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Building IKEA’s Culture of Togetherness

Episode 1

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Series 1, Episode 1 – Ikea

Work Happy Podcast: Episode 1

Welcome to the SERIES PREMIERE of Work Happy – a podcast series focused on using technology to explore better ways of working.

We’re kickstarting this podcast with a breakdown of the methods behind IKEA’s incredible, almost family-like culture. From their emphasis on togetherness, to their dedication to highlighting motivating stories from stores around the world through Yammer, there’s no stronger advocate for IKEA’s internal communications strategy than Daniela Rogsic and Guy Britt.

IKEA’s CEO Communication Leader and Global Head of Co-Worker Communication both join Alex Graves, Founder & MD of Silicon Reef and host of ‘Work Happy’, to pull back the curtain on ‘Flatpack TV’, how they connect with a workforce that are predominantly on the shop floor, and picking the right channels to encourage their teams to look after one another.

This episode covers

  • Communicating with a workforce largely away from PC’s and laptops
  • The strengthened culture provided by IKEA’s ‘Bible’
  • Creating the ‘Flatpack TV’ show for its staff
  • IKEA’s view on the future of working flexibly
  • Emphasising conversations over monologues at their events
  • Supporting mental health, and the ways co-workers lift each other


Communicating on the shop floor

“We’re not communicating to people looking at laptops or computers all day, or have phones or tablets. These guys are on the floor, meeting customers face to face. They’re cooking food, washing dishes, driving forklift trucks, working in warehouses, lifting boxes, anything and everything around the world, in over 30 languages as well. So it’s quite a challenge, but a really fun one to to have a crack at.”
[1:05 – Guy Britt]

The IKEA Bible

“The IKEA ‘Bible’ is something that you get to know immediately when you start at IKEA. It’s a part of that training, learning the culture in a way. It’s a super important and very, very relevant Bible, as I call it, for all of us.”
[2:40 – Daniela Rogosic]

Importance of togetherness

That is also something that is almost like the base of our culture: how we together can achieve things. It’s not about me, and it’s definitely not about Guy! But it’s about what we can do together, and when we do it together that’s when we actually achieve the biggest impact.”
[6:45 – Daniela Rogosic]

Sharing stories

“It’s more about how we share the information than the information that we create. Because of the culture and the values and the way that this company is, the co-workers and colleagues around the world in all their different ways are really already doing it. So for us, it’s all about surfacing that content, lifting it up and sharing it with the many around the world so they can ‘steal with pride’ from each other as we like to say.”
[9:25 – Guy Britt]

Using Yammer

“For the stories we want to find and share, we use Yammer just to surface these stories that are happening at a store level. Colleagues in the store have no expectation that this is going to be spotted and lifted up and shared with 170,000 other colleagues around the world and when it happens, that’s where the magic is for us.”
[14:30 – Guy Britt]

Mixing channels

“We need to make it as easy and quick as possible to just plug and play with content like Flatpack TV or anything else that we’re doing. So we have email alerts, and screens within the stores where we put the content up as well. We try not to be too precious about it. But for us, it’s all about the simplicity and making it as easy as we can for those who are working so hard in such trying circumstances.”
[17:40 – Guy Britt]

Flexible working

“From our perspective, I think that we’ll likely never go back to a very overcrowded office like we had before the pandemic. Honestly, I think that the flexibility and the agility that is nowadays available in a new way will likely continue. And I also think that we will likely not travel in the same way we have been doing up until January last year.”
[24:25 – Daniela Rogosic]

Providing support

“It’s a mix between what’s happening at a global level, and then where it comes from the grassroots. Of course, at a global level there’s a whole multitude of programs, literally too many to mention, where there’s professional support available to each and every one of the 170,000 colleagues around the world. If they’re feeling stressed, anxious, overworked, burnt out or lonely, there’s professional people they can reach out for.”
[28:35 – Guy Britt]

Home furnishing and meatballs

“We also remind ourselves that it’s only home furnishing and meatballs that we are covering. It’s not life or death. It feels like it is at times, but it is foremost home furnishing and meatballs.”
[33:40 – Daniela Rogosic]

Links & References

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