Motivational Theories For Nhs

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Motivational Theories for NHS

Motivational Theories for NHS

Much research has been conducted into the relationship between people and their work dating back to the early years of the twentieth century. Theoretical and practical work on motivation has developed over the century alongside industrial developments, from Frederick W. Taylor's Scientific Management Theory (1911) to Hackman and Oldham's Job Characteristics Model (1980).


It is important that the impact of the working environment on staff is monitored over time, as workplace issues (e.g. bullying, violence, work-life balance, workload, stress and workplace discrimination etc.) that determine staff attitudes, including job satisfaction and ultimately their retention. Pay and conditions of service also have a major influence on the morale and motivation of staff, especially when satisfaction is low in relation to other aspects of working life, like control over working hours and workload.

In presenting our case regarding morale and motivation of the NHS workforce we refer to four main pieces of research:

•NHS Staff Survey - A research report for the joint NHS Trade unions by Incomes Data Services July 2007 - submitted alongside this report

•National Survey of NHS Staff 2006 - The Healthcare Commission

•'Holding On: Nurses' Employment and Morale in 2007' - submitted as evidence from the Royal College of Nursing

•UNISON Pay Survey 2007

Morale even lower

One of the most notable findings from the IDS survey is that compared to just a year ago NHS staff morale and motivation has got even worse. As stated already, over 60% reported that they feel worse than a year ago.

The UNISON Pay Survey 2007 supports this finding, with morale amongst the NHS workforce reported as either low or very low in 63% of workplaces and high or very high in only 5%. In addition, morale has deteriorated in 71% of workplaces and risen in just 3%.

The RCN survey Holding on: Nurses' Employment and Morale in 2007 found that there had been a significant deterioration in optimism surrounding job security, career opportunities and access to training and professional development. The rest of this chapter looks at why morale and motivation is so poor amongst NHS staff and what impact this is having on the workforce and the wider NHS.

Ever increasing workload

Most NHS staff (80%) reported in the IDS survey staff that their workload had increased and over three quarters said that additional working hours conflicted with their domestic commitments. In last year's report, the Review Body said they would like a better understanding of whether workload is changing. We set out evidence about workload in detail in the chapter that follows.


An overwhelming 93% of NHS staff thought that the pay award of 2.5% was either low or very low. Furthermore 94% of NHS staff thought that the staging of last year's award was unfair. The impact of the level of the award and more significantly the staging of the award have been felt throughout the NHS over the past year and have contributed significantly to the levels of dissatisfaction and low levels of morale ...
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