Developing a motivated workforce
A Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case study

Page 1: Introduction

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In 1954 the UK Atomic Energy Authority began work on building and running nuclear reactors and research facilities. By the 1980s the environmental problems of nuclear waste had become an issue for the UK government. The waste materials and spent fuels had to be safely dealt with. The decommissioning of early reactors became necessary requiring the safe clearance and decontamination of nuclear...
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Page 2: The value of motivation

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Motivation refers to the energy and commitment with which an individual or group performs a task or role. It affects almost every aspect of business. At the most basic level, motivated staff work harder. They may get more done in less time which reduces labour costs. This shows in higher productivity for the business. However, it is not just the level of output that improves. Motivated staff...
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Page 3: Motivation and business growth

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In 1943 the US psychologist, Abraham Maslow proposed that people are motivated by a 'hierarchy of needs'.  Maslow suggested that people are motivated by different things. He argued that once a level of need is satisfied, it loses its power to motivate and the next level takes over. This means for example, that offers of better pay alone will not satisfy someone who is looking for more...
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Page 4: Motivation in practice

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A particularly valuable way of understanding how real jobs can meet human needs was developed by Frederick Herzberg in his 'two factor' theory of motivation. He found that achievement, recognition, responsibility and interest in the work were the true motivators. Company policy, supervision, work conditions and pay did matter, but could not motivate. These 'hygiene factors' could cause...
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Page 5: Meeting individual and business needs

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The extent to which jobs meet people's needs depends on their design. Some firms attempt job enlargement by giving staff extra tasks or responsibilities. Others have introduced job rotation where staff exchange jobs of comparable skill around the organisation. In some organisations this can just lead to employees moving from one boring job to another. At NDA, however, it ensures that its...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Jobs can imprison people or set them free. Management and the organisation's culture can determine whether people feel enthusiastic about work or whether they just turn up every day. Every job has the potential to motivate or demotivate. Motivation affects every aspect of a business organisation. At the most basic level it can increase output and drive down cost. At higher levels, it enables...
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