Kavitha’s keynote: Celebrating excellence at the Employee Benefits Awards

Last Friday (12 November), hundreds of industry professionals came together to celebrate the achievements of reward, benefits and HR teams across the country at the Employee Benefits Awards 2021.

I was honoured to open the event, held at Old Billingsgate London, which was our first live awards ceremony since June 2019. Hosted by comedian Zoe Lyons, it seemed fitting that 19 accolades were presented at our 19th annual awards ceremony.

University of Lincoln won the coveted Grand Prix, which is awarded to the best overall entry across all categories, while Rachel Murray from Wood won Employee Benefits Professional of the Year. To read more about this year’s winners, click here.

Since then, Employee Benefits has also reported on a number of other examples of employees’ hard work being rewarded.

For example, supermarket chain Lidl announced it is increasing pay for 21,000 frontline workers from March 2022, which will benefit four in five employees. The decision is part of a UK investment plan that will cost the business £18 million, which was made to recognise the hard work and dedication of its workforce during the pandemic. It will see some staff earning up to £12.25 an hour – a shrewd decision that will surely encourage staff motivation and loyalty.

In a similar move, bus company Trentbarton will be giving 1,000 workers a pay boost from the end of January 2022 which will see most drivers receiving between £12 and £12.60 an hour.

The wage rise means Trentbarton drivers and engineers, described by the business as its “most valuable assets” will earn above the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage rate of £9.90 an hour across the UK and £11.05 for those in London.

Of course, offering pay increases isn’t the only way employers can show they appreciate their staff, and sometimes non-financial rewards can be just as effective. There will also be times when a simple ‘thank you’ is all that’s needed to make employees feel valued.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
Tweet: @kavithasiva_EB