Nikolaos Migkianis, IKEA Hrvatska, Store Manager

Objavljeno 01.01.1970.

Nikolaos Migkianis, IKEA Hrvatska, Store Manager

The pre-pandemic research has shown that the global GDP might be increased by around ÂĽ by closing the gaps between men and women in the workplace by 2025. We believe that companies have a great responsibility in increasing representation of women and providing equal opportunities for all, in all positions. Due to internal policies companies can introduce, they can adapt and change faster than governments and therefore, bring faster changes for the many people.

Could you share with us some key milestones in the D&I journey of your company? Caring for People and Diversity & Inclusion is embedded in our vision and in our values. We are a humanistic and values` driven company, and we welcome all dimensions of diversity because we believe that diverse workplace is good for our co-workers, for our customers and for our business. On a global level we have devised a systematic approach to adoption of diversity and inclusion in all our units, which we consider as a key milestone. This approach includes everything: from leadership dedication to diversity and inclusion, through its introduction into a business strategy, to various activities that help us create a diverse and inclusive company. For instance, we have developed D&I trainings in order to reduce unconscious biases that all our co-workers at IKEA Croatia need to complete. What aspects of diversity management have the highest priority in your company? At IKEA Southeast Europe, which IKEA Croatia is also part of, we have put great emphasis on gender equality, which we recognized as an area where we can give our greatest contribution. At the company level, we have introduced progressive internal policies aimed at enabling equal parenthood for our co-workers and equal opportunities at work. For instance, we introduced Paid leave for dads consisting of one-month paid leave for IKEA dads which they can spend with their kids as soon as mums get back to work. We also set ambitious goals to achieve gender balance by 2022 in all levels of leadership, functions and positions. However, it is not only about figures, as we want to have more women on jobs traditionally perceived as male, as well as have more men on jobs perceived as female. Which D&I activities have been implemented in your organization so far? We at IKEA welcome diversity in any shape, so we encourage our co-workers to be whoever they are. We provide equal opportunities to develop at IKEA Croatia, gender balance in levels and functions, and equal pay for all our co-workers regardless of the differences in our co-workers` identities. We actively aim at creating a fully inclusive work environment, contributing to a positive change in all areas of our business and in society. Apart from introduction of progressive policies, and D&I trainings, I would also like to emphasize that we initiated foundation of Gender Equality Alliance of companies in Croatia to exchange knowledge and internal practices to achieve more equal workplaces in the country. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by the industry sector in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce? We at IKEA think that leveraging diversity and inclusion is an investment in our co-workers and in our business. So, for us it is a no-brainer question, diversity is a business need. Thus, lack of acknowledging this might result in a great challenge and risk for a company. The pre-pandemic research has shown that the global GDP might be increased by around ÂĽ by closing the gaps between men and women in the workplace by 2025. We believe that companies have a great responsibility in increasing representation of women and providing equal opportunities for all, in all positions. Due to internal policies companies can introduce, they can adapt and change faster than governments and therefore, bring faster changes for the many people. What business benefits do you see as a result of increasing D&I? For IKEA, recruiting from the entire pool of diverse talents means that we can attract the most skilled co-workers. Also, inclusion creates a desirable workplace for co-workers by increasing their satisfaction. And finally, by reflecting the diversity of our markets in our HR policies, we can also understand our customers better, broaden our customer base and tap into new markets. Can you name three diversity challenges that companies have to pay attention to? Firstly, working in highly diverse and inclusive organizations also requires more time for co-workers to understand each other and cooperate. It might also call for strong interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity due to the potential differences among co-workers. Therefore, it is very important that the leadership team shows dedication to diversity through its own example, while Communication and People & Culture department through various campaigns and activities can help nurture culture of tolerance among employees. Secondly, prejudices and stereotypes might also be challenging, but how much we will adopt them, depends on our own values and the environment we are in. Therefore, for us at IKEA it is very important that our co-workers share our set of values and that they are open-minded, tolerant, and ready for teamwork. Finally, we can point out trust, because it is very important that people from minority groups feel trusted. This, again, requires sensitive leaders who can make feel all team members included. What do you do to convince your colleagues to see the value in diversity management, or even more to truly get them on board? We consider our co-workers as our real ambassadors. Therefore, we use internal communication channels to enable co-workers to be the first to know about all our activities and campaigns. Furthermore, we also include them in all our activities. For instance, at IKEA Croatia we have been working on integration of refugees through various employment opportunities. To make them closer to the IKEA way or working, we provide them with buddies - our co-workers who are longer with IKEA, and who become their mentors to help them adapt more easily. In addition, our co-workers were also our brand ambassadors for Equality works better campaign aimed at achieving gender equality at work, at home and everywhere else. They were the faces on our external campaign calling people to raise awareness on equality issues. Any plans for the upcoming #EUDiversityMonth this May? During May this year we will use IDAHOT as an opportunity to reiterate our messages on importance of diversity and inclusion. We are also happy that important stakeholders recognize our efforts. Thus, recently we have been awarded as the best employer in Croatia with the best policies in LGBTI inclusion at workplace, based on the Equality Indicator.     This interview was produced with the financial support of the European Union (project Workplace Inclusion Champion WIC). Its contents are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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14. konferencija o održivom razvoju i 15. dodjela nagrade HRIO slika

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10000 Zagreb, Hrvatska

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