Office for Nuclear Regulation
Public sector Reward
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) was established as an Agency within the wider HSE (Health & Safety Executive) from 1 April 2011. It manages the regulatory functions for safety, security and conventional health and safety at nuclear sites and the regulation of radioactive materials transportation. The ONR is also tasked with developing bespoke HR and other policies to support the successful recruitment and retention of specialist staff and the delivery of change to enhance the ONR’s regulatory effectiveness.
Independent was engaged to establish a new Reward agenda for the organisation that would effectively meet the requirements of an independent employer facing severe resourcing challenges due to an increasing demand for scarce talent within the nuclear industry. Independent’s role was to set out the key building blocks for a strategic Reward review, exploring implications, analysing options and creating an implementation plan to present to senior decision makers.
Key elements of the programme included: segmentation of the workforce by job family from nuclear specialists to support functions and administrative staff; identification of labour market pressures influencing pay for specialist positions; launching a recognition scheme to reinforce desired behaviours; the influence of status on the new organisational model and salary progression based on contribution.
A particular challenge for the project lay in overcoming the knowledge about the industry’s resourcing challenges among stakeholders with experience outside the highly structured and internally focussed civil servic environment. This was critical to the development of an effective Reward programme focused on attracting and retaining niche industry and technical nuclear experts in high demand.
The Independent team’s approach was to arrange a series of workshops and meetings with executives, line managers, nuclear specialists and HR staff to understand the perceived challenges facing the business, employees’ concerns and gather suggestions for the future. By building these relationships, Independent was able to influence key opinion formers as to the new environment facing them; an environment where employees receive market competitive pay based on their individual skills, experience performance rather than through tenure. This would enable key Talent to progress quickly and help establish a model of required behaviours.
In addition to the effective engagement of line managers, the success of new Reward programme also depended upon transparency of process and the need for objective measures, which were critical to ensuring acceptance by trade unions and HM Government.