Greater Flexibility and Multi-skilling

Greater Flexibility and Multi-skilling


Increased awareness of international competition, uncertain market conditions and the pace and scope of technological change (among other factors) have led to a renewed managerial emphasis on obtaining flexibility in the use and deployment of people, aimed at cost-effectiveness or cost cutting. This concerns the breaking down of conventional occupational boundaries between different functional groups.

Dual skilling or multi-skilling is the objective of job flexibility. Functional flexibility may involve intensification of work and is associated with it are generic job titles and harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment.

A rigid distinction between jobs according to the type of person undertaking them is a restrictive practice and a barrier to achieving functional flexibility through multi-skilling. This also enables an organisation to adjust rapidly to changing levels of demand by increasing or decreasing the hours whereby the patterns of work may be tailored to reflect different levels of demand.