EXCLUSIVE: McDonald’s Restaurants wins Grand Prix at Employee Benefits Awards

McDonald’s Restaurants, Merlin Entertainments, BT and Kraft Foods were among the big winners at this year’s Employee Benefits Awards, which took place at the Artillery Garden at The HAC on 31 May.

McDonald’s Restaurants took the coveted overall Grand Prix prize, plus the category award for ‘Most effective alignment of reward strategy to business strategy for organisations with more than 1,000 employees’. It took the top honour because of its consistently proactive approach to benefits for its workforce.

The judges were impressed by McDonald’s well-rounded reward strategy, which resulted in a significant reduction in staff turnover. The firm looked at the relationship between high levels of staff engagement and business results and found that engaged staff delivered a better service.

This year’s ‘Benefits professional of the year’ was Debra Corey, group compensation and benefits director at Merlin Entertainments. Merlin also won ‘Most effective motivation or incentive strategy’.

Corey is highly regarded in the benefits industry, having made a big impact on reward strategy at several organisations, including Gap, Quintiles, Morrisons and Honeywell. Corey has succeeded at the Employee Benefits Awards before, including at last year’s event, when her former employer, Quintiles, took the prize for ‘Most effective reward or benefits strategy for staff based outside the UK’.

The award for ‘Benefits specialist of the year’ went to Francis O’Mahony, head of employee share plans and share registration at BT, for his reputation in the industry and work with employee share plans.

Kraft Foods scooped the gong for ‘Benefits team of the year’. Its reward team had the challenge of harmonising reward and benefits after its high-profile acquisition of Cadbury in 2010. The judges were impressed with how Kraft’s small reward team tackled such a huge project.

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For a full list of the winners

Read more about the Employee Benefits Awards