SMART Work Enables Mastery
The second letter in the SMART work framework stands for Mastery. This refers to the degree to which your job provides role clarity, feedback and task identity.
Role clarity describes the degree to which you clear understands what you need to do and what is expected of you. Feedback refers to the degree to which your job provides information on your performance in the role, Finally, task identity is the degree to which your job allows you to take a task from beginning to end.
When people feel a sense of mastery from their work, there are a number of benefits.
Qualities of Work With a High Degree of Mastery
Work that enables mastery is work in which:
you are clear on what to do and why
you receive feedback and recognition from supervisors and peers in addition to feedback on performance from the job itself
you can complete a whole piece of work with identifiable outcomes
Even though you feel tired, you get emails and stars to tell you thanks.
Regular appraisals help you to improve or to give you feedback if you did well.
- Aged Care Worker.
Qualities of Jobs With a Low Degree of Mastery
In contrast, jobs with a low degree of mastery involve:
excessive ambiguity about your role and responsibilities
irregular or no feedback including a lack of recognition for good performance
working on fragmented 'bits' of a process allowing no big picture perspective
“It’s challenging to accept that your staff are not going to tell you when you’ve done something well. You’re a business owner – you don’t get feedback”
- Café owner.
What Are the Risks of Low Mastery Jobs?
The research is clear when it comes to work that doesn’t support mastery.
For individuals, it can lead to job stress, poor well-being, job dissatisfaction, turnover, and even a failure to learn  .
For organisations, it can mean impaired performance, inefficiency, and a lack of agility  . While this is important to note, encouragingly, there are things that you can do to increase your own, or your teams, sense of mastery and improve the overall experience at work.
'Mastery' in Action
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 Schmidt, S., et al. (2014). "Uncertainty in the workplace: Examining role ambiguity and role conflict, and their link to depression—a meta-analysis." European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 23(1): 91-106.