Rewards, Benefits & Wellbeing Summit 2020
13-15 May 2020, Dolce CampoReal, Lisbon

Topics for 2020 sessions

We are in the process of sourcing speakers for our 2020 programme. The topics and session titles will be:

Wellbeing - Wellness and wellbeing in the workplace
Reward & Technology
- Digital solutions & the impact of technology on reward
Future of work
- The future of benefits and pensions
- Employee benefits: traditional vs flexible
Diversity & Inclusion
- How Diversity & Inclusion can impact benefits
- Rewards role in employee engagement
Creative reward
s - the balance between legislation and innovation
Financial wellbeing
- Focusing on finances in relation to wellbeing

We are still confirming our programme. Please see below for 2019 speakers.

If you are interested in a speaking opportunity, please contact

2019 Speaker programme

2020 speaker coming soon!

Caspar Craven

Keynote Speaker, Adventurer, Entrepreneur
Caspar Craven
Transform the culture in your business- and make the magic happen every day at work
  • Biography

    I believe in challenging conventional thinking on how leaders and teams become truly effective and create extraordinary results.

    I have 30 years’ experience in building teams to make things happen. Starting as an entrepreneur at the age of 14, I have built and led teams in global corporations, start-up businesses, struggling businesses and high growth businesses. I’ve built a team on a trophy-winning world racing yacht. But my toughest challenge by far was building my family team to sail around the world: with my wife and three children aged 9, 7 and 2.

    Along the way I’ve built multiple successful ventures from scratch and sold one for a 7 figure sum whilst sailing the Pacific Ocean. I’d like to share what I’ve learnt so that you can reach your own goals both in business, at work and in your personal life.

  • Presentation Outline

    Hand on heart, how many of us can claim to really know, really understand, live and breathe daily, the values, vision and stated behaviours of our organisation? We might have read an email about them and they will perhaps be on our intranet, referenced in our appraisals, and almost certainly be found on posters strategically placed around the building; but really living them?
    It is more common place to find that, at best, values are paid lip service to and at worst, attract downright cynicism.
    But… and this is the exciting bit… achieving a clearly defined, accessible, compelling and OWNED set of values and team behaviours, which are lived throughout an organisation, is the cornerstone of success. Values drive the culture of an organisation. They determine the mood, the atmosphere, the climate in which we all work. Great values and effective team work make the magic happen at work! Daily!

    The key to this success is in having values and a winning team culture that everyone can relate to, having values that are timely and relevant and an environment in which everyone can contribute by writing their own narrative around how they will live them.
    Commitment comes from involvement. Making our own magic!
    What’s covered?

    You’ll get a fresh and contrarian approach developed for use in business, family and sporting teams. It’s packed with practical examples and ideas that everyone can relate to and is delivered through memorable stories. This provides the foundation for transforming your culture through a fresh approach.

    Your takeaways will be thought provoking ideas and stories on how you can transform corporate culture and behaviours;
    Fresh practical ideas that can be implemented immediately to build and create a winning culture;
    Techniques and tools on how to shape a team that responds positively to adversity and deals with the uncertainty and challenges that business throws at you; discover how the right culture can release the creative thinking of your team and get them working together rather than as individuals.

    I believe in challenging conventional thinking on how leaders and teams become truly effective and create extraordinary results.

Charles Cotton

Performance & Reward Advisor
Employee benefits – getting value from the package
  • Biography

    Charles Cotton is the senior adviser to the CIPD for performance and reward. He directs its reward research agenda and is also responsible for the CIPD’s public policy work in the area of pay and benefits.

    He has given evidence to select committees on banking pay, executive remuneration and MPs’ expenses, as well responding to various consultations, such as on pensions, the National Living Wage and IR35. He has led research on such issues as CEO pay, how employees respond to reward and employee financial well-being.
    Charles frequently appears in the media commentating on reward and is often invited to present on his research at events. You can follow Charles through Twitter (

  • Presentation Outline

    The CIPD’s 2018 Reward Management Survey finds a huge range of employee benefits on offer, from such traditional perks such as pensions, the Christmas party and company cars to more recent ones, such as bring your dog to work day, activity trackers and the repayment of university fees.

    However, is the amount of time, money and energy being spent by HR and reward professionals on employee benefits worth it in terms of meeting the business needs of the organisation and the wants of its current and prospective employees?
    Using the insights from the CIPD Reward Management Survey, this session will explore how we can amplify the impact of our benefits package by reviewing what we offer to staff as well as how we communicate and evaluate our perks. In addition, we will also look at the drivers of benefit provision, the perks on offer and predictions for the future.

    This presentation will spark ideas about what, why and how you’re doing in terms of benefit provision, as well as helping to ensure that your efforts are creating and adding value for the business.

    For more info please visit -

Matt Austin

Head of People Experience, Rewards & Recognition
In search of innovation...are there really any innovative reward practices out there?
  • Biography

    Matt is based in London and is currently responsible for reward at artificial intelligence start-up DeepMind. DeepMind’s aim is to solve intelligence and it is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet.
    Matt started out as a HR generalist and over the last decade has specialised in reward working in global roles at Clarks, Dyson and Burberry.

    Over the course of his career he has spent time working in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the USA. He has a MBA from the University of Warwick, a MA from the University of Leeds and a BA (Hons) from Coventry University.

  • Presentation Outline

    Enter the word ‘innovation’ into Google search and you’re informed that it is the ‘the action or process of innovating’ and ‘a new method, idea, product etc.’.

    Matt’s session will start by considering what we mean when we, often too frequently, use the word ‘innovation’. He will go on to examine the overarching structure of current reward practices and suggest that essentially we are all offering very similar things. In exploring this apparent lack of diversity he’ll talk about some of the fundamental reasons why he believes that everything is the same. The session will conclude with a discussion around two questions:

    1) What, if anything, can we do to overcome the barriers to being different, and crucially;
    2) Does the apparent lack of innovation in reward actually matter?

Duncan Brown

Head of HR Consultancy
Institute for Employment Studies
Total Rewards and Employee Engagement: Outdated ideas unrelated to each other and national and corporate productivity? Or the route to a national and HR Renaissance?
  • Biography

    Duncan leads the HR and reward work at IES, a leading independent research-based charity which supports improvement in HR and employment practice.

    He has more than 25 years' experience in reward and HR consulting, research and policy work with Aon Hewitt, PwC and Towers Perrin. He spent 5 years as Assistant Director General at CIPD.

    His clients have included companies such as National Grid, and Lloyds Banking Group, as well as public sector bodies such as the Cabinet Office, NHS Employers and EHRC; and third sector employers such as the UN and Cancer Research UK. His work at the moment is focused on medical pay, gender pay, employee financial wellbeing and working in the gig economy.

    Duncan is a leading commentator on HR, publishing many articles and books. He has participated on Government taskforces concerned with fair pay, engagement, pensions, equal pay and human capital reporting. He advises various remuneration and HR committees as an independent and trustee including Christian Aid & the Pensions Policy Institute.

    Human Resources magazine placed him in its listing of the top 5 most influential thinkers in UK HR.
    Duncan has an MA from Cambridge University, an MBA from the London Business School and is a Fellow of the CIPD. He recently obtained his PhD at Kingston University.

  • Presentation Outline

    These two concepts were described as the 'HR fads of the decade' running up to the financial crash in 2007/8, and they still, perhaps surprisingly, retain their prominence on corporate recruitment sites and intranets and government exhortations to addressing our abysmal levels of national UK productivity.

    Yet toss either phrase into an employee focus group and see the reaction you get after a decade of real pay cuts and 'the precarious economy'. And the response in academic and research circles is not much better. According to Inceoglu and Fleck, (2012), 'When practitioners and academics discuss engagement they tend to refer to different meanings of the term. As a result, practitioners are left to wonder about the difference between engagement and motivation and the value of measuring either or both in applied settings’.

    So do we as a recent CIPD podcast put it, have a total rewards deficit and an 'engagement myth'?

    Or do we need to reassert the importance of a total rewards package in driving the resurgence in employee engagement which will be critical to recover our former rates of productivity? And how do we design reward packages in today's climate to deliver that?

    Duncan will contrast some of the academic research with his recent case study work and invite you to share your ideas and experiences. Still talking about total rewards? Still running the annual employee engagement survey? Come and debate whether and how to improve them.

Janet McKenzie

Reward & Performance Manager
Southern Co-op
From feedback to ‘feels fair’
  • Biography

    Janet is currently responsible for all things to do with pay, bonus, benefits, recognition and performance for Southern Co-op, a successful independent regional business owned by their members, providing communities with 300+ food stores, Starbucks franchises and funeral services across the south of England. To show her dedication to the business, she’s nobly tasting her way through the Local Flavours range - current favourites are Chalk Stream Smoked Trout and Jude’s 'Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt' Ice Cream.

    Janet has spent the past quarter of a century in Reward roles across a variety of sectors and has discovered the importance of understanding just how decisions made have a direct impact on people's lives. There’s very rarely a single right answer in reward – just the right approach at a point in time that will help move you towards your organisation's strategic goals.

  • Presentation Outline

    As reward professionals, we know there’s only so much we can do with compensation & incentives - the holy grail is unlocking intrinsic motivation. Our burning platform at Southern Co-op was unsustainable colleague turnover while operating in a highly competitive market. Part of our USP is friendly local service and engagement with communities, and we knew that creating a stable and motivated workforce was key to delivering our goals.

    We intuitively knew what the challenges were likely to be – manager capability; not enough hours; pay. But we didn’t know for sure, and so didn’t have the hard data that we could share with the business to support the drive for cultural change. In this group we’ll follow the journey we took to better understand what matters to our colleagues, and how we are using their insights to change our employer brand. From the way we recruit and welcome colleagues into our stores, to being clear about the behaviours that are – and are not – encouraged and supported; our focus has been all about engaging and driving great performance. And the result is that we’re starting to see a real change in the way our managers interact with their teams.

Alastair Gill

Head of People
Building a culture of engagement wellbeing the giffgaff way
  • Biography

    Alastair is currently the Head of People for the multi-award-winning telco, giffgaff, where for the last 4 years he has led on all things internal Culture, Engagement and People experience. His passion is for people, creating connections and building better places of work. He scrapes into the category of millennial (but only just apparently) with a degree in Visual Communication, a Masters in HR, and also a certified Strengths Coach. This, layered with years of experience in local government, at the coalface in HR, makes for a rather Interesting but concoction. He is a proud Brummy and even prouder dad to two pint-sized dictators, Matilda and Rowen.

  • Presentation Outline

    Well-being is on everyone’s agenda, but simply deploying a wellness and engagement strategy does not make it a success for the business. It’s the culture of the organisation that ensures success. But a culture directed from the top down won’t take root, it also needs a bottom-up approach. To do this, people need to feel comfortable enough to create their own initiatives and communities.

    Alastair will share the giffgaff journey and their approach to building a place for people to thrive.

Tracey Newton

Head of People Performance
Yorkshire Building Society
Building a culture of financial wellbeing at YBS
  • Biography

    As a leader, HR professional and working mother, I feel a great responsibility to help others, regardless of background (or... regardless of who they are or where they are from), to access the opportunities around them; to help people grow, develop and achieve their career goals. Supporting the wellbeing of our people is a key input into this, healthy minds allow people to make healthy choices and give them the resilience to take risks. Financial wellbeing is of growing importance in the workplace; when colleagues feel in control they can make great choices and barriers fall away. I am very proud of the work that we have done at YBS in this area and am keen to share what we have done and learn from others too!

  • Presentation Outline

    Money, something that is on everyone’s agenda, personally or from a business perspective. At YBS we have made a public commitment to ‘getting the nation saving’ with the ambition to help 1.7million of the UK’s non-savers to get into a savings habit, to build up their financial resilience and allow them to make the most of life’s choices.

    This is important to our customers and also to our people, the challenge being how do we get the conversation going? How can we create a culture of financial well-being and enable the open discussion that this needs when talking about money continues to be one of the last great taboos?

    Tracey will take you on the YBS journey and share with you the steps that YBS have taken to support colleagues in this space, taking them on journey from making the most of the money they have, to being able to afford the unexpected and enjoy life to ultimately being ready for the future.

Ian Hodson

Head of Reward & Deputy Director of HR
University of Lincoln
Getting to know you – Reflecting your organisation through reward design
  • Biographies

    Ian is the Head of Reward/Deputy Director of HR at the University of Lincoln overseeing all aspects of reward including payroll, pensions, employee benefits, HR systems and executive remuneration. Having started his career in finance before moving specifically in to pay and benefits Ian has a background in both the public and private sector having previously worked for Moy Park, Mars, Prudential and Lincolnshire County Council.

    A firm believer and champion in the importance of reward strategy as a driver for change and in supporting organisational success, Ian has previously overseen teams that have been acknowledged for their achievements at awards for their innovative work including winning the 2016 Employee Benefits Grand Prix Award and the 2018 Award for Best Flexible Benefits.
    Ian is the current Chair of the Northern Universities Reward Group and a board member of the Education Competencies Consortium.

    In 2014 Ian was chosen as the winner of the Pay and Benefits Career Accomplishment Award and also regularly contributes to professional publications.

  • Presentation Outline

    This interactive session will get you on your feet and moving around the room to design a reward programme to meet the profile of different companies from their outlines and to create the all-encompassing reward package. The session will aim to build on your current experience and think with a clear mind on what a reward package would look like if you started with a blank piece of paper.

    We will touch on designing the wellbeing plan covering all aspects of physical, mental, financial, social and environmental along with designing bonus schemes, travel plans, savings vehicles and remuneration approaches in an attempt to create the perfect proposal….you will even come up with the brand name!. The session will be supported with a look at how the Linc-On brand has been adapted at the University of Lincoln and the reward thinking behind some of the offerings in place and how these are linked through to strategic aims. The session will give you the chance to use your own creativity, be inspired by colleagues and their ideas and also incorporate the ideas from event suppliers in to your offering.

Richard Higginson

Former Reward & Operations Director
Pentland Brands
‘It seemed like a good idea at the time’: What clever firms are doing to learn from their mistakes and future-proof reward
  • Biographies

    Richard decided at an early age that a career in Human Resources would be more lucrative than following his father into professional cricket, and probably easier too. After a generalist role in insurance Richard joined CDC, the British government’s investment bank for the developing world, expecting a life of exotic travel. When this yielded only assignments to East Africa, Papua New Guinea and barren Caribbean outcrops, he leaped at the perfect opportunity to align himself with one of his chief hobbies at the time and joined British American Tobacco, heading International Assignments & Policy.

    In an astonishing volte-face, however, Richard then moved to GlaxoSmithKline, whose pharmaceutical portfolio included most of the world’s leading smoking cessation brands. As Director of International Benefits, however, he achieved the life of exotic travel he once craved, providing strategic direction and policy for GSK’s reward programmes worldwide.

    One day while in the school playground waiting to pick up his kids, a conversation with the CEO of a growing financial services firm led to an opportunity to design and implement a reward strategy from scratch in an industry ravaged by regulatory upheaval. The FCA called his reward strategy to replace commission “an obvious pack of lies” but after further examination held it up as a model to other firms. He is now into his fifth year of an exciting and successful interim career which, like most of his permanent jobs, came about completely by accident. Richard is a graduate in Spanish and French and a keen cricket and hockey player. He gave up smoking in 2004.

  • Presentation Outline

    Professor Stephen Perkins recently asked, “Do you regard employees as assets to be exploited, liabilities to be controlled, customers to be served, or corporate allies seeking mutual success?” The Reward Director’s answer to this question will generate the reward principles of the firm, and by consequence the success or otherwise of its business strategy.

    But let’s not re-invent the wheel. There are plenty of firms out there getting reward right, learning from our earlier mistakes, getting closer to the results we want rather than unplanned consequences of the latest “good ideas” that do more harm than good.

    This highly interactive session will pull together what’s really going o n out there, including
    • New trends and innovation in pay and benefits, to fit current generations who think differently
    • Tried and trusted approaches which still apply in effective reward management
    • Mirroring company culture through reward
    • Looking more globally by incentivising mobility
    • How Brexit will change compensation in the UK and EU

    There is a tendency in all of us to rip up the rule book and be “innovative” and “directional” once in a while. Richard Higginson will ask you to build on his and your own experiences of great and lousy ideas. He’s even threatening to call you in advance to pick your brains. This is a session for anyone who really wants to learn from their peers “live”.

The Rewards, Benefits & Wellbeing Summits programme consists of 6 Strategy Group sessions – case study led presentations followed by Q&A and 2 Action Learning workshops – key topic roundtable discussions.

If you have any recommendations for speakers or topics please email

Register your interest in the Rewards, Benefits & Wellbeing Summit

13-15 May 2019, Dolce CampoReal, Lisbon.

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