How IKEA Benefits Its Employees

With a recession on the horizon and inflation sky rocketing, many workers are struggling to make ends meet. That’s why some companies are stepping up to help.

Ingka Group, the owner of most IKEA stores, is launching a 10-million euro social fund and bigger staff discounts. Each country will give support to co-workers who need “one-off” financial assistance for items like electricity bills and housing costs.


The furniture big-box retailer ingka is known for its modernist designs and eco-friendly simplicity. Now, the company is also maximizing warehouse efficiency by using DSV’s Verity solution to automate inventory tracking.

While many companies are granting cost of living bonuses, Ikea parent Ingka Group is going the extra mile to help their staff cope with surging food and energy costs. It has launched a EUR10 million social fund and doubled staff discounts on Swedish food markets and energy saving products.

In this episode of UNLEASH, we speak to Ulrika Biesert, global people and culture manager for Ingka Group. She tells us that the company is looking at its long-term impact on generations to come in all it does, including how it rewards its employees.

In addition to the EUR10 million social fund, each country will give support to those co-workers who need one-off financial assistance to cover high utility bills or housing costs. Employees can apply for this money through their local HR department.

Health and Wellbeing

As the world struggles with mental health issues, Covid-19 and lockdowns, Ingka Group has stepped up its efforts to care for its people. One of these initiatives, the new ingka Step Stores, is a pop-up retail space where co-workers can swap in their daily steps for currency to purchase health-focused products or discounts at stores and even donate to charity. This is just one example of the many ways Ingka Group focuses on the well-being of its people and communities, Biesert says. The company also takes a long-term view of sustainability in its investments and business practices, such as aiming for gender balance in leadership positions and focusing on the needs of the next generation.

Flexible Working Hours

The company is empowering co-workers to work flexible hours and use their time off when it’s most convenient. It has also increased the amount of paid time off for sick days and added educational assistance, back-up child care and other family support services to its comprehensive benefits package.

Ingka Group has announced a new 10-million-euro social fund for co-workers who need extra financial assistance during the cost of living crisis. The funds will be available in all 31 markets and each market will decide how to best give support to their co-workers on a case-by-case basis. The company has also doubled staff discounts to 30% on store-in-store food market items and thousands of energy savings products.

Other ingka employee benefits include a competitive RRSP program, a Tack loyalty program, performance bonuses, subsidized meals and a co-worker discount, a uniform allowance and safety boot subsidy and an annual Swedish cultural experience trip for employees to Almhult. The company is accelerating its retail transformation, including repurposing stores as fulfilment centres and adding click&collect and drive-through services, while continuing to reduce emissions from its operations.

Paid Time Off

As a recession looms and inflation is sky rocketing, employees need their employers to step in and support them. IKEA retailer Ingka is doing just that with a $10 million social fund and bigger staff discounts.

Ingka will give the money to its most cash-strapped co-workers around the world, allowing them to access one-off financial assistance. The company will also double staff discount on home-furnishing products that save energy, water and food.

These new initiatives are on top of a wage increase and a new performance-based payout of $76 million, which is based on the company’s strong sales performance in fiscal year 21. This is in addition to a one-time global appreciation gift by the Ikea parent of $17 million to be distributed among all U.S. co-workers, which was announced in October. UNLEASH spoke to Ulrika Biesert, the head of Ingka Group People and Culture. She explains what the new policy entails and how it’s being implemented in each country.