support and advice. 

Why we're focusing on mental health and wellbeing 

"From the start of the pandemic we’ve invested heavily in our people, siding with the many co-workers. As it became even clearer that the world was dealing with a major mental health crisis, we launched the ’Are you OK?’ campaign. This focuses on simple steps to help people talk about how they’re feeling, using the power of dialogue to chip away at the stigmas associated with mental health and wellbeing.
We will continue to invest in our people’s health and wellbeing after the pandemic, to create an environment where everyone can feel safe, not only physically but also psychologically."

– Neena Potenza, Co-worker Experience Manager

Potrait picture

What do our co-workers think?

feel supported to live a healthy lifestyle


feel supported to effectively deal with stress


feel supported to manage their financial life


What do our co-workers think?

One of the ways we track the impact of our programmes is through our co-worker engagement survey. Questions on health and wellbeing showed that:  

  • 60% feel supported to live a healthy lifestyle (FY20: 64%) 
  • 57% feel supported to effectively deal with stress (FY20: 61%) 
  • 59% feel supported to manage their financial life (FY20: 59%)  

In response to the findings we are developing a range of global and local initiatives to positively impact co-worker mental, physical and financial health and wellbeing. The roll out of our global Health and Wellbeing Framework will help our countries to deliver world-class health and wellbeing programmes and support co-worker engagement.   

Our iShare survey also included questions on our response to Covid-19. These showed that 78% of co-workers felt that IKEA cares for their interest and safety during the pandemic (FY20: 89%) and 83% felt they got sufficient support during this time (FY20: 90) 

man reads for a kid

Ensuring a safe work environment

Our Group Rule on Health, Safety and Security provides guidance on how all our locations should evaluate and mitigate safety risks and prevent accidents. The Rule includes extensive respiratory virus prevention requirements and we also introduced enhanced measures and controls to protect co-workers and customers from Covid-19. To ensure that our units are a safe place to visit for our customers, co-workers and partners we implemented Respiratory Virus Prevention measures to reduce virus spread. During FY21 30.377 Self Assessments of these controls were performed by our respective units, and 99% of the controls showed that our measures were implemented in an effective way. 

Our safety and security induction training covers topics such as preventing accidents and evacuation procedures. It includes a face-to-face briefing and an online module for new co-workers. Over 29,000 new co-workers completed the training in FY21. Healthy and safety controls are regularly assessed and updated where needed.  

Risk areas for co-worker safety at Ingka Group include sales, logistics and food areas, often when co-workers are handling material or using hand tools. Increased online sales have increased risks in some areas, for example risks of musculoskeletal disorders connected to manual handling.  

co-worker with face-shield

Our lost time accident frequency rate – the number of lost time accidents (more than one day of lost time) per million hours worked was 12.61 in FY21 (FY20: 12.27). We have changed how we calculate our accident rate to align with the methodology used by the International Labour Organization and have restated our data for previous years. 

We are developing new digital tools to improve how we analyse accidents and their causes, and will use the results of our next co-worker survey to help us further develop our health and safety leadership approach.

Living our values everyday

What makes IKEA unique? We believe it is the strength of our vision, values and culture. They give us purpose and a sense of belonging – guiding our work each day, and every day They make IKEA a better business, and a better place to work – and we want to celebrate them with our co-workers, all over the world. 

Our approach

Everyone at Ingka is expected to live our values. We integrate them into our processes for attracting, recruiting, onboarding and developing our co-workers, and use our communications to show how they are relevant to every co-worker, everyday.  

Our approach includes: 

  • Values-based recruitment. Our hiring teams are trained to focus on our values, competence and diversity during recruitment. In FY21, we rolled out our values-based recruitment training for hiring managers to all our countries which includes classroom and online sessions. We ask potential co-workers about their strengths and motivations, and use values-based interview techniques. This helps us to identify candidates who share our values and are best suited to thrive in our culture – rather than having a narrow focus on qualifications and experience.  
  • Onboarding and recognition. New co-workers learn about our values and culture through our onboarding process, so that every team member knows what we stand for and how we live our values at work. We appoint buddies to support new co-workers through the on-boarding process who are advocates for our values. 89% of new co-workers were very satisfied with their onboarding experience in FY21. 
co-workers having a cup of coffee laughing
  • Policies: Our values are reflected in our Code of Conduct, Employment Standards and other people and culture policies. These outline our ethical standards, how we work and act together, and set the minimum requirements we apply to the employment relationship for all co-workers. 
  • Recognising and rewarding: Co-workers are recognised for how they live our values as part of our job chats and through feedback. Our reward programmes reflect our values-led approach.  
  • Engaging: We listen to co-workers through a range of engagement channels, including our annual survey and local pulse surveys. We are also guided by our Social Relations Framework, which governs dialogue and collaboration with worker representatives in works councils and trade unions.  
  • Leadership We take an inclusive, value-based leadership approach to boost a true entrepreneurial spirit and empower responsibility.Our starting point is that everyone can lead. Regardless of where we come from, our background, whatever role, position, or assignment we have. Each of ushas the freedom and responsibility to lead as part ofourcontribution to our business.  

FY21 saw many challenges for co-workers – but it also saw inspirational examples of people putting our values into action and bringing our spirit of daring and entrepreneurship to life. We were pleased that 80% of co-workers feel engaged and believe we live our values.  

Our values guide us

With humbleness, we want to lead by example and contribute to a better tomorrow for our customers, our business and ourselves. Our values are the foundation of everything we do: 

  • Togetherness
  • Caring for people and planet
  • Cost-consciousness
  • Simplicity
  • Renew and improve
  • Different with a meaning
  • Give and take responsibility
  • Lead by example

How did we do in FY21?

Listening to our co-workers through I Share

One of the most important ways we listen to our people is through our employee survey. In FY21, 141,300 co-workers took part across all our countries, with the response rate increasing to 80.3% (FY20: 71.7%). 

Through the survey, Ingka co-workers told us what they’re most proud of – our value of togetherness, with colleagues looking after one another, showing respect and trust through everyday actions.  

They also told us they were particularly proud of the way we collaborate, as well as IKEA’s efforts in equality, diversity and inclusion. 

At the same time, co-workers gave us valuable feedback on areas where we can do better, such as communication and workload. We’re analysing what they’ve told us, and building action plans to address the issues raised. 

Overall, co-workers view Ingka positively and continue to recommend our company as a great place to work. Our current eNPS – employer Net Promotor Score (showing how willing employees are to recommend their workplace to people they know) is at 28.7, compared to a global benchmark of 7.2.    

co-worker inside of an fork lift

Key results from FY21 include:

co-workers who feel engaged


co-workers believing our values


co-workers thinking Ingka is a great place to work


Rewarding performance – and saying thank you!

When we feel that our opinions count and we are rewarded for our efforts, we thrive – and so does our business. So we want to recognise the contribution made by everyone at Ingka Group, every day. 

Our annual One IKEA Bonus programme rewards co-workers for achieving and exceeding our business goals and is directly linked to our financial performance. In FY21, 88,500 co-workers received a bonus payout.  

At the same time, our loyalty programme, “Tack!” (“thank you” in Swedish), enables all co-workers to share the success of IKEA through extra contributions to their pension savings. In FY21, the Ingka Holding Supervisory Board approved an allocation of EUR 110 million to the programme. 

In early FY22, we also announced we would make an additional payment to all co-workers around the globe, totalling EUR 110 million, to recognise their extraordinary efforts during the Covid pandemic. 

We are reviewing our co-worker pension funds against the Ingka ESG Investment approach, to ensure our investments reflect our commitment to people and planet. This includes not investing in the fossil fuel industry. This work will continue during FY22. 

Image of a sign that says thanks!

Addressing the causes of employee turnover

We want to retain our co-workers, enabling them to develop and grow with us, so we review the causes of turnover to identify where there may be opportunities to strengthen our communication, policies and processes. The pandemic has caused many people to reassess their career plans and we anticipate that turnover in all industries is likely to increase over the next few years. To help us respond, in FY21 we completed a root cause analysis of co-worker turnover in each country and developed a three-step action plan to help us reduce turnover and increase retention focusing on reward, development opportunities and flexibility.  

We also updated our employer brand, in partnership with Inter IKEA, to make sure our co-worker communications put more emphasis on our commitment to living our values.  

Our co-worker turnover rate (voluntary and involuntary) was 28.8% (FY20: 29.7%) and we recruited 52,068 new people. Around 87% of vacancies were filled internally.  

Our global values-based recruitment training has helped to reduce co-worker turnover in the first 100 days of employment, meeting our 80% retention target. 

co-workers having a dialogue

Our employment standards

Being a values-driven brand, means that we care as much about our co-workers, customers and suppliers as we do about the development of our business.  Our Code of Conduct reflects our business ethics and set out what we expect from our co-workers in the way we act, work together, do business and raise concerns. [link to Code section] 

The IKEA employment standards (IES) provide the framework for the relationship between Ingka Group and our co-workers. They outline our way of working and include principles that inspire and support us in engaging with our many co-workers. These are supported by more specific policies and rules governing all aspects of employment at Ingka Group.  

The standards set the minimum requirements we apply to the employment relationship for all co-workers, regarding employment contracts, scheduling, working hours, equality of treatment and open communication.  

customers inside of IKEA store restaurant

Building strong social relations

We are committed to providing a great place to work for all co-workers, through a spirit of collaboration. Social Relations within Ingka Group is defined as our values-based collective collaboration and dialogue between our leaders, co-workers, co-worker representatives and all other internal and external stakeholders.  

Ingka Group is committed to respecting the principle of freedom of association, and we recognise the right to collective bargaining, in compliance with local legislation.  

During FY20, we launched our Social Relations Framework, which includes principles to guide our collaboration with social partners (such as co-worker representatives in works councils and trade unions). In FY21, all our countries developed a national action plan for implementing the Framework. We also ran training with the support of the Training Centre of the International Labour Organization covering areas such as work councils, trends in the labour market and the role of socialpartners.  

colleagues laughing around a table

Fair, equal and inclusive

We side with the many people, and believe that our vision of better lives can only be achieved through fairness and inclusion. 

Societal inequalities are often mirrored in the world of work – but we want Ingka Group to be an exception to this trend. Together we will create a workplace that is as diverse as the world is, and as inclusive as the world should be. 

“A better everyday is also an equal everyday – at home, at work, and everywhere in between”

Our approach

Our Ingka Group Equality Plan, includes targets and actions focused on: 

  • Coworkers: reflecting the diversity of our communities and creating an inclusive work environment, where all co-workers can be themselves. 
  • Business: embedding equality into our business practices and ways of working, including policies, processes and interactions with customers. 
  • Society: advocate for a more equal society and become change makers, helping to bring about positive change beyond our company. 

When we talk about diversity, we focus on multiple dimensions and their intersections, including gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, ability, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Believing in equality is not enough – action is needed. We expect every manager to create inclusive teams where different perspectives are sought out

and everyone is given equitable opportunities to thrive – and we expect every co-worker to be open to new experiences and to act in ways that welcome colleagues with a diversity of backgrounds and identities.   

Every country has developed a local action plan based on the Equality Plan, and most have a dedicated Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) Leader to oversee implementation at the local level.  

We’ve also launched co-worker resource groups (CRGs), voluntary networks of co-workers that can help to promote diversity and inclusion. These are created by countries to reflect local needs and include people of shared identities or background, allies and those wanting to learn more.  

Key policies – including our new policy on Human rights and Equality and our Rule on Equality – support our efforts to establish a workplace that is free from discrimination, harassment and hostility. Each of our countries in the European Union has signed their country’s national diversity charter, committing to promoting equal opportunities in the workplace and society. 

“As a purpose-led company, we have a role to play in advancing equality in society. As an employer committed to fair treatment and equal opportunities, we want all of our co-workers to know that IKEA is a place where people of all backgrounds can thrive. A more diverse IKEA will also enable us to better reflect, understand and serve our customer base. Together we can create an equal everyday.’’

– Ulrika Biesert, Chief Human Resources Officer at Ingka Group (IKEA).

Picture of Ulrika Biesert

How did we do in FY21?

Our inclusion index helps us measure progress on creating inclusive culture and is based on questions from our co-worker survey. The score for FY21 was 80.4% (FY20: 81.5%).  

A gender balanced business 

We have achieved a 50/50 gender balance in our management positions (all leaders), and significantly increased gender balance in our Group Management to reach 50/50. At country Board level, women made up 48% of permanent members.

We are collaborating with others to secure gender equality, including joining Catalyst, a gender equality non-profit organisation, and supporting the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Our CEO is a member of the B Team, a global collective of business and civil society leaders.  

We supported International Women’s Day through communications and events in 25 countries in FY21, highlighting how unequal distribution of care and domestic work can hold women back personally and professionally. Our free online game FiftyFifty, developed with relationship expert Jennie Millar, helped couples have an honest and fun conversation about how to better balance responsibilities in the home.  

Potrait of IKEA co-worker inside IKEA store

% of women all leaders (Management)


% of women all co-workers


% of women Group Management


(including our Management Board)

% of women Supervisory Board


Committed to gender equal pay

It’s only fair that everyone receives equal pay for work of equal value, regardless of gender. This should be the case for all of our co-workers, in all our countries, without exception.  That’s why we set out on a journey towards gender equal pay – which means no gaps in pay that are not explained by performance, competence, or a country’s legal requirements. 

We always meet the legislation requirements in the countries we operate. However, we believe this is not enough. We have rolled out our framework for gender equal pay in all Ingka Group countries which includes annual pay assessments to measure gender pay gaps, analysis of the reasons behind the gaps and action plans to close them.  

This year we carried out our third annual group-wide gender equal pay assessment, covering more than 168,000 co-workers. That’s 100% of our organisation. Our assessment process and reported data were externally reviewed by KPMG. 

When an assessment finds a difference in pay of more than 5% between identical groups of women and men performing work of equal value, we investigate why – and if the difference cannot be explained by performance, competence or a country’s legal requirements, we take action. 

colleagues at IKEA pick out food

In FY21 we found that 5.04% of co-workers were in groups where pay gaps cannot be explained by performance, competence or a country’s legal requirements (compared to 8.04% in FY20). We’ve put concrete actions in place, both monetary and non-monetary, to address the gaps.   

To embed the principle of gender equal pay we have rolled out mandatory e-learning for our managers and People and Culture teams, reviewed our salary setting and review principles, stopped the practice of asking for a candidate’s previous salary, and required our group and country managers to report on gender equal pay to their local board each year.  

“68% of our recruiters and 50% of our managers in FY21 have completed our gender equal pay e-learning training”

We are a member of The Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), an initiative led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Women and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Our membership is one way that we demonstrate our commitment to equal pay for current and potential co-workers, and help to raise the profile of this issue. [link to appendix] We are also a founding member of the World Economic Forum business commitment framework for gender parity in the future of work. 

Gender Equal Pay timeline 

We have been working on gender equal pay for many years, learning from our progress and setbacks to keep improving our approach.   

  • 2010, our compensation and benefits principles set out non-discrimination guidelines for pay.  
  • 2013-2014, we analysed gender equal pay among two different groups of countries with a deep dive analysis in Germany, Japan, Russia the US and Sweden 
  • 2017, set up a gender equal pay task force to establish a group-wide agenda on Gender Equal Pay  
  • 2018, launched the Ingka Gender Equal Pay approach with our 6-step process and methodology, carried out our first gender equal pay annual assessment and signed the pledge of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) 
  • 2019, rolled out our approach across Ingka, enabling us to speak “one language” on gender equal pay and track our progress.  
  • 2021, carried out our third annual equal pay assessment 

Roadmap to a fairer, more inclusive future  

Everyone has the right to be treated fairly. However, around the world, there is still a long way to go before everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, race or nationality, has access to equal opportunities and resources.   

We deeply condemn racism and prejudice and have zero tolerance towards any racist or discriminatory behaviour. 

We’ve set a target to increase ethnic, racial and national diversity at all levels of our leadership so our workforce reflects the diversity of the communities in which we operate by 2024​​. 

Our Global Roadmap for Ethnicity, Race and Nationality, launched in FY21, sets out the key actions we will take to contribute to a fairer, more equal business – and a better world. It’s our plan for how we will:  

  • Reflect the multicultural diversity of the communities where we operate, at all levels of leadership.   
  • Advance underrepresented groups through equitable business practices.  
  • Enhanceinclusion for co-workers of all ethnicities, races and nationalities.  
co-workers having a discussion

The Roadmap takes a holistic approach, with measures at the national and global level. Roll out began in FY21, and different countries are at different stages of the roll out process. Key aspects of the Roadmap include: 

  • Setting targets and tracking our progress using KPIs, and diversity data based on self-identification.  Our overall aim is for our workforce to reflect the diversity of our customer base and the communities in which we operate.  
  • Providing training to help leaders and teams address unconscious racial bias, and foster inclusive behaviours. Alongside unconscious bias training we are also introducing Colour Brave training through virtual reality that enables co-workers to virtually experience what someone from another ethnicity, race or nationality might experience in the workplace. 
  • Broaden our approach on equal pay for work of equal value to include ethnicity and race, where legally possible.  
  • Enhancing our focus on inclusion in hiring and succession planning, including introducing a global mentorship programme to advance underrepresented groups into leadership roles.  
  • Forming partnerships to enhance our approach and help address root causes in society, including setting up a stakeholder council on equality to promote transparency and accountability. This includes working with the European Network Against Racism and WEF.  

Increasing equality for people of all backgrounds is about fairness and makes our business stronger.  Reflecting the diversity of our customer base will help us understand and better respond to the needs of our current and future customers. That will also lead to greater pools of talent to choose from and increase our competitive advantage. Diversity in leadership will help expand our point of view and increase the possibility for us to develop and innovate further and grow our business.   

We know the journey will not be easy or comfortable, and we may stumble at times. But we are clear in our purpose and clear in the need to move forward, together with our co-workers, to deliver even more strongly on our mission.  

Committed to just, equitable workplaces 

In January 2021 we were proud to become a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative, a coalition of organisations committed to building equitable and just workplaces for professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities.  

All members of the coalition commit to three steps: 

  1. Racial and ethnic equity must be placed on the board’s agenda 
  2. Companies must make at least one commitment towards racial and ethnic justice in their organisations 
  3. Companies must put a long-term strategy in place towards becoming an anti-racist organisation.

Supporting LGBT+ co-workers with our biggest-ever celebration 

We support everyone’s right to be themselves, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity, and we are committed to creating a workplace where our LGBT+ co-workers feel welcome, safe and accepted.  

We celebrate World Pride each August, and every 17 May, we celebrate IDAHOT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, through events in our IKEA stores, offices and online. 26 of our countries participated in IDAHOT 2021.  

This year we developed a set of actionable tips that we can all adopt in order to make progress, based on our internal LGBT+ inclusion educational materials. We also collaborated on a campaign film exploring the topic of LGBT+ progress. And in FY21, more countries than ever before took part in the celebration. 

Image of the pride parade with an IKEA sign

Our LGBT+ Inclusion Plan and Toolbox help our managers create truly inclusive workspaces. place. During FY21, we launched our global guidelines for Trans inclusion, to ensure that all trans co-workers feel included at Ingka Group. We also launched our gender transition planning tool, to help co-workers and their team during gender transition, and launched a new e-learning module on trans inclusion, to inform and educate our many co-workers. 

Globally, we are members of Workplace Pride and Stonewall, which are dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT+ people in workplaces all over the world. In FY21, we also joined Open for Business, a business coalition for advancing LGBT+ inclusion and providing a response to the growing backlash against LGBT+ inclusion in many parts of the world. 

Lifelong learning

More online, more accessible, more flexible, more sustainable – as our business changes, so do the skills we need to deliver great service to our customers. 

At IKEA, we believe that democratic, lifelong learning is good for us as individuals, and essential for the future of a retail business that will thrive across channels and seize the opportunities presented by developments in technology. 

We estimate that around 60% of our co-workers will need new or additional skills in future, as we become a true omnichannel retailer and jobs change, new roles are created, and some existing roles are no longer required.  

Co-workers reported a satisfaction rate for learning opportunities at Ingka

4.6 out of 5

Co-workers feel empowered to develop their competences


Co-workers feel empowered to create the best customer experience


Our approach

Our learning culture is guided by our values, offering all co-workers the opportunity to learn in the flow of work, empowered by managers and supported by colleagues and high quality learning offers.  

The focus areas for FY21 have been digital literacy, customer experience, omnichannel skills and data analytics. Programs have been developed and delivered internally as well as through partnerships with leading external training providers.  

Woman helds phone and smiling

What did we do in FY21?

In total, more than 2.4 million training hours were logged in FY21, and 89% of co-workers participated in at least one training session. 73% of co-workers reported that they had good opportunities to develop their competences. 91% of our co-workers say they prefer learning together and from each other.  

Highlights included:  

  • We upskilled 8,000 of our home furnishing experts and integrated more home furnishing knowledge into training programmes for all roles across the organisation  
  • Rolled out our 30 minute introduction to sustainability, reaching 64% of our co-workers. This helps co-workers to integrate sustainability into their everyday work.  
  • Launched a Digital Fitness campaign to boost co-worker confidence about working in a digital workplace and raise awareness of our digital learning offers. Each workplace will have Digital Buddies, nominated co-workers who can support colleagues in the workplace to build their digital skills  
  • Around 1,700 people completed training through external platforms such as Simplilearn and Coursera, focusing on digital, business, and creative skills, with an average satisfaction score of 85%.  
IKEA co-workers sitting down and having a dialogue

We want everyone to feel empowered to be a lifelong learner. To support this, during FY22 we will be rolling out access to LinkedIn Learning, with 16,000 courses and Rosetta Stone with online language learning for 24 languages. All co-workers will have access to these courses.  

We will also develop targeted learning journeys for co-workers in our stores focused on omnichannel skills and Life at Home.  

To support our larger business development programmes such as customer service transformation and our store of tomorrow strategy, we are delivering targeted upskilling programmes. These will help us ensure that no one is left behind and that we build the needed capabilities for our business to perform and transform. These are expected to reach around 10,400 co-workers during FY22.  

'Multi-skilling' – opportunity for co-workers to work in multiple roles 

One of the ways we’re adapting to present and future needs is through multi-skilling – giving co-workers the opportunity to work in multiple roles. We estimate we have more than 60,000 multi-skilled co-workers in 18 countries – and we know we need more. 

Being multi-skilled means that you can perform assignments in different departments such as food and logistics, or customer service and sales. It helps co-workers build their knowledge, develop new skills, and provide a more flexible service to customers. It means they can have a more varied working experience, and it helps make them, and us, more adaptable as the needs of the business grow. 

In FY21 we started ti explore how we can scale-up multiskilling across our markets. In FY22 we will create a common multiskilling framework and guidelines to be used across Ingka.  

Leadership at Ingka 

Our development programmes and succession planning processes equip our leaders to lead with our values, and to develop the knowledge, skills and mindset needed to navigate complex dilemmas and create an even stronger IKEA for the future.  

In FY21, our leadership programmes included: 

  • Leading Together – Mental Health and Wellbeing training for over 21 000 managers  
  • Leading in a New Era 2.0 – Tailored training for 500 Market Managers, Meeting Place Managers, Digital Leaders and high potentials  
  • Development Centres –tailored feedback and development plans for 400 Market Managers  
  • 360o Feedback for 4,000 of our most senior managers   

We track the impact of our programmes by assessing co-workers views on the quality of our leadership through our annual survey. In FY21, we achieved a score of 81% based on responses to four questions, up from 77% in FY19.  

During FY22, we will launch our new approach ‘Leadership by all’, focused on inclusive values-based leadership behaviours. This will introduce new training, engagement and guidance to help all co-workers take the lead and deliver high performance. 

co-worker looking at her phone


Bloom is our new three-year training programme for potential market managers – helping us to build a pipeline of future diverse talent for this key business role.  

Through Bloom, co-workers near the start of their careers are taking part in training, on the job learning and mentoring to help build their business and leadership capabilities.  

By 2024, we aim to have increased the number of female and diverse candidates and ensured that candidates of all ages consider this role.  

Read more about our movements here