Neovation – Dialling Up Digital

This year, the technology worked, and what a result.

As advertised, “Dialling up Digital Reward” - this year’s Neovation Conference - was indeed fast-paced and interactive, and confronted many of the biggest challenges in the workplace today: how to use technology and data analytics to make ‘Reward’ compelling, valued and effective.

This was a very useful meeting of fellow professionals. I was privileged to be a part of it and to chair some of the panels.

To pick on a few highlights, we covered:

  • What actually motivates behaviour: a set of terrific insights from Ovul Sezer (Cornell) discussing things like Loss Aversion, Status Quo Bias, Choice Overload, FOMO (fera of missing out)
  • The importance of Recognition: an area which is far more important than we realise. The value of ‘points’ recognising great performance, regularly, with some value attached, is immensely powerful [Meisha-ann Martin, Workhuman]
  • Two panels I chaired which covered (a) the harnessing of data [Louise Sutton - Astra Zeneca; Nicola Wells – Unilever; Stuart Smith – Uflex] and (b) the reward organisation of the future [Meisha-ann; Yvonne Prang – McDonalds; Dennis Palman – GSO]

These presentations, backed up by Peter Newhouse’ excellent ShoeMars case study, and the contributions from participants along the way, tackled a great deal that remains an issue today. Questions such as:

  • Which parts of the typical Reward organisation are antiquated?
  • What works to motivate and incentivise people? (Answer – gradual improvements in opportunity, frequent recognition, beating the expectations of employees as far as ‘engagement’ is concerned)
  • How is data useful? Answer: it feeds decisions, enables a focus on what is working…
  • What do we do with employee feedback? Not enough

The Reward Organisation of the future needs to juggle centralisation (ability to create ‘data lakes’) against de-centralisation – HR teams that fully understand the day-to-day tensions and priorities of business units. Each business is different, and will need to find its own balance.

As I mentioned to those attending, we are thrilled to have merged Remuneration Associates with Farient Advisors. You can reach us at

Simon Patterson
Farient Advisors

As Managing Director, Simon Patterson leads the team at Remuneration Associates (Rem.n), a specialty consulting firm focused on executive pay owned by the professional staff themselves. Formerly Pearl Meyer (London), the team have 35+ years of accumulated experience working together, they are actively engaged as advisors to remuneration committees of some of the largest and some of the fastest growing companies, globally. Mr Patterson and the team consult widely on executive compensation, incentive compensation design, and performance measurement.

Pearl Meyer agreed to divest its London operations on June 17th, 2022. Simon Patterson (Managing Director) and his team now own Remuneration Associates Ltd – an independent consulting firm working with clients around the world, which builds upon the legacy of the London operation.


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