What are Smart Workplaces?

Bickfords Doctor

The term High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) describes the organisation of work that best utilises the skills and knowledge of employees to complement wider strategic business objectives. New technologies often require employees to be more skilled, or skilled in different tasks. HPWS is often associated with the production of higher value added, quality, and differentiated or niche products and services which require greater employee discretion, involvement and innovative thinking.

Smart Workplaces bundle HR practices together to ‘best fit’ their business needs and corporate objectives. These are often designed to enhance employees' knowledge, skills, abilities, motivation, and opportunity to contribute which in turn can generate a variety of positive performance outcomes including:

  • Greater commitment;
  • Improved productivity and quality;
  • Better service performance; and
  • Better financial performance.

A High Performance Work System incorporates people management practices that try to generate a competitive advantage through quality, creativity and flexibility. This is achieved with a highly productive workforce that is committed to the overall success of the organisation and is involved in communicating efficiency and process improvements to management. It is also encouraged through practices such as exceptional leadership, team working, two way communication, performance measurement, training, developmental opportunities and job security.

Flinders University, Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI)