Employee Benefits Award winners 2024

  • Grand Prix


    This prestigious award recognises the most outstanding entry among all this year’s category winners.

    Following feedback, the retailer realised that being able to regularly save money was important for employees’ financial wellbeing. However, 40% of frontline food store staff and 30% of Funeralcare and logistics workers had less than £100 in savings, and only 30% reported being able to save. To address this, Co-op launched a workplace savings trial whereby a group of employees were auto-enrolled by default to set aside £40 of their pay each pay period.

    Through the trial, Co-op helped 1,000 more employees become savers, with a third saving for the first time in their lives. Overall, savings participation jumped to 71%.

    The judges chose this entry as the Grand Prix winner because they liked the way the scheme tackled the broader societal issue of helping to alleviate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, and address the problem that many people do not have short-term savings.

    They were impressed with the amount of research that the organisation had carried out among its workforce, and commented that they hadn’t seen such thorough research undertaken in other entries.

    The judges said: “This was all about encouraging savings and [the Co-op] appeared to have gone out of their way to understand what it is their employees need from wellbeing.”

    The winner said: “We’re very happy to have won, it’s really exciting. I’m really pleased for all the people who helped us to do this and delighted that we can support our employees. They told us that saving was crucial to them and what they wanted to achieve, and we helped them to do that with our benefits strategy. It paints a picture of how we can help people in the future if they moderate to low earners, they came back to us afterwards with great feedback. Starting saving can be a hard thing to do, but once they get going it can change things for them and give them opportunities that they didn’t have before.”

    Sponsored by:

  • Employee Benefits Professional of the Year

    Winner: Brigitte Kaviani, head of health and wellbeing, NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board

    This category celebrates an in-house benefits, reward or HR professional who has made their mark on the industry.

    Brigitte has been described as an extremely passionate, dynamic and motivated individual. In a career spanning more than 30 years, she has made a real difference to thousands of employees across South Yorkshire. In addition, to striving to add value and make a real difference to their wellbeing, she has also worked tirelessly to ensure they are empowered to look after themselves and others.

    Brigitte has also been influential in bringing public sector organisations together across South Yorkshire to work towards creating menopause-friendly cultures. This is a major achievement as collaborative working within the sector has historically not been an easy task. As part of her work in this area, Brigitte has established a monthly forum for advocates to come together to share ideas and learning, which has been fundamental in establishing a menopause friendly culture across South Yorkshire.

    Opening up events to employees’ friends and families, meanwhile, has helped to increase .awareness of the subject within local communities, as well as advocate the importance of the family in employee wellbeing.

    As well as her extensive work within the region, Brigitte has also raised awareness of menopause at a national level, with appearances on BBC radio and BBC Look North, for example.

    Brigitte has also had an impact internationally, leading on health projects in developing countries across three continents.

    The judges said: “As the individual behind this work at NHS South Yorkshire, Brigitte should be commended for her efforts.”

    The winner said: “I am absolutely thrilled. I have worked in the NHS for 37 years and I think the contribution, not just from me but my team and various teams that I’ve led, have made a huge impact in South Yorkshire through the hospitals. We have had a tough time, but our staff put everything into the patients, through difficult and not-so difficult times. I would like to thank my organisation and my team members.”

    Sponsored by:

  • HR or Benefits Team of the Year

    Winner: Deloitte (UK)

    This category celebrates an in-house or HR benefits team that has worked to deliver benefits that meet the HR and business strategies of their organisation.

    Following some negative feedback about its benefits, the accounting and consulting firm set out to improve its offering. The team behind the benefits project ensured historic data was retained, integrated old and new benefits, introduced a total reward statement for the first time, and made its provision scalable with the inclusion of a mobile app. It also introduced a gym benefit, individual savings accounts (Isa) and lifetime individual savings accounts (Lisa), domestic partner life assurance and group income protection buy-up as a result of employee suggestions.

    Overall, it saw a 23% increase in take up, exceeding its target of 10%, and 71% of employees have now read their total reward statements.

    The judges thought it was a strong entry, with its metrics aligned well to its clear, well-structured strategy. It had innovative offerings, which the entry really brought to life. It has lots of resources and its virtual roadshow was good. Despite being a large organisation, it communicated well to all employees and had plenty of activity showing improvements and changes.

    The judges said: “It was honest about its journey and practice, and its contrast from its starting point to now was powerful.”

    The winner said: “It was a massive team effort and so many parts of the organisation came together to move our large number of employees to a new benefits system. It was intimidating and challenging at times, but the right thing to do. This validates that all our hard work was worthwhile and that as a team, we all pulled together to achieve this.”

    Runners up:


    Defra group - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    Mott MacDonald

    Sponsored by:

  • Best Benefits to Support Menopause

    Winner: Superdrug

    This award recognises employers that have implemented an effective benefits strategy to help staff going through the menopause.

    Superdrug’s Gender Equality Network identified menopause and perimenopause as a priority area for 2023 and set an objective of providing more support to employees going through these life stages.

    In order to create an open and honest culture where issues could be discussed comfortably, the health and beauty retailer introduced a number of measures including bespoke training for all managers and team members to understand how to support colleagues at work; it runs webinars with medical experts and networking events for teams; it offers paid-for bespoke consultations with menopause experts, and uniform that is 98% cotton, and a relaxed uniform policy in order that team members are as comfortable as possible.

    The judges felt that the diversity in Superdrug’s offerings feels inclusive to all, and that the employer has demonstrated a key commitment to menopause issues and embedded it effectively across its population.

    The judges said: “This is clearly an organisation that understands the needs of its employees and is taking action to meet them.”

    The winner said: “We are an 80%-female employer and about 20% of those women are in the age that would define menopause so it’s something that we’ve been passionate about for quite a few years now. We’ve worked really hard listening to all of our employees, and through our gender equality network have really driven this to not just get the policy in place, but normalise conversations and make it something that everyone feels comfortable, if they want to, talking about it and share their experiences.”

    Runners up:

    Age UK

    Barratt Developments

  • Best Benefits to Support Reproductive Health

    Winner: Centrica

    This category celebrates an employer that has an effective benefits strategy to help staff going through fertility treatment or pregnancy.

    In 2023, Centrica launched its inclusive support package for families, Pathway to Parenthood, which helps employees who are struggling with fertility and/or becoming parents, regardless of race, sexual orientation or relationship status.

    The package offers a financial benefit towards fertility treatment and becoming a parent, which includes IUI, IVF and egg or sperm donation and storage. The benefit can also be used to cover costs for adoption or surrogacy. Fertility testing is available separately through Centrica’s healthcare plan, funded through a medical trust.

    Employees are also given five days paid leave, in addition to their annual leave allowance, for their fertility treatment, adoption or surrogacy appointments per year.

    The judges thought that Centrica’s entry was very progressive and comprehensive, and demonstrated a clear commitment to its future trajectory of providing more support to employees.

    The judges said: “[Centrica] should be commended for advocating this support outside of its organisation as well and sharing best practice with other employers.”

    The winner said: “We are incredibly proud to get this recognition for a truly amazing benefit for our [employees] that helps them in their personal/professional life to have the family they really want to have. Not everyone is able to have children and this leaves a great legacy of us being able to do that for our people.”

    Runner up:

    Bates Wells

  • Best Healthcare and Wellbeing Benefits - large employer

    Winner: Bank of America

    In this category, the judges were looking for a successful health and wellbeing strategy that has helped to boost productivity or engagement through employee wellbeing in organisations with more than 1,500 employees.

    The judges were impressed with how Bank of America is committed to evolving its established health and wellbeing strategy in response to a changing marketplace and employee needs. In response to increasing complexities in the healthcare landscape, such as increasing claims incidences relating to cancer, musculo-skeletal disorders and mental health, rising premiums, behavioural change and an ongoing focus on inclusion, the employer introduced new inclusive benefits and worked to drive increases in engagement and preventative care. It also took steps to further promote a positive culture of mental health.

    In order to achieve this, the organisation built on its already extensive package of health and wellbeing benefits. This included: introducing a virtual neurodiversity benefit, which enables employees and family members to access an initial assessment, expert treatment and post assessment support; developing a new menopause pathway; enhancing its MyWellbeing account to use on various health-related activities; signing the #WorkingWithCancer pledge and expanding its sabbatical programme.

    The results were remarkable, with the organisation achieving strong take up across its health and wellbeing provision.

    The judges said: “The most comprehensive strategy showing how it is really mature in what it is doing. [The organisation] is clearly very committed to it.”

    The winner said: “It’s amazing to win, it’s a really nice surprise. The team has worked really hard and they deserve it. Everyone has a challenging time post-Covid-19, and they’ve come out of that having worked exceptionally hard and tried to make a difference. Recognition for what we do is wonderful, it validates the work we’re doing and keeps motivating us to go the extra mile. We have a good healthcare plan, so it’s great to see this recognised.”

    Highly commended:

    South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board

    Runners up:

    Barrett Developments





    Lidi GB


    Tesco Stores

    Tui UK

  • Best Healthcare and Wellbeing Benefits - small employer

    Winner: Berry Bros and Rudd

    In this category, the judges were looking for a successful health and wellbeing strategy that has helped to boost productivity or engagement through employee wellbeing in organisations with fewer than 1,500 employees.

    When Berry Bros and Rudd set out to completely overhaul its benefits package, improving its health and wellbeing provision was a key focus. Rather than continuing to offer the minimum and simply providing its employees with health insurance, the organisation wanted to move to a package of benefits that supported employees’ physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

    The judges were impressed with the way in which Berry Bros and Rudd undertook the project, transforming its health and wellbeing provision from a box-ticking exercise to a package which better engaged employees and provided a focus on preventative health. This included addressing unique challenges to the wine industry, such as providing advice on alcohol consumption and associated conditions including poor sleep and mental health issues.

    It also uses its dedicated health and wellbeing month to trial new benefits among its workforce. Popular options are then made permanent or become regular returners.

    The judges said: “There are so many things you can get off the shelf. They looked at things slightly differently. It was a clever idea to trial things and pick what worked.”

    The winner said: “As a business, we work really hard to put our people at the centre of everything we do. To be recognised for what we’ve done is a really big tick that we’re doing the right thing. We’ve listened to what people want and what makes them happy at work.”

    Runners up:

    Cambridge Intelligence

    Weil Gotshal and Manges

  • Best Public Sector Benefits

    Winner: South Staffordshire College

    This award was introduced to recognise the steps a public sector employer has taken to implement a successful benefits package or initiative for its employees.

    To achieve its strategy of making it a great place to work, the college aimed to maximise its reach and provide tailored support to employees that would create a talking point with their friends and family, as well as building a positive employer brand. It evaluated the likelihood of use and looked at what it could do outside of the minimum requirements to ensure staff would feel that they were looked after. This included introducing a variety of health benefits and parental leave options, as well as wellbeing and financial support.

    The judges thought it was a good, well-rounded entry and programme that had an edge in terms of innovation. They noted that South Staffordshire College offered comprehensive activities despite only having a small budget.

    The judges said: “It had good branding and effectively explained who the organisation is, while still providing something for everyone.”

    The winner said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win. We do some much for our staff to make a difference and we’re pleased to be recognised for that. We send emails to staff on their birthdays, work anniversaries and achievements to celebrate them and their hard work. It’s great to be recognised outside of our sector. The impact that we’ve had on staff and their lives has been amazing.”

    Highly commended:

    University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

    Runners up:

    Cornwall Council

    Defra group - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

  • Best Supplier to Work For

    Winner: Vivup

    This category recognises an employer that uses its benefits package to position itself as an attractive employer, beyond merely offering its own products and services to its workforce.

    The provider wanted to create a culture where employees can bring their whole and brilliant selves to work, so they are seen, valued and empowered to grow. It offers an innovative multi-generational benefits strategy that puts the preventative and proactive wellbeing of its people first, including a variety of financial and family care benefits, recognition and social initiatives, and wellbeing support. It hosted a Your Vivup Wellbeing Day event to celebrate wellbeing and allow staff to rest and recharge.

    The judges thought Vivup’s offering was robust and comprehensive, while its long service awards offered something different from other suppliers. It had a good articulation of its culture and highlighted what tangible things it is doing for staff. Its company growth awards was a unique feature, along with its wellbeing days and sessions, and its activities that catered for all, including remote workers.

    The judges said: “It was a strong submission and was ahead of the pack in terms of provision.”

    The winner said: “This award is for our people and for the culture that we have in our business which is phenomenal. We have to be leading the way so we have to have the very best culture and the very best benefits, and it’s a real privilege to work in a business that is about that.

    “It’s important for us to be able to help clients with their challenges, knowing that we’ve been on that journey and we’ve been able to do the same with our [employees].”

    Runners up:

    BHN (Blackhawk Network)

    Bupa UK

    Canada Life UK

    Health Assured

    HFMC Wealth

    Virgin Incentives

  • Best Use of Benefits Technology

    Winner: The Coca Cola Company

    This category recognises how an employer has best utilised and adapted technology to suit its benefits package, its business aims and the needs of its employees.

    The global brand embarked on a project to review and streamline its benefits proposition globally to create the necessary space and budget for new incentives to take centre-stage. It implemented an online hub that framed its total reward with performance culture and variable pay at the heart of its employee value proposition, it put emphasis on employees’ future compensation to show them what they could earn rather than what they have earned, and produced a series of modellers allowing them to visualise their future pay to drive motivation and performance.

    The judges thought Cocoa-Cola was a tidy, slick and well thought-out entry. Its efforts to integrate its total reward and benefits content were innovative. It tackled the compensation space well and catered for all of its employees across the world. It has impressive results and objectives.

    The judges said: “Despite its huge operating reach, it had a smart and clear strategy, and is a slick operation.”

    The winner said: “It’s fantastic to win, we didn’t expect it. We built a total reward statement that looked to the future, to motivate employees through their performance about what they could earn as opposed to what they currently earn. There’s been a lot of hard work put into this and exploring what is possible. We’ve doing a lot to try to innovate and streamline our benefits proposition over the past few years and this is the next step on our journey to an improved offering.”

    Runners up:





    Sponsored by:

  • Best Use of Benefits to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Winner: Natwest Group

    This award recognises the measures an employer has taken to support inclusion and diversity among its workforce.

    The banking organisation introduced a variety of benefits to drive inclusivity to help attract, recruit, retain, reward and engage its employees, ultimately helping it to achieve its long-term diversity, equity and inclusion goals. These included menopause, neurodiversity and gender transition support, partner leave and the launch of more than 1,000 allies across the organisation as part of its ethnicity ally programme. It takes an innovative, inclusive and accessible approach to the engagement and promotion of its benefits and aims to simplify and digitise its benefits and wellbeing offering to increase accessibility and ease of use.

    The judges thought Natwest Group had a good range of benefits and support, and its innovation and engagement were high. Its incorporation of providers onto its platform to answer employee questions and use of colleague stories was effective and had an impact on staff turnover.

    The way in which it tackled its inclusion agendas including neurodiversity, menopause and gender transition was seen as its unique selling point, which it brought to life through telling staff stories. Overall, it was judged to have taken a standard offering and put itself ahead of the game.

    The judges said: “It had personalised its offering despite being a large organsiation and its focus on ally networks was strong, particularly with its male network discussing menopause.”

    Highly commended:


    Runners up:


    Central Co-op

    Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

    Pepsico UK


    Sponsored by:

  • Best Financial Wellbeing Strategy - large employer

    Winner: Co-op

    This award recognises the most effective use of financial education and workplace savings for employers with more than 1,500 staff.

    The judges were blown away by the innovation of the scheme that supports the broader financial wellbeing of the Co-op’s workforce.

    Co-op recognised that among its 58,000 employees, there was a need to encourage regular saving to support their financial wellbeing. However, staff reported difficulties in being able to save and many had less than £100 in savings. In order to help staff build their financial resilience, the retailer trialed a workplace savings scheme that opted employees in by default. Staff were auto-enrolled to pay in £40 of their pay each pay period into a rainy day pot. The scheme was supported with access to educational resources on savings and themed education sessions run by financial coaches. The majority of staff selected for the trial did not opt out: 1,000 employees became ‘savers’, a third of these saving for the first time in their lives.

    The judges said: “This was a very innovative submission which displayed a great strategy and clearly-demonstrated success.”

    The winner said: “We are really pleased to have won, it’s very flattering. We are delighted that we’ve been able to work with some brilliant partners on a piece of work around saving that can really help change [employees’] lives.

    “Savings underpin everything else that we do in the financial wellbeing space; if you’re not getting savings right, and helping people to start their savings journey, which is what our [employees] told us they wanted us to support them in doing, you’re not going to get anywhere. It was our number one priority and we’re really delighted to be able to get 70% of [employees] saving for the future.”

    Runners up:


    Burger King UK Group (Burger King UK's Master Franchise)


    Creative Support

    Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Sopra Steria

    Sponsored by:

  • Best financial wellbeing strategy - small employer

    Winner: Telegraph Media Group

    This award recognises the most effective use of financial education and workplace savings for employers with fewer than 1,500 staff.

    Telegraph Media Group sought to support employees’ financial wellbeing with a programme that promotes financial stability and security, and nurtures a financially-confident workforce. It implemented a financial wellbeing programme with accessible financial information and professional guidance on financial topics relevant to employees’ personal circumstances, that could easily be adapted to meet their changing needs. In order to address the varying levels of financial knowledge among employees, the programme focused on bridging the gaps to ensure individuals could make informed decisions through a three-step approach: education, guidance and access to advice.

    The judges were impressed with the organisation’s overall approach and its demonstration of impressive early results.

    The judges said: “The strategy was diverse with a range of financial wellbeing tools to support employees.”

    The winner said: “We didn’t expect to win but it feels great to have done so. We work hard to make sure all our workforce is aware of the financial wellbeing options they have and constantly broadcast them. We’ve had great feedback for employees. We’re always looking at common themes and who we can target, while collaborating with our diversity networks. We focus on what our people want and try to offer support to help with this.”

    Highly commended:


    Runners up:

    FTI Consulting

    Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

  • Best Pensions Strategy

    Take-Two Interactive Software UK

    This award recognises an employer that has developed a pensions strategy that best meets the needs of its workforce.

    Take-Two Interactive Software undertook a pension scheme harmonisation project to meet its goal of providing a generous and attractive pension benefit to all employees.

    Through acquisitions, the software firm had accumulated seven group personal pension (GPP) plans. It, therefore, wanted to offer a single pension plan for all UK members of staff, harmonise pension contributions and increase awareness and engagement with retirement saving.

    After a market review and pension provider selection, the organisation harmonised pensionable salary definitions and levelled up pension contributions so that all employees were aligned with a generous offer. This involved a significant investment from the employer and an increase in pension contributions for some employees.

    The judges said that the entry showed that the employer took the time to understand what its people wanted.

    The judges said: “[Take-Two] had a clear strategy with excellent results. It had great engagement which drove innovation.”

    The winner said: “We have put a huge amount of work into thinking about our employees, what was important to them and how we can make a difference to their financial wellbeing and their futures. People are saving so much more; it’s making a tangible difference to our employees’ retirement journeys and savings.”

    Runners up:

    HSB Engineering Insurance


    Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council


  • Best Benefits Communications

    Winner: E.On

    This award celebrates employers with more than 1,500 full-time staff that have demonstrated an effective and innovative approach to benefits communications.

    The energy supplier has a variety of field and office-based employees, so adopted a blend of appropriate channels and tone in order to reach each group, recognising that everyone has varying communication preferences, needs and access to different platforms and technology. Its tactics included an extensive listening programme, a return to face-to-face communications and technology innovations to reach field-based employees, as well as using video and new apps.

    The judges thought E.On had a clear strategy, objectives and results. It had made a sustained effort to improve its communication despite its varied population. It had almost 100% staff engagement due to its focus on reaching all of its employees. It had an innovative use of virtual reality (VR) for its benefits engagement and its projects were well executed and strong.

    The judges said: “E.On’s frequent communications using its own resources was strong, which kept it fresh and engaging.”

    The winner said: “It’s really amazing that all our hard work has been recognised. We’ve got really great benefits, but if they’re not communicated then it doesn’t matter what is on offer. It’s great that our staff have engaged with them. We have a lot of field workers and a hard audience to reach in terms of the roles that they do, so having the work we put in recognised is a honour. We have a diverse workforce, with some of them offline, so we found different ways of targeting them through varying methods. It’s about knowing your audience and targeting them through different formats.”

    Highly commended:

    Baker Hughes

    Runners up:


    Defra group - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    DP World



  • Best Alignment of Benefits to Business Strategy

    Winner: Azets

    This award celebrates an organisation that demonstrates how its benefits strategy is aligned with its broader business strategy.

    The business advisor wanted to harmonise its benefits by creating a meaningful package that would deliver against its financial, wellbeing, recruitment, and retention objectives. It enhanced its communication and engagement strategies by introducing a monthly initiative that celebrates employees who consistently embody, and demonstrate that they are living, its values. Every UK worker, regardless of their role at the firm, is eligible for this.

    The judges thought Azets’ results were good with a strong range of analytics. It had strong retention and attraction techniques in a challenging environment and workforce due to the nature of its sector. Notably, employee wellbeing was improved for sedentary staff through health measures.

    The judges said: “Azets had looked at its workforce when implementing its strategy, which was people-led. By having its employees underpinning its people strategy, it made distinct changes and got tangible results.”

    The winner said: “We are very pleased to accept the award on behalf of all the teams in our business that have worked so hard to develop our employee benefits to where they are today.

    “We’re delighted with the progress we have made to date and this is a celebration of that and all the hard work that people have put in.”

    Runners up:

    Aberdeenshire Council


    British Society for Rheumatology


    Deloitte (UK)

    Mott MacDonald

    Northwood Hygiene Products


    Sponsored by:

  • Best Benefits to Support Work-life Balance

    Winner: Central Co-op

    The judges were looking for strategies that offer greater flexibility to help support employees manage their lives outside work, as well as their own wellbeing and wider workplace experience.

    Central Co-op impressed the judges with the level of flexibility it offers to employees. Through its WorkFlex and hybrid working schemes, which it devised based on employee suggestions, staff can choose to work a four-day week, nine-day fortnight or a selection of the two on a compressed hours basis. It also invites office-based staff to work one day a week in the office with anything above this based on personal preference and job need.

    In addition, the organisation also offers a wide range of flexible-working options, with the aim of offering something to suit everyone.

    An initial three month-long trial of WorkFlex proved so successful that it has now been rolled out across the organisation. This is perhaps unsurprising given the impressive results it achieved, with more than 90% of participants reporting that it had improved their work-life balance, sustained or improved their stress levels, and sustained or improved their wellbeing.

    The judges said: “One of the stand-out entries [due to] the sheer range of what it has done.”

    The winner said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this award; receiving such recognition shines a light on our commitment to making a meaningful difference for our [employees] at Central Co-op.

    “In an ever-changing work environment, we’re changing the game and really putting [employees’] wellbeing first, of which work-life balance is a big component.”

    Highly commended

    Ikea UK

    Runners up:

    Cooper Parry


    Larking Gowan

    PepsiCo UK



  • Best Flexible Benefits Plan

    Winner: L’Oreal UK

    In this category, the judges were looking for a successful strategy that has effectively delivered benefits through a flexible benefits plan.

    Cosmetics firm L’Oreal recognised that its employees wanted more agility, flexibility and freedom within their benefits proposition to support their wellbeing. To meet this need it evolved its offering in 2023. The employer created a reward strategy that supports employees’ life goals; brings benefits, pay, recognition and wellbeing together; and aligns branding and communication to encourage take up of benefits.

    L’Oreal also made improvements to its offering including looking outside traditional flexible benefits, such as a technology scheme; enhanced its income protection by reducing eligibility from two years to one day; and made its flexible benefits portal more intuitive. The transformation saw increased awareness and engagement among employees, and increased participation with benefits.

    The judges thought that this was a strongly articulated strategy that was clearly executed. It demonstrated a holistic approach with high engagement and a good clear set of results.

    The judges said: “This showed a clear impact on employees with vibrant, eye-catching communication materials.”

    The winner said: “It’s amazing to win. It’s extra motivation to do even more for our employees, it helps us to know that we are doing the right thing. Engaging with our employees and communicating about what benefits they have, how to use them and what’s coming up in the future is key. We’ve got so many good benefits and have tried to inform and get employees excited about what is on offer, which resulted in more engagement and take-up. We also redesigned the branding and our enrolment window.”

    Runners up:



    PepsiCo UK


  • Best Motivation or Recognition Scheme

    Winner: Welcome Break

    This award celebrates an employer that has implemented a successful motivation strategy that uses either incentives or motivational rewards to help drive employee performance, engagement or retention.

    The motorway services business designed a variety of motivation and recognition schemes that would resonate with the diversity of its team and align to its organisational objectives. The combination of cash rewards, unique experiences and creative incentives not only positively impacted its workforce but also contributed to significant improvements in key business results, customer experience and overall organisational success.

    The judges thought it was a good submission and had strong metrics and results. They thought it was a good idea for the employer to communicate successes across Welcome Break’s different brands and locations. Innovation was met through its motivation and recognition schemes, and through its ways of devising different schemes and types of reward. These were cross-sectional and aimed at all staff despite their levels and roles. Its incentives delivered results and ensured that its senior leadership team were visible in their support, so everyone could celebrate together.

    The judges said: “It had a good sense of where it is culturally and its attempts to meet targets. Its £1 an hour extra incentive was strong and made a difference to employees.”

    The winner said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. We have put a huge amount of work in to understanding our team and what motivates and drives them over the last four or five years, and particularly post-Covid, we’ve changed our entire benefits and incentives, so to be recognised for that contribution today is outstanding.”

    Runners up:


    Oxfordshire County Council


    The AA


  • Best Voluntary Benefits

    Winner: IPSL

    In this category, the judges were looking for an organisation that has either launched or revamped its use of staff-paid, voluntary benefits or staff deals.

    IPSL undertook a complete overhaul of its voluntary benefits programme after its offering failed to achieve the desired engagement and take up. Employee feedback identified that many lower-paid employees were prevented from taking up benefits due to financial barriers. After IPSL identified that its costly death-in-service benefit was not well known to employees, it amended the core level of cover provided in order to redirect its spend into creating a £300 fund for each employee to spend on voluntary benefits.

    The organisation also took steps to improve scheme communications, introduce new benefits to offer staff additional choice and improve the accessibility of the scheme through a new app.

    The judges praised IPSL for the way in which it made a huge effort to really understand its employees’ concerns and gave staff the power to tailor benefits to their individual needs. This is reflected in the impressive take up it achieved.

    The judges said: “[It] really understood what the issues were and provided a tailored package.

    The winner said: “It’s amazing to be recognised and our [employees] have got something to be proud of. It’s great to see the work we’ve put in be recognised externally. The engagement we’ve seen is testament to the work we’ve done. Over the last couple of years we’ve looked at our benefits offering in its entirety. We did a lot of speaking to employees to find out what they wanted and introduced a flex fund for employees to tailor the package to themselves, as well as new voluntary benefits to choose from. Our engagement rate rose from 36% to 96% as a result.”

    Runners up:

    Lidl GB

    Standard Chartered Bank

    Wates Group