Ahold Delhaize

Ahold Delhaize came to us seeking to build a sustainably high-performing culture amidst relentlessly rising demand and complexity. This was especially critical in the face of a large merger that caused uncertainty and anxiety in a population that was already stressed and stretched.


Key Challenges:

  • Store managers did not have the knowledge, the tools, or the space to make changes in the way they were working as individuals nor managing their teams.
  • The culture viewed rest and renewal as impediments to meeting their goals, leaving people feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
  • A large merger was looming, bringing additional stress and uncertainty to a population that was already struggling.


Energy Objectives:

  • To give store managers a set of tools that allowed them to manage themselves and their teams more effectively.
  • To create a culture that fuels and draws on the full range of people’s resources to manage a highly demanding and complex work environment.
  • To systematically build the individual and collective capacity of the organization in order to fuel resilience, flexibility, creativity, and collaboration.


Our Solution:

Step 1: Explore
We started by conducting a baseline survey to identify the areas where the organization was suffering from the biggest energy drains and deficits. It became clear that store managers were a particularly critical yet overwhelmed population.

Step 2: Envision
We built a customized process for these store managers designed to teach them how to manage their own energy better and how to more effectively meet the needs of their team members.

Step 3: Energize
We rolled out those programs to 180 store managers across two of the company’s divisions. We also tracked an identical division within the organization that didn’t experience our training.

Step 4: Evaluate
In early spring 2017, we launched a pulse survey – a shorter version of the larger 2016 audit, in order to see where the organization stood a year later and measure the impact of our intervention. Being able to compare the “treatment” and the control group allowed us to see which changes were organic or the result of business fluctuations or other interventions, and which were the result of our partnership.


Client Results:

While the group that experienced our work (the “treatment group”) started with lower scores than the control group across the board, their increases were significantly higher in every dimension.

  • Between July 2016 and April 2017, the treatment group saw a 17-percentage point increase — from 33.8% to 50.7% — in agreement with the statement “I would recommend this organization as a great place to work.” The comparison group, meanwhile, saw just an 8-percentage point increase (from 37.7 to 45.5).
  • The treatment group reported an 11-percentage point increase – from 54.5% to 65.3% – in agreement with the statement “I feel motivated to go above and beyond in my job.” The comparison group, meanwhile, only saw a 1-percentage point increase (from 59.1 to 60.2).
  • The treatment group saw a 13-percentage point increase – from 57.9% to 70.7% – in agreement with the statement “This organization challenges me to do my best work.” The comparison group, meanwhile, saw just a 2-percentage point increase (from 64.5 to 66.4).
Building a high performing culture amidst a complex merger.
“The Energy Project is a very compelling investment because it not only impacts your business results, it also impacts how your employees and associates think about you as a company.”
Tara Fallon
Vice President, Talent, Diversity & Inclusion, & Organization Development
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