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Building productivity: Well designed work

Well designed work wheel Acas has developed seven levers which provide a practical framework for workplaces to unlock their potential to be more productive. This page looks at well designed work.

Why putting people at the heart of well designed work is so important

Giving employees discretion about how they organise their work can lead to better use of technical skills and more creativity in problem-solving. Yet research shows that:

  • in Europe, only 40% of workers can influence the decisions that are important for their work
  • job design is often overlooked as a key driver of organisational performance.  

Effective job design puts people at the heart of the organisation and enables individuals and businesses to:

  • use existing skills and develop new ones
  • form strong teams that drive innovation
  • feel more satisfied with job roles and more enthusiastic about taking on new challenges
  • work more flexibly when it comes to working hours and patterns.

What does well designed work look like?

  • Employers place a high premium on using and developing the skills of their workforce and recognise that continual learning and training is an investment for the business and the individual.
  • Managers and leaders are clear about the value of people when it comes to designing jobs and organising work as a whole.
  • Employees are clear about their job role and have regular opportunities to innovate and influence the way their job is done and how work is organised.

Well designed work: Further Acas guidance and resources

Acas Productivity tool

Take the Acas self-diagnosis Productivity Tool test to understand your organisation's strengths and weaknesses, and to help you identify simple practical steps you can take to get the best out of your staff. The tool will produce a report with links to relevant Acas help and tools.

Find out more about the seven levers of workplace productivity

Well designed work | Skilled managersManaging conflict effectivelyClarity about rights and responsibilitiesFairnessStrong employee voice | High trust


Well designed work: Acas training and support for your business

Well designed work can be difficult to design and embed into organisational practice. Acas offer a range of practical Training Courses, Workshops and Projects that can help. Our experts can talk to you and help diagnose the issues you are facing. Acas can help you develop solutions which can include:

  • developing line manager skills
  • reviewing existing working patterns
  • developing or improving existing employee forums
  • introducing a performance management system
  • reviewing pay,  recognition and reward systems
  • performing stress or staff feedback surveys.

View full details of Acas support available to help your businesses

Or let us know how we can help through our Customer contact form.

Acas also schedule training events around Great Britain which help employers learn more about well designed work. View our full listing of Training events or click on event details below.