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No 'endo’: Ikea Philippines proudly hiring PWDs, out of school youth | Philstar.com
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Lifestyle Business

No 'endo’: Ikea Philippines proudly hiring PWDs, out of school youth

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
No 'endoâ: Ikea Philippines proudly hiring PWDs, out of school youth
Ikea panelists
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Out-of-school youth (OSY) and people with disabilities (PWDs) are among those that comprise the workforce of Ikea Philippines, the local franchise of the Swedish lifestyle label recently declared in a press conference in its Pasay City store.

In fact, according to the label’s local Human Resources (HR) Manager Weng Manalaysay, they hired eight PWDs last year, while the OSYs were enlisted for their food, sales and checkout departments.

The company, she vouched, also does not discriminate based on age or gender. Their oldest coworker is 58 years old, while gender balance is achieved with a ratio of 45.9% female and 54.1% male. She said, they hire even those who have retired from other companies.

These hires, she noted, are not for temporary posts.

“We hire based on living wage not minimum wages,” she declared. “No contractualization; we hire permanent and full-time.”

Unlike in other companies where skills are more important, in Ikea Philippines, “we try to hire the same demographic as our customers… value space recruitment, where the focus is on people with shared values over skills,” Manalaysay explained.

“Skills are easy to teach, so we focus on values as our metrics... on a person's relations to other coworkers."

Moreover, the company does not encourage their workers to address superiors as “sir” or “ma’am.” They all don the same uniforms.

“We believe that everyone's a leader, no hierarchy, so we call each other as coworker because we treat each other as equals,” Manalaysay relayed.

“My husband runs his company the same way,” butted in actress Iza Calzado, the event’s host.

Apart from trying to imbibe a more inclusive and fair working environment, the company said they also encourage coworkers to be more sustainable.

“From orientation, we understand the sustainable agenda. Our restaurants are always serving healthy food options even for employees,” the HR manager attested. 

Jarek Lesniewski, Ikea Philippines fulfillment operations manager, added that they teach their employees the Swedish concept of “Lagom” or “not too much, not too little, just right,” especially when getting from buffet food.

“We encourage them to just eat what they can finish,” he expounded.

Based on the company’s latest sustainability report on food operations, the company recorded a 70% reduction in the volume of food waste compared to previous year. 

To keep their employees’ physical and mental wellness in check, the company encourages employees to go on a Fika coffee break that enables coworkers to catch up on one another. 

They invite employees to exercise, and measure their exercise activities, whose equivalent would be donated to charities as part of the company’s “good neighbor programs.” In addition to this is an annual social work leave, which is granted to all employees, to give them a chance to pursue their own personal charity work.

According to the brand’s new sustainability report, their proactiveness in sustainability give their workers a strong sense of purpose and environmental practice, with over 90% of them feeling that they know how to take care of (92%) and actively contribute to (95%) the planet.

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