Developing a motivated workforce
A Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case study

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Page 5: Meeting individual and business needs

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 staff become proficient across a range of skills making work more interesting and challenging. It also builds flexibility into the workforce.  In job enrichment a group of employees complete a whole stage of production and take responsibility for quality. In some firms this leads to empowerment where staff make their own decisions about work planning. They identify training needs and make proposals for process improvement.

Decommissioning involves a wide variety of projects. Each of these poses a unique challenge. Projects involve a large number of linked activities. Each project group is composed of people with the right skills to fulfil its objectives. NDA needs flexible people, able to work in teams and learn continuously from experience. Employees must accept and act on feedback.

Team working links with Mayo's human relations school of motivation. This is particularly crucial when looking for innovative approaches to decommissioning. Within the team, each person is assigned the roles for which they are best qualified. Each person needs to be committed to the highest standards of quality in their role. This implies continuous learning where training and personal development are never complete.

The NDA's view is that the Authority's objectives and employee objectives have a win-win relationship. To fulfil their potential, staff need to build on existing skills and capabilities. These are assessed jointly by the authority and the employee leading to a clear picture of training and development needs. Every employee has a Personal Development Plan with SMART objectives and paths to professional accreditation where relevant.

NDA also recognises that skilled and committed people in a long-term career cannot separate work from the rest of their life. People content with their work-life balance are more amenable to being motivated by good leadership. It is therefore NDA policy to help staff find an effective work-life balance. They provide assistance in moving home when employees are appointed or relocated. The organisation also offers staff a wide range of personal benefits such as family leave and counselling.


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Nuclear Decommissioning Authority | Developing a motivated workforce