Business Need

Heineken Business Need

When Heineken needed a psychometric method with diversity and inclusion written into its very DNA, it chose Lumina Learning.


During her seventeen years at Heineken, Pamela Dale had tried a number of psychometric tools, all of which did the job after a fashion but were never a perfect fit.


This was very much the case with Heineken’s last but one personality assessment. It was good but by no means great. Hence Dale’s decision in 2019 to ditch the old model and seek a better one. Commenting on the decision, Pamela Dale says:

‘We felt that it did not fit with our diversity and inclusion agenda.’

Lumina Learning Solution

“The Right Fit”

Heineken Inclusive Practices

She immediately set about looking for a replacement. At length, stumbled upon Lumina Learning and Lumina Spark.


From the first, it was abundantly clear that Lumina Learning dovetailed perfectly with Heineken’s values and ethos. Both believe implicitly in the power of human connection. Both believe in togetherness. Both champion difference. Both share a common purpose in wanting to make the world a better place. Both believe in moving heaven and earth to unlock people’s potential. One does it by means of lager, the other by means of next generation psychometrics.


The story of Lumina Learning and Heineken began in 2018. Ms. Dale and her team took the unusual step of treating Lumina Spark as what she terms “an incubator brand,” that is to say, they did not announce the change of personality assessment to staff. There was no launch to speak of, nor was there an introduction. Instead, she trusted to the efficacy of Lumina Spark and the grapevine. Word soon spread. What was this cool new personality tool? How does it use smart data? What is a splash?


Pamela Dale set to work with characteristic diligence at once, forming a crack team of 15 Lumina Spark Practitioners. She ‘started small’, trying out Lumina Spark with two departments-marketing and digital and technology because both were keen to take part in personality assessments. In the first instance, she led two introductory workshops: the first, to introduce participants to the model and to walk them through their Spark Portrait, while the second concentrated on strengthening rapport.


When Covid struck, Heineken adapted with consummate ease because all Lumina Learning’s tools are fully, indeed effortlessly virtual. To better enable Heineken’s HR department to deal with the crisis, Ms. Dale created the Lumina Learning toolkit-one for colleagues, one for practitioners and one for people managers. Doing so enabled her team to put all the Lumina resources in one place.


As Covid eased, Pamela Dale returned to hybrid and in time face-to-face workshops. Lumina’s trademark flexibility (it can be used virtually, in person or both) made the process straightforward and painless. While others struggled in adapting to the brave new world post-Covid, Heineken thrived.


Fast forward to today and Heineken UK now using Lumina Spark as standard. It was the proverbial no-brainer since Lumina’s philosophy aligns perfectly with that of Heineken.


Not unnaturally, Pamela and her team saw greater demand for help coping with pressure and stress during the pandemic. Indeed, such was the clamour for support, that she designed a bespoke team session based upon a number of ‘deep-dive’ modules aimed squarely at developing teams.


Heineken UK Learning's


Lumina Spark has proven a resounding success, so much so that is now Heineken UK’s psychometric of choice.


Whether it is in developing teams, unlocking potential, improving team dynamics, increasing diversity and inclusion or delving into personality so that employees can better understand themselves and each other, Spark has more than paid dividends.


The Spark Portraits with their wealth of smart data afford staff ample opportunities to understand the extent to which their personality determines their behaviour. It holds up a mirror and by doing so gives them a better insight into their strengths and weaknesses. This in turn, helps them be their best and so advance their careers.


Take new starters, for example. They are furnished with a Lumina Spark Questionnaire on taking up their post as a matter of course. Pamela’s team then invite them to attend an introductory webinar in which they are brought up to speed on the Lumina traits-not-types model, what it measures, how it works and indeed why it works. This ensures new employees can take part in any ongoing team development immediately.


Ms. Dale and her team run webinars for both colleagues and people managers. Ordinarily, each webinar is devoted to a different subject expressly designed to help participants to supercharge their own development, raise awareness and to work harmoniously and productively with others. One module, for example, deals with how to ‘speed-read’ a Spark Portrait, another how Lumina Spark can support the four stages of team development. Working closely with people managers to draw up tailor-made team development plans, Pamela’s team recommend modules relevant to each team. Examples include Communication, Managing pressure and Stress, Conflict, feedback and much more.


They then sit down with each manager and together they hammer out a step-by-step roadmap specifically designed to solve a particular problem or cultivate a particular skill.

One thing is for sure: the relationship between Heineken and Lumina goes from strength to strength. As Pamela puts it, “Lumina Learning is very much part of everyday life at Heineken.”

In other words, it’s in the very warp and weft of Heineken’s culture, a seamlessly integrated part of the whole.

How Lumina Spark supports Heineken UK


Open your world, Open your Personality

Pamela’s faith in Lumina Learning has made her ambitious. One of her aims is to train one hundred people managers by 2023. To do so, she and her team unveiled the “9 Heineken Inclusive Practices” in 2022. They cover behaviours such as “Communicate inclusively” and “Develop self-awareness” to address unconscious biases. Starting in July 2020, the “Inclusive Vitamins” campaign encouraged employees to take e-learning “vitamins” and discover what, why and how of each Inclusive Practice.


A not unimpressive 1,500 leaders completed the Inclusive Leadership programme in 2021, bringing the total trained to 13%. In 2022-23, Heineken continue organising workshops to upskill our people managers in how to practice inclusion.

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Lumina Learning is a global network of skilled experts and Practitioners operating in more than 40 countries all over the world.

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Lumina Learning is a global network of skilled experts and Practitioners operating in more than 40 countries all over the world.
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