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SMART work design

SMART work design can help you support the people in your workplace thrive, complete their best work, stay well and be part of recovering from periods of mental ill-health.

Part of the Work design overview module.

What is SMART work design?

Work design relates to the nature and organisation of tasks, activities and responsibilities.

The SMART work design model uses 5 key themes to consider when creating or developing work:

  • Stimulating – how much skill variety, task variety and problem solving your job involves
  • Mastery – how much role clarity, feedback and task identity your job involves
  • Agency – how much control you have over your work schedule, work methods and decision making
  • Relational – how much support, purpose and social contact you get from your job
  • Tolerable demands - ensuring roles do not have excessive time pressure, emotional demands, role conflict or other job demands.

SMART work design aims to minimise psychological harms and risks by designing work that increases job resources, reduces job demands and increases resilience and coping.

Benefits of SMART work design

Considering how work design can be improved in your organisation can result in benefits such as:

  • increased motivation, job satisfaction and organisational commitment
  • increased creativity, proactivity and innovation
  • enhanced wellbeing and psychological health
  • higher levels of personal resources such as self-efficacy, optimism and self-esteem
  • reduced risk of sickness and stress-related illness
  • reduced numbers of critical safety incidents
  • enhanced learning and development and better cognitive functioning later in life.


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