CIPD Annual Reward Conference, London, UK, 6 February, 2008

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 20 June 2008



Cotton, C. (2008), "CIPD Annual Reward Conference, London, UK, 6 February, 2008", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 7 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

CIPD Annual Reward Conference, London, UK, 6 February, 2008

Article Type: Resources From: Strategic HR Review, Volume 7, Issue 4

Conference review

This year’s conference explored issues such as the relationship between reward and talent management, the psychology of reward, non-financial reward, the role of line managers in performance-related pay and the value of flexible benefits, as well as giving delegates the opportunity to hear first-hand the findings from the CIPD’s annual reward management survey.

Chaired by Michael Rose, CIPD vice president of reward, the day kicked off with a thorough overview of the current economic landscape by David Smith, the economics editor of The Sunday Times. His presentation covered everything from the impact of the fall in house prices, to the rising debt burden and the increase in energy and commuting costs, and how this will impact on the labor market.

A presentation from Charles Cotton, rewards and employment conditions adviser at CIPD, analyzed the findings of the CIPD reward survey in the context of a slowing economy, as well as the political, social, demographic and technological issues. Unsurprisingly, the key findings show a lot of change is in the air – more employers are linking reward to a growth of share incentive plans and there is a move towards defined contribution pensions.

The next session focused on how reward can play a big part in engaging and retaining high performers. Rahim Rajan, head of reward for Europe at Yahoo!, and John Marsden, human resources director at Honda racing F1 team, highlighted how they have introduced specific reward strategies to engage and drive high performers. Both demonstrated in their own unique fashion how reward can be used as an integral part of the talent management strategy. Yahoo! takes its high performers so seriously that it breaks them up into three categories – critical talent, high potential and high performers – helping to create bespoke reward strategies for each group.

Delegates were then given a choice of seminars:

  • The benefits of non-financial reward. A panel discussion with Gillian Hibberd, corporate director of Buckinghamshire County council, David Wightman, head of group compensation and benefits at Heineken, and Janet Fleming, head of workforce hub for the third sector, NCVO.

  • Total reward. A seminar with Colin Miller, reward manager at Kent County Council, and Jim Cowan, senior consultant remuneration and benefits at RBS, examining how they have developed a system to reward their diverse workforces by giving them choice.

  • Making performance-related pay work. A seminar outlining how two organizations have successfully implemented performance-related pay systems. With Samantha Gee, European head of reward at KPMG, and Vivian Leinster, vice president of reward at BT.

The day was rounded off by Adrian Furnham, one of the world’s leading applied psychologists and professor of psychology at University College London, who spoke passionately about the psychology of reward. His entertaining presentation gave useful tips and practical guidelines on how to motivate people and also helped give a good understanding of the psychology behind how people perceive reward and the connection between pay and performance.

Charles CottonCharles Cotton is reward and employment conditions adviser at CIPD (

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