Ian Hodson, head of reward and deputy director of HR, University of Lincoln

At the Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party 2019, Ian Hodson, head of reward and deputy director of HR at the University of Lincoln, walked away with the coveted title of Employee benefits professional of the year. Over the years, the university has won in a number of categories in the Employee Benefits Awards.

For Hodson, this stems from the creative approach taken by the university. “We always try to think differently and do things differently, and be seen as game-changers and innovators in terms of not just accepting off-the-shelf [products],” he says. “[We try] to be very bespoke to our workforce.”

Hodson’s recognition as the Employee benefits professional of the year, however, recognizes his achievements not just during his time at the university, but across the span of his career thus far, and as an expert figure within the industry.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have been involved in some large [organisations] in different sectors over the last 20 years, and have been there as the concept of reward and benefits has emerged,” he says. “I’ve been really fortunate to be involved in [employers] that are making that transition for the first time in respect of developing a reward strategy and benefits package to attract and retain people.”

This award, then, has given Hodson pause to think about his contribution to the profession. “I’m really keen to develop the profession, and develop other individuals within the profession. For me personally, I was very proud [to win] and it makes me very proud of the profession.”

Since winning, Hodson has enjoyed support, congratulations and recognition from both his workplace and his professional network. “Going forward, it gives you that extra invigoration to keep being innovative, keep giving back to the profession, keep thinking differently and open up new boundaries,” he says. “[The awards] give you a magnificent sense of achievement of what you’ve done so far, but also makes you think ‘how do we better that now?’”

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