Can awards be rewarding? You bet they can!

My old firm, First Actuarial, didn’t do awards. They got grumpy when they got nominated (by me) and they made it official policy not to compete against their peers. You can see the sense in that, money spent on tables for staff and clients, money spent preparing submissions , money spent on turning up and staying in posh London Hotels, is all money that could better be spent on improving the customer experience.

But there is another side to this. For staff of companies , awards are a recognition that their efforts are valued and the experience of coming to London and dressing up is a highlight of many attendees’ year. This is particularly the case for those who work in the less glamorous sectors of business – payroll and reward being two of them.

I have found working with payroll and reward people a lot more fun and valuable than sticking in my comfort zone. Pensions have been carried by these people, without them auto-enrolment would not have happened. They remain at the heart of pension delivery, pensions are ,of course, a function of payroll.

This is why I have supported and most recently judged the Payroll Worlds  and now Rewards Awards and have consistently entered first Pension PlayPen and now AgeWage. We have never won an award and I don’t expect to win in either of the two categories we entered this year. It is the participation and support that counts for me. Awards are rewarding people in payroll and the less glamorous areas of HR.

And it’s a lot more fun going to an event which is special to the attendees than to some of the super-posh suppers that are laid on for the uber-glam of the financial services world.

If you click on this link, you can see the other finalists for the Rewards. They are sponsored by my very good friend Mr Carsten Staehr and his fine company Cintra.

They are hosted by my good friends at Reward Strategy and the remarkable Amber Ainsley-Pritchard



They will be incredible fun because payroll and reward is not dominated by men but by women. It is not driven by ROI but by service and the sector is hugely undervalued.

It is not for nothing that Terry Smith consistently invests in companies that provide payroll software and other back office services. Like lifts and pet food, payroll will always be there and it won’t let you down.  Lifts, payroll and dogfood are not the kind of things you talk about when you meet your wealth manager but people who invest with Terry’s Fundsmith know the value of investing in industries for which there is a clear need.



And that’s why I enter AgeWage into the Rewards, I want my ideas to be judged and tested by people who make it their life’s work to deliver on promises and we are very proud to be picked twice as finalists.

So how do you book?

The Rewards is being held on 05 December 2019 at the Hilton London Bankside Hotel, London. Further information on the event can be found here.

If you fancy going to the awards in the evening , you can make a day of it , by going to the Reward Strategy Autumn Update on the same day.

This year’s Autumn Update, covering all payroll, reward and HR issues, is CPD-accredited and is held the same day as the awards in the same venue. All table bookers can benefit from a 50% discount on delegate tickets – let us know if you would like to book for clients or colleagues.

Go on then!


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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