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Job Design


The vast majority of Canadians say that they want work that is interesting, meaningful and allows for ability and skill development. Providing this kind of work means taking a close look at how jobs are designed. For example, by organizing work into teams, or making better use of job rotation and cross training strategies, employers can better meet the expectations that Canadians have of work. As well, job rotation and multi-skilling (training employees to perform a wider range of tasks) can provide workers with better opportunities to use their skills, greater variety in their working day, and more say over how they perform their work. Such strategies can also help improve a firm’s capacity to adapt to changing markets through a more skilled and flexible workforce. At least that’s what research suggests. In light of the potential benefits to be reaped by redesigning jobs in a more flexible manner, how common are such practices in Canadian workplaces? Are some firms better suited to organize work differently than others? Are there notable differences in the organization of work by industry or by region?