IKEA employee reviews were sinking months before massive layoff announcement

3 weeks ago by James Mattone in Facts, News, Trends

IKEA ($IKEA), the world's largest furniture retailer, is undergoing a period of change as it shifts more to e-commerce over brick-and-mortar retail sales. Because of this, IKEA Group announced that 7,500 jobs, mainly administrative positions in its central support center, are going to be cut over the next few years. In a statement, it also said its restructuring will replace these jobs with 11,500 new ones.

Of course, this shift impacts the company's internal culture, one that has been on the decline since late June 2017.

On the employer review website Glassdoor, where current and former employees can anonymously rate and talk about the companies they work for, IKEA's ratings are plummeting on all fronts. In turn, its overall rating dropped from a 3.9 on July 1, 2017 to a 3.1 in less than a year and a half.

CEO Rating

IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin has gone from a CEO above the Glassdoor average CEO approval rating of 69% to below the 50% threshold, as employees started to turn especially sour on the chief executive from late July of this year onwards.

Business Outlook

With layoffs on the horizon, employees flipped IKEA's business outlook — or the rating that measures employee confidence in the company over the next six months — from 66% to 33%. 

Recommend to Others

Similar to Business Outlook, current and former employees aren't too keen on recommending a job at IKEA to anyone. What was once a rating right at 78% has dipped under 50% for the first time since Thinknum started tracking IKEA's Glassdoor data, indicating that more employee/reviewers are more likely to not recommend working at IKEA to a colleague.

One reason that could possibly explain the drop is the company's "organization for growth" policy, which shook up employee's roles at stores and seemed to have backfired substantially this year because workers were uncomfortable taking up new assigned tasks.

Rating Count Mix

The above graph describes the percentage mix of review scores given to IKEA over time. Since June 2018, the number of four star reviews dropped about 3%, while the number of 3, 2, and 1 star reviews had a combined increase of over 3%.

Employees on LinkedIn

For reference, the amount of people who claim they work for IKEA on LinkedIn is above 53,000, a far cry from the 194,000 co-workers the company claimed to have in 2017. Given that LinkedIn is a voluntary service for people to report their own jobs, it seems most IKEA employees aren't willing to create an account and say they work for the Swedish furniture store.

Despite IKEA heavily investing in Asia, where it plans to open a 700,000 square feet store in Manila, their internal restructuring plans are striking major nerves with its employee base, and their sentiments seem to be bubbling over.

James Mattone

James is a recent Boston University graduate who calls the world of esports and video games his home. As a young journalist, he has already covered two E3 expos a...

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