From Lebec, CA — 11/06/2009
I work in the distribution center in Lebec, CA and have rated all categories below from my experience there.
Pay: Not fantastic, but definitely above minimum wage for even general warehouse positions. The pay is reasonable, but you certainly won't get rich working for IKEA.
Respect: I feel incredibly respected as an individual and coworker. As someone else said, there are two sides to IKEA. I've come to realize that management from those who were hired into high positions as outsiders manage nothing close to IKEA's management philosophy, while those who worked their way up are much more respectful, understanding, and motivating. The latter find a way to relate to coworkers without making them feel like they're on a different level, although they may be.
Benefits: IKEA's benefits are great. What may be lacking on your pay stub is seriously made up with the benefits. Dental is so cheap and covers a considerable amount every year. The education assistance is a great incentive to finish a college degree. I recently had a baby and with the insurance, i only had to pay $200, regardless of the number of days I needed to stay in the hospital.
Job Security: I personally feel great job security because I feel valued in my department, but our location did let go of nearly 30 people during the slump in the economy for general warehouse positions.
Work/Life Balance: With sick days available when your spouse or child is sick, I feel that IKEA has a good work/life balance. In my department, I feel incredibly fortunate to have a team leader and boss that are so understanding if there is something I need to do. For example, they allowed me to take a few days off during a blackout period because I was getting married, which would seem obvious. However, I'm not sure I would've gotten the same courtesy from another company. Also, if you have something going on, they try to be flexible with your work schedule if possible. We used to be a seven day operation, but they made incredible adjustments to the operation to reduce it to Monday through Friday so coworkers could be with their families on the weekends.
Career potential/Growth: I feel that IKEA's philosophy of growth is motivating, but unfortunately, the opportunities aren't always there. I don't think this is really anything to do with the company, but rather the seemingly low turnover rate in our location.
Location: Our building is 30 miles from the nearest big city, so this is a big negative. Our steering group worked with the local GET bus to arrange a special bus route to our building to help coworkers reduce the cost of gas. Unfortunately, the buses pickup over an hour before your scheduled shift, so it is really a choice between valuing your time or your money.
Coworker competence: I gave this a negative 5 because the attitude of our coworkers has a recurring theme of immaturity. They want everything handed to them, rather than work for it. Most coworkers complain of not having the chance to move up, but make no effort to do so. They join committees and take no responsibility for tasks, yet they expect rewards. It's frustrating for me to see, as I'm sure it is for management to deal with. We have VOICE meetings where coworkers are free to express themselves. I consistently hear complaints in these meetings that the team leaders haven't solved this or that problem, yet they admit to not trying to solve it themselves. They want raises, promotions, and recognition, but don't want to work for it.
Work Environment: My department is very laid back because the management trusts the coworkers to do their jobs. There are definitely more uptight departments in our building, but I am fortunate to not be in those departments.