My IKEA Journey Until Now - Gregory Lailvaux
Why do you work for IKEA?
I began to work in the Edinburgh store in 2013 as a 16 hour co-worker in IKEA Food whilst studying architecture at Edinburgh University. I really didn’t enjoy university and so left, leading me to picking up full time shifts at IKEA. I love learning and developing, and so this was the perfect opportunity for me to build my competence by doing a shift in every area in IKEA Food, making me a multi-skilled co-worker.
I love the family feeling at IKEA, and this is what I find so special! I feel like I can contribute towards the vision in my own unique way, as can everyone.
How do you make a difference to a better IKEA?
I always try to deliver everything in the best way that I can, and always share ideas of good examples, competitors etc from all over the business. I really believe that we are ”one IKEA” and not segregated into our work areas– we should always be there to support one another.
What have been your key highlights or turning points in your journey?
I was very low in self confidence after leaving university, but the belief that my manager and store manager had in me to develop with IKEA was amazing. They recommended the IKEA Fast Tracker programme and I went through the whole recruitment process shocked that I was getting through on each round until eventually getting a place. I instantly knew that I had made the right decision. Those two leaders, left me feeling inspired and motivated, and one day, I would love to support as many people as possible the way that they spotted and supported me!
My IKEA Journey until now...
Commercial Activity Leader
What has been your biggest learning?
My biggest learning (or development) is moving from someone that likes to do every single task involved in a change, to moving to someone that draws the talents and spealist knowledge from those around me to delover soemthing amazing together.
Anything you would have done differently?
Throughout the fast tracker development programme – personal development was always a massive focus. I always felt that I couldn’t connect to a development plan and so chose not to work with one, until I discovered the learning journal which has helped me so much being able to reflect on difficult situatuons and improve my situational leadership. If I were to do something differently, it would be to review my personal development on a more regular basis to make sure that I am not always dragged down into the day to day tasks.
What are your key responsibilities in your current role?
In my current role, the two main areas that I work with are – Seasonality and vitality, and add-on sales. I also support the shopkeepers across lots of different areas of the business and work across all functions to secure commerciality in the IKEA Store. There are many different areas that I support with – Commercial Activities is the best place to be if you enjoy being busy and learning lots!
What skills do you need for your current role?
For this role, it is so important to be able to communicate across functions, have some knowledge about Logistics and to be able to show that you can lead across all levels. It is important to have a knowledge of sales to be able to challenge in the day to day to day working environment. Last but not least, it is important to show that you can be organised and multi task a lot of tasks at once.
Previous leadership training key for this position
Previous to this role, I was on the Fast Tracker Development programme. Within this programme, I participated in two projects which supported my development as a leader. It is important in this role that you can lead others through influence and enable change across all levels from co-workers to functional managers. I was able to learn to influence across the store through my second project as a project leader for Kitchen Installations and Home planning.
What do you want to do next?
After the role of Commercial Activity Leader, I would like to take a role as a deputy store sales manager or make a transition into Logistics as I really enjoyed working there in IKEA Wembley.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about this role?
The best advice that I could give is to always be yourself, be really open and honest about your strengths and weaknesses and there will always be someone to support you.
For the role of Commercial Activity Leader, the best advice I could give is to familiarise yourself with sales, build really good working relationships across all functions and be confident in challenging on all levels.