414,000+ employees

Ahold Delhaizefuture-proofs global HR teams

Ahold Delhaize used their own HR capabilities framework and implemented it in a Global HR Academy that responds to local needs.
Request Demo

About Ahold Delhaize

Ahold Delhaize is one of the world’s largest food retail groups. Formed in July 2016 from the merger of Ahold and Delhaize Group, they are a leader in supermarkets and e-commerce.
Years of driving innovation in retail
Brands in 10 countries worldwide
Associates across more than 7,600 stores
HR professionals supporting the business
The Challenge

Building HR capabilities in a decentralized organization

Ahold Delhaize's global HR team created a capability framework to future-proof the function. But how do you build HR capabilities at scale across a global organization?

HR upskilling at scale

“As HR, we tend to always focus on the business and that is our primary purpose. But it was time to also look at ourselves and look into our know-how,” says Ruben Santos, European Strategy Director for Ahold Delhaize.

To ensure HR could add increasing value to the business, Ahold Delhaize focused on supporting HR’s professional development. They created a new capability framework, outlining the 18 roles and 8 capabilities needed to future-proof the HR organization.

The challenge now was: how to build these capabilities at scale? And how to balance standardization and scalability with different needs across 19 brands?

Ahold Delhaize builds HR capabilities at scale

Balancing local and global

An academy was a logical tool to operationalize the new framework. But a one-size-fits-all solution wasn’t an option.

As a family of brands spread across 10 countries, Ahold Delhaize needed an academy flexible enough to meet a diversity of needs.

The academy would need to provide content that supports the development of the desired capabilities, but also allows for localized content about e.g. legislation

It was also important to facilitate and support multiple implementation approaches to accommodate different cultures, needs, and business objectives.

“As HR, we tend to always focus on the business and that is our primary purpose. But it was time to also look at ourselves and look into our know-how.”

Ruben Santos, European Strategy Director for Ahold Delhaize.
The Solution

Global HR academy implemented at a local level

Content mapped to capabilities

Ahold Delhaize decided to operationalize their capability framework with a global HR academy, and they chose AIHR as the main content provider.

“The content is practical, up-to-date, and it fits the skills we aim to build for the future,” says Ruben. “And most importantly, we can create a curriculum for the roles that we defined in our capability framework.”

Implementation per brand

AIHR took a consultative approach to help Ahold Delhaize differentiate their implementation strategy per brand. Each brand had different objectives and needs.

“Our success manager worked with each brand 1 on 1 to help them go live,” says says Vladimir Ionescu, Global Associates Development Manager.


We got expert support,” adds Tamara Kovacevic, L&D Specialist. “How to implement digital and self-paced learning, engage students, and support managers — AIHR is with you at every step.”

Curious how AIHR can help your teams?


Engaging platform & practical, innovative content

The platform and diversity of content was also well-received. “I love the innovative approach AIHR takes with their courses, the resources library, and the career center,” says Vladimir.

“I really liked being able to extract HR, templates and playbooks, and the live events on diverse topics,” says Linda de Bruijn, L&D Manager.

They saw the same level of quality in the continuous improvements to the learning platform. Vladimir: “I really feel AIHR acts on customer feedback.”

“For learners, the goal was to create clarity about development opportunities. For the organization, the goal was to have HR professionals able to support the strategy implementation.”

Vladimir Ionescu, Global Associates Development Manager at Ahold Delhaize

The Results

A successful first step on a continued learning journey

More aligned & confident

“The feedback is very positive from learners and managers,” says Kostas Markou, Organizational Development & HRBP CSO Director. “It helped us create a common language. And learners are more confident taking on new roles and responsibilities.”

After the first year, the teams are feeling more aligned. They are developing a culture of learning, sharing best practices, and taking ownership of their development.

Moving the business forward

Ahold Delhaize isn’t done future-proofing HR. “We definitely want more students to go through this learning path. Ultimately, it is to better serve the business,” says Ruben

“We want to see smoother processes. We want to better align technology with our associates’ learning needs. We want to partner with the business on the most critical topics to move the business forward.”

The key benefits of AIHR for Ahold Delhaize
Upskilling at scale
Global HR Academy tailored to local needs
Global alignment
Decentralized teams speak the same language
Culture of learning
HR professionals owning their development
Capability mapping
Future-proofing the HR function at scale
Curious how AIHR can help your teams?
Request Demo

Other companies that trusted AIHR in their transition

Schedule a demo

By submitting this form you agree to receiving a (email) followup from one of our consultants.

Do you see the need to upskill your team and are interested in finding out how AIHR’s solutions can help? Or do you have specific questions? Let’s have a chat.

Click here to grab a slot on my calendar. Talk soon!

Oisin Oreilly – HR Learning Consultant (contact me at [email protected])

Go to Top