Where were you on the 1st of October 1987?? Were you one of the people who literally camped outside the first UK store: IKEA Warrington?? Did you join the queue with thousands of others on that first day waiting for those IKEA Warrington doors to open?
My oh my that must have been a spectacle to behold: imagine all the pairs of feet stood around waiting for the exciting moment as the IKEA Warrington doors opened for the first time! Not in London, not in Birmingham, not in Manchester but Warrington, our very own Warrington!
IKEA Warrington fun fact :
- Did you know that it was a full 18 months before the London IKEA branch opened after the Warrington IKEA led the way?.
- The famous Billy bookcase, have you got one? My waiting room does, it was designed back in 1979 and remains a top seller almost 40 years later, despite the shift to e-books.
IKEA Warrington, what’s that got to do with this months blog I hear you say?
Starting with 300 co-workers back in 1987 , IKEA Warrington has expanded and grown: now employing more than 600 people! That’s a lot of pairs of feet walking around the shop floor and warehouse every day adding up to a high step count and foot load. Some of the original staff still work there more than 30 years later, so they must feel looked after.
Employees in IKEA Warrington are valued, by investing in that value IKEA knows it helps keeps co-workers happy to have happy customers. By helping the staff to be happy & smiling in IKEA Warrington they can help us, the customers feel looked after and cared about. But, have you ever tried to be happy and smiling with sore feet? Its hard isn’t it?
This year to show that employee value, IKEA Warrington turned to dedicated bedroom department co-worker Lynn Connor, they wanted her to make their well-being value a reality. Lynn had a vision, a goal, an aim and a mission! To recognise the hard work of her fellow co-workers feet! She knew that the average person walks around 150,000 miles in a lfietime. She also knew an IKEA Warrington co-worker was no average person and needed extra special care and attention to keep them smiling, she turned to the the IKEA Warrington people group for support.
Spearheading the new wellbeing programme for co-workers, Lynn wanted to find new fun ways to help colleagues have comfortable feet. Enabling them to stay happy and smiling for the IKEA Warrington customers. She had heard about me (#pottypurplepod) and reached out via email to ask for my help. I was more than happy to oblige because helping people is exactly what I’m about.
Meeting in the IKEA Warrington restaurant back in April 2018, we thrashed through our ideas, and soon came up with a strategy together to help all the co-workers. I wanted to be able to reach all 600+ of them, not just the few I might meet at a people group, so the logistics of doing that was a challenge. “Video I said! I need to do you a video so everyone can see how we can help them!” With national foot health month just around the corner in June we set that as our target to deliver the foot well-being programme for IKEA Warrington employees. I did an initial video with my proposal, you can see it here if you want to. Hello IKEA team
In early June, Lynn got the go ahead for the project and boy, did she move fast after that, formulating leaflets and banner posters to go on display in the employee areas of the store & warehouse and an employee wide email bulletin including another video from me about what we were up to. This was as well as still doing her day job in the bedrooms department! I sent off for leaflets from The College of Podiatry so we could spread the word of how podiatrists are the people to see when you have a foot problem or foot pain.
Inspired by #foothealthmonth2018 Lynn created her own in-house leaflets as well to help her IKEA Warrington colleagues, with the strap line “Happy feet, Happy Co-worker, Happy workplace”. The banners featured real shoes of real co-workers wearing the boots they use at work, complete with scuff marks showing the extent of foot toil they go through. They looked great!
So what else did we do?
– an open email invitation for employees to send me their foot related questions and we got some really interesting ones early on in the campaign:-
- I have very flat feet – I find my feet ache after being stood up or walking for a while. It also makes the muscles in my legs sore and tender – any advice?
- I have a problem with shoes and hard skin on my toes, what can I do?
- I did a video to answer those queries, its on my YouTube channel. (Linked below so you can see them too if you want to.)
- Competition time- win a free consultation/foot treatment from me
We ran a ‘guess the colleagues 30 hour week step count’ competition. Co-worker Katie volunteered to do the steps. Fellow co-worker Julia made the winning (very close) guess out of the store-wide entries. Both win a free consultation with me or my team for a foot pamper or treatment. How many steps do you think she did? Watch the video to find out here:-
All in all a great effort from the IKEA Warrington team for Foot health month 2018. Thank you to Lynn for her hard work and effort in helping her colleagues. Keeping their feet fit and their faces smiling. I look forward to working with you again.
Till next time, hugz