Employee Benefits Awards 2010: Compensation and benefits professional of the year


Colin Miller, reward manager, Kent County Council

Colin Miller has been highly rated for the work he has done at Kent County Council in recent years.

The local authority has won several Employee Benefits Awards accolades during his tenure, notably the 2010 ‘Most effective benefits strategy in a public sector organisation’ award and being highly commended in the ‘Most effective total reward strategy’ category. In 2008 the council won ‘Most effective use of a voluntary benefits plan’.

A former research scientist, Colin was reward adviser at Pfizer before joining Kent County Council in 2002.
In his current role, Colin has been responsible for introducing a common pay and grading structure – the single status approach – ensuring that equal pay reviews are undertaken so that individuals are paid fairly and consistently with others.

Colin understands the important role reward plays in employee engagement. He describes the ‘golden thread’ of creating greater engagement by ensuring people are aware of the wider reward strategy and what they can get from, and through, their employer. By increasing engagement, Colin believes employees will give discretionary effort, which, in turn, will lead to greater service delivery, both internally at the council and externally for the people of Kent.

Colin also has an impact on the wider reward industry in his role as chairman of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) reward forum, whose members meet regularly to discuss issues affecting the sector. Colin is also involved with the CIPD’s vice-president reward panel, which considers more of the strategic direction the CIPD should be considering within the area of reward. He also chairs the Hay client user group, a collection of about 20 local authorities whose representatives meet to discuss pay and reward issues.

Miller said: “Kent County Council has had a desire to ensure it has developed and continued to challenge itself in the delivery of its reward strategy, which is more than just pay.”

Runners up
Sara Davies, reward and HR services director, Ladbrokes

Sara Davies has worked in reward for more than 10 years, having previously planned incentives around building materials at the Focus Wickes Group and Travis Perkins, before moving into the area of sport at Ladbrokes in 2007. She works hard to raise the profile of the company as a great employer with exciting and innovative incentives. Ladbrokes won the ‘Grand prix’ in last year’s Employee Benefits Awards for its Football frenzy motivation scheme. The award was a great achievement for Sara and her team and, she feels, for a sector that has not previously been recognised properly for the employee benefits and incentives it offers.

Kevin O’Boyle, head of pensions, BT (nominated by Shilling Communication)
At BT, Kevin O’Boyle is responsible for all aspects of pensions across 160 plans globally. He also has responsibility for benefit plans outside the UK, for about 400,000 current and former employees.

Kevin has successfully delivered substantial pension changes to BT’s defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes, resulting in a significant reduction in the liabilities of the DB scheme, lowering company costs by more than £100 million a year and reducing future risk by several billion pounds.

See full list of winners and finalists for the Employee Benefits Awards 2010