Figtree International

Human Resources


How to maximise business performance?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? You probably did! Most managers ask themselves that question on a regular basis. And they look to HR to help them find the answer because they know that the people in the organisation make the difference. People determine whether a business fails or succeeds. Of course there are uncontrollables, external factors that influence an organisation’s performance, both up and down. Some of these factors are common to the whole industry, or are connected to the lifecycle phase an organisation is in. But the human dimension is a controllable factor. The company decides who they hire, who they fire and who they give the top jobs. And once they’re hired, they will give it their best, or won’t they? And if they don’t , why not? What’s keeping them, what are the barriers? And if they do, what are the enablers? What has made them perform so well? 

Figure Business performance model

Figtree specialises in analysing those barriers and enablers and helping the organisation to take the barriers away and make maximum use of the enablers. Help the organisation to get the very best out of the people they employ. To get the very best contribution, people have to be and feel engaged. Engagement is the prime driver of individual performance. So how do you make them  feel engaged? What can you do? What should be your approach to performance management? And how do you reward individuals? Your top performers of course need to be rewarded appropriately, but what about the large majority in the middle? They need to feel engaged and recognised as well.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. Lao Tzu

Figtree helps you to analyse the blockers and enablers in your specific situation, determine your performance and reward strategy and then implement it. This is more than ‘how many performance labels do we need?’, or ‘should we get rid of performance management as we know it’? It starts with analysing the business strategy and the corporate culture. The performance and reward strategy needs to be aligned with both, otherwise it will fail. On the other hand the strategy can also be used to trigger a shift in the performance culture, but that requires careful handling. It’s also horses for courses. What works for one company in one environment does not necessarily work in another one.   

Contact us to find out more about our approach!


Figtree specialises in performance management, reward and recognition. In addition the following services are available:

Interim HR
This could be a temporary role as interim HR Manager, or to support the HR Manager in a transition situation, or in the context of acquisitions, mergers and de-mergers. Duration normally up to 12 months.
Interim Compensation and Benefits
This could be a temporary role as Compensation and Benefits Manager or to support the Compensation and Benefits manager in a transition satiation or in the context of acquisitions, mergers and de-mergers. Duration normally up to 12 months.
Pay Benchmarking and Analysis
This includes coordination of the pay and benefits benchmarking exercise and liaison with benchmarking service providers. It could also include the analysis of the pay and benefits benchmarking results and development of recommendations for pay and reward decisions.
Compensation and Benefits design
This entails Design of policies and processes in the compensation and benefits area, for example in the area of performance management, promotions, bonuses, long term incentives, cars, new joiner incentives, sales incentives, job evaluation, salary management, etc... These could be local, regional or global.
Global/Regional Standardisation
This entails standardisation of HR policies and processes, for example after a merger or acquisition activity, but also for companies who have grown organically across borders and who feel they need to standardise in order to achieve transparency, cost efficiencies and consistency of treatment of employees or alternatively to enable shared services delivery or HR IT system implementation. This activity could be global or regional or even within country. Examples are policies and processes in the area of performance management, promotions, bonuses, long term incentives, cars, new joiner incentives, sales incentives, job evaluation, salary management, etc...
This includes developing mobility strategies, designing or modifying expatriate salary systems, contracting with expatriate and mobility service providers and designing briefing materials for expatriates. It also includes putting together offboarding, transfer and onboarding/settling-in processes for expatriates.
HR due diligence
Coordination of HR due diligence processes in the event of mergers and acquisitions. This is a critical process with major financial impact, for example in the retirement benefits area.
Post merger HR Integration
It is well known that many mergers and acquisitions are not successful or struggle to achieve the projected business synergies and benefits because the post-merger integration process does not get enough attention. We can help to achieve this by project managing the integration process from an HR perspective and/or assist the existing HR organisation to achieve the hoped for results.
Organisation Design/Organisational Health
Healthy organisation design can be very effective to help maximise business results. Weaknesses in this area can lead to lack of clarity around accountabilities, lower employee satisfaction, frictions between role holders and stake holders, frictions between bosses and subordinates, higher cost and lower effectiveness. It is critical to ensure healthy spans of control, sufficient distance in job weight between one hierarchical layer in the organisation and the next and a healthy number of layers in the organisation. It is also key to clarify roles and accountabilities. We can help to achieve this by focusing on the business strategy and deriving the ideal organisation design from that starting point.
Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. George S Patton jr.

Recent Achievements

About us

Vincent van Ophem is the founder and lead consultant of Figtree. He has extensive experience of working in HR in big multinational organisations in various countries. His most recent role was as Vice-President Compensation in Shell International, where amongst others he implemented a new performance management approach called ‘Engage and Perform’. This was a game-changer for the company and especially relevant in the downturn that the oil industry is currently facing. Other recent achievements include extensive globalisation and standardisation of HR and compensation and benefits policies.

Click here to download Vincent’s CV.
It is no use saying we are doing our best. You have to succeed in doing what is necessary. Winston Churchill


To get in touch with us contact:

Vincent van Ophem
The Hague, Netherlands
KVK: 64714152