“Recognition Opportunity Inventory: An Alternative ROI to boost your ROI” by Dirk Heirman

A lot – if not all – companies are aware that the war for talent is not only about being able to attract the right talent, but also about retaining that talent. The cost of replacement as a ‘real cost’ is being recognized by more and more Finance professionals as well.

A more recent element, though, is the cost of disengagement. While the HR Community is already quite familiar with studies and publications of institutes like Gallup and Gartner, this is much less the case within the Finance Community.

Surprising to a certain extent, as e.g. the latest Gallup Study showed that companies in the highest quartile of engagement levels experience 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability resulting from higher engagement levels, compared to companies in the lowest quartile of engagement levels.

Terms like ‘presenteeism’ or ‘bore-out’ are gaining attention, as driving down absenteeism does not necessarily imply engagement and hence increases productivity.

That is why it is paramount to deploy the resources you have at hand in the most optimal way. That the programs you initiate are driving the results you aim for and contribute to ‘making a difference’.

Sure, it is important to have a good understanding of latest trends in the HR arena, but even more to ensure that your (HR) offering is geared towards the expectations and needs of your associates.

Typical examples are whether your variable pay schemes are driving the results or behaviours you’d want, or whether the medical plan you offer is covering the needs of a contemporary family (e.g. coverage of step children).

But it doesn’t stop at that – with work-life balance and the mobility issues we face in mind -: aren’t there any better ways to organise your workforce? Do all associates need to be in the office at 9 am? Is it imaginable that they work from a remote location from time to time? And if so, how does management manage this? And about management: the number one driver of people leaving organisations continues to be their direct supervisor. Therefore, Assessment and training programs of leadership should also be considered when thinking your approach through.

This is where Recognition Opportunity Inventory (ROI) comes in. The scope of the ROI is ideally quite broad, typically covering not only HR (Total Reward -, Leadership -, Recruitment programs or Organisation Design), but also Health and Safety, Staffing and General Services departments (if they exist). This scope is ambitious, but these domains are often intertwined, and tweaking one program often has sometimes un unwanted trickledown effect on others. With this said, the actual scope is discussed and agreed upon during a first intake, as it can be more opportunistic (or realistic) to narrow down the scope.

When launching a Recognition Opportunity Inventory (ROI), we typically take a two-angled approach:

  1. Starting Point Data

We start with your current situation, and all data you have at your disposal to quantify the starting point. This will help us analyse improvements that can be considered and can contribute to the writing of a business case to get management support for project implementation. During this phase, we will capture the current financial cost as well as the perceived benefits of the different programs already being offered.

Sometimes data gathering presents itself to be a challenge, often caused by the lack of an integrated HCM system. A performant HR system in line with the needs of your organisation, can also be flagged as one of the areas of improvement.

  1. Your company strategy, values and staffing needs

To maximize your company’s success, all initiatives should be supporting the Business Strategy and Business Values, which in turn result -amongst others- in staffing needs: What type (competencies as well as styles) of associates do you need to drive your business forward?

Once we have a good view on those two angles, we will assess your current (HR) programs and compare them to market practices hence identifying opportunities to not only boost your associates’ engagement, but also make you stand out as an employer, making your associates even bigger ambassadors of your employment brand.

The outcome of the Inventory is a ROI report. This will typically consist of four elements:

  1. Market Practices

An overview is given on what the latest trends and best-in-class practices are in the different expertise areas in scope of the study. We will give you an overview whether your company is up-to-speed not only with latest trends in HR programs, but also whether those programs are geared towards your associates’ needs and whether the employer (and potential employee) cost is not to excessive.

  1. Your company’s USP’s

We take pride in making your ROI tailor-made, unique to your organisation. In this section, we compare the market practices you’re currently offering and indicate which programs are effective, which can be improved or can be implemented to reinforce your employer brand.

  1. Opportunity map

Next, we will list the opportunities we identified, using a matrix approach, with two axes. The first axis being ‘implementation ease’, taking administration complexity and communication (e.g. with unions but also management) into account.

The other axis is ‘net gain’. It takes into account the implementation cost which is being offset by the financial and/or psychological (often non-tangible) gain.

On each axis, a ‘low’, ‘median’ and ‘high’ score is used, resulting in a 9-box grid.

The top right box (high net gain, high implementation ease), is where the typical low-hanging fruit is positioned. In a mature organisation, this box is often empty.

  1. Suggested Implementation Program

That is why this matrix results in a (often multi-year) suggested implementation program, as some opportunities may take significant budgets, time or both before implementation is feasible.

Some cannot be realised without others being put in place first, referring to different aspects of your strategy being intertwined or interdependent.


In short, the Recognition Opportunity Inventory is intended to give you a list of concrete opportunities, specific to your organisation. It will offer you a structured, realistic implementation plan that  gives a positive impact on your associates’ engagement.

By using this alternative ROI, you will be sure to optimize your ROI!

If you want to have more information about the Recognition Opportunity Inventory or about other services DHR Partners has to offer, please consult our website (www.dhrpartners.hr), mail us at info@dhrpartners.hr or give us a call: 0473 901 641


After a career of 20+years in large multinational companies like General Motors, Johnson & Johnson and Ahold Delhaize, Dirk Heirman decides to launch DHR Partners.

His ambition is to boost the engagement of associates, to make them feel that Monday is just another day of the week: just as much fun!

Key in Dirk’s approach is to assess all HR policies and processes and identify opportunities that can be tailored to better fit your company culture and your associates’ expectations.

DHR Partners will also ensure initiatives are affordable and manageable, and presents to interested companies an alternative ROI, a Recognition Opportunity Inventory.


Gepubliceerd door

Marc Plancke

Van jongs af aan ben ik sterk geïnteresseerd in hoe mensen zich gedragen, hoe ze elkaar beïnvloeden en hoe Jan daar beter in slaagt dan Mieke (of vice versa). Na het behalen van een licentie in de Psychologische en Pedagogische Wetenschappen ben ik eerst beginnen werken als psychotherapeut in een Dienst Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg. Daarna heb ik me gedurende een 15-tal jaar in verschillende sales functies uitgeleefd, zowel nationaal als internationaal. In 2004 heb ik me omgevormd tot HR freelancer met focus op rekrutering, development en employer branding. Eind 2012 heb ik Cantaloupe Interim Management opgericht, een bureau gespecialiseerd in het detacheren van HR Interim Managers en Freelancers.