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, not those who click with the hiring manager,” said an IKEA spokesperson. 16The company instituted a diversity drive, in which it trained HR personnel and individual store managers intensively in diversity related issues. Trainees were given extensive information about which organizations to contact to find qualified minority candidates and how to adjust interviewing techniques to make the interviewing process more comfortable for minority applicants, among others. Managers were evaluated annually on the amount of ethnic diversity they managed to incorporate in their workforce. In 2004, nearly 50 percent of IKEA‟s employees were women while minorities constituted 52 percent of the total workforce. IKEA was a highly competitive company and strove to be the best in every region that it had operations. The company was in favor of competition, as it believed that this stimulated improvement and kept everyone on their toes. It was constantly in touch with its competitors‟ products and strategies and expected all the employees to be conscious of these too. However, despite being an aggressive competitor, IKEA was „humble‟ toward its competitors and „respected their proficiency‟. Openness to change and adaptability were stressed at IKEA. The company understood that change was the key to continuous success and therefore encouraged employees to keep coming up with newer ideas and methods to do things. Analysts said IKEA‟s commitment to change was probably rooted in the fact that many of its successful innovations were a result of experimentation. The natural consequence of being open to change was the enhancement of employee creativity. The value IKEA placed on employee creativity was reflected in the fact that the company usually credited individual employees for furniture designs. 14Karen Lee, “Care Without Coddling,” Employee Benefits News, June 1, 2000. 15Oscar Halpert, “Why IKEA is the business customers - and cities - clamor for,” Renton Reporter, October 29, 2004. 16. Usage permitted only within these parameters otherwise contact [email protected]Taught by Teresa Shuk-ching poon, from 1-Jan-2016 to 30-Jun-2016. Order ref F256000.Purchased for use on the MGT B827 Strategic Human Resource Management, at The Open University of Hong Kong.Educational material supplied by The Case CentreCopyright encoded A76HM-JUJ9K-PJMN9IOrder reference F256000
405-020-110 IKEA created a sense of belonging among its employees by creating a set of distinct values and norms they could identify as IKEA standards. The company maintained an obvious Swedish atmosphere, so that people did not lose touch with the roots of its culture. It even celebrated a Culture Day when it familiarized employees with Swedish customs and traditions. Another innovative practice at IKEA was to give all the products Scandinavian names. This created a strong sense of identity and association among employees.