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.