Kuljit Kaur: Staff motivation and morale issues in the NHS

Predictions that the winter of 2013-14 is set to be hard, talk of pay freezes, controversy over the salary level of senior National Health Service (NHS) managers, and the push towards seven-day working means that staff motivation and morale is a growing issue for the NHS.

HR professionals in the NHS must examine how to get the best value out of their employee benefits and incentive budgets to deliver tangible results.

While pay hits the headlines, studies show that the main reason employees leave an organisation is lack of recognition, with our recent NHS Employee survey finding that 70% of staff feel unappreciated and 27% are actively looking to change jobs within the year.

Managers can do more to promote excellent work with non-cash rewards to recognise employees, and length-of-service awards to boost motivation and renew energy levels. Offering benefits such as staff discount schemes can add value to a salary package and defuse demands for a pay rise.

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NHS trusts that do not make staff motivation a priority will suffer from high turnover and absenteeism, leading to poor patient care and an increasingly negative perception of the NHS overall.

Kuljit Kaur is head of business development at The Voucher Shop