Learnings from the webinar "Coaching in people development at IKEA"

with Bastian Berndt and Tabea Rinn from IKEA Switzerland

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of managers at IKEA Switzerland have developed internally. But how does IKEA continuously develop its internal talent pool?
Which challenges and opportunities arise?
Simone Mählmann from Sharpist discussed this together with Tabea Rinn and Bastian Berndt from IKEA to find out how they master this task and what role leadership development and coaching play in this.


Use case

in Switzerland
Annual turnover
billion CHF

How IKEA Switzerland structures its leadership development

What impact does leadership development have on IKEA's corporate strategy?
Shared leadership approach

IKEA Switzerland relies on a shared leadership approach, introduced globally in 2022. The concept that characterizes their work culture is that everyone has the potential to lead. Continuous development is not just part of career planning, but an integral part of the work processes.

Employee empowerment

The creation of clear development programs, such as "Grow with IKEA", enables employees to develop their potential at an early stage. These programs are not limited to career development, but also promote a culture of lifelong learning. An impressive 80% of participants subsequently advance to management positions.


The key role of coaching in leadership development at IKEA Switzerland

What role does coaching play in the development of your managers?
Why IKEA Switzerland relies on coaching as an enabler for its leadership

IKEA Switzerland consistently relies on the integrative application of internal and external coaching, including their partnership with Sharpist. The aim is to support key transitions, be it new management tasks, moving to another area of the company or a change in role - especially in situations where managers have to overcome individual challenges. Transitional situations, in which managers may feel isolated, are a concern.

Management development at IKEA Switzerland is carefully planned - with coaching used in two ways:

Next Step Coaching:

This approach is aimed at aspiring managers who want to move up from team leader to department head. Here, basic knowledge is imparted and accompanied by coaching in order to achieve the defined goals.

Regular Coaching:

This is where managers set clear goals in their development plan. Sharpist is involved to help them take a broader view of their role. This goes beyond the usual performance management and offers managers who want to achieve their goals a targeted opportunity for further development.


Choosing the right coaching partner

Why did IKEA choose Sharpist?
Bastian Berndt on working together with Sharpist

IKEA Switzerland has been working successfully with Sharpist since 2020. The decision to choose Sharpist as a partner was based on its comprehensive offering, flexibility and impressive network of coaches. This targeted selection proved to be a decisive success factor and significantly supported leadership development and the integration of coaching measures.

"Culture and values are very important to us, and you can just tell that it fits. The fact that we meet as equals is a very pleasant way to communicate with each other. I always have the feeling that there is a genuine interest in us as a business, not just because we are just another customer, but because they want to understand what makes us tick and what we are developing."
Bastian Berndt
Leadership & Competence Leader at IKEA Switzerland

Measuring coaching effectiveness with Sharpist

How did IKEA measure the effectiveness of coaching?
Dashboard overview

By working with Sharpist, IKEA Switzerland is given a dashboard that tracks the focus areas and satisfaction of employees as well as the utilization rate. Personal feedback also plays a role in the continuous improvement and adaptation of coaching strategies. The impressive increase in leadership satisfaction since the cooperation with Sharpist underlines the sustainable success.

Reference value for the effectiveness of coaching: IKEA's leadership index

The leadership index, based on regular employee surveys, serves as a key KPI. Since working with Sharpist in 2020, the satisfaction percentage has risen from 81% to an impressive 88%. Coaching contributes significantly to this increase despite a period of external turbulence and uncertainty.


Tabea Rinn's outlook on what's next for IKEA Switzerland


It is important to establish diverse leaders and not just focus on gender distribution. Coaching can help more people to dare to do this.

Support for
transformation projects

As transformation is yet another transitional situation, coaching can play a crucial role in supporting managers through various transformation projects.

leadership skills

Coaching helps to develop leadership skills, especially in the area of emotional intelligence.

Simone Mählmann, Director Customer Advisory at Sharpist, conducted an interview with Tabea Rinn, Talent Development Manager, and Bastian Berndt, Leadership & Competence Leader, at IKEA Switzerland on January 27, 2024.

Simone Mählmann
Director Customer Advisory, Sharpist
Tabea Rinn
Leadership & Competence Leader, IKEA AG
Bastian Berndt
Talent Development Manager, IKEA AG

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