A Step-By-Step Guide For Developing A Skills Matrix
Mapping out your employees’ skills is essential for successfully completing projects and driving growth within your organization. Knowing which core competencies your staff lacks can help you create an action plan for the future and make meaningful changes. However, this modern era of business requires employees to acquire a large number of skills, making it difficult for leaders to keep up. In this article, we will discuss how you can overcome this problem by utilizing skills matrices. Read on to discover how to create a skills matrix that suits your needs in 4 easy steps.
What Is A Skills Matrix?
A skills matrix refers to a visual representation of the skill level that your employees exhibit on a collective or individual level. Matrices can take the form of a grid, table, or chart and are particularly useful because they can present a plethora of information in an easily comprehensible manner. For example, you can create a skills matrix table that contains all available skills in your company, the number of people who possess them, and an evaluation of their skill level expressed as a percentage or a score out of ten. Having this data readily available aids the effective management and development of your workforce, as well as decision making on an organizational level.
Skills Matrix Vs. Competency Matrix: Are They The Same?
Since the terms “skills matrix” and “competency matrix” are often interchangeable, let’s take a moment to address their differences. Although both matrices are designed to identify and present employee skills and levels of competency, there is a difference in the way they are used. The more straightforward skills matrices are best suited for operational tasks, such as identifying skills gaps for specific projects, guiding task allocation, and modifying personalized training paths. On the other hand, the more thorough competency matrices take into consideration not just skills but also overall knowledge, attitude, and experience. Consequently, leaders use them to collect data and make decisions about higher-level strategic planning and management.
4 Steps To Create A Skills Matrix
Now, let’s see how you can develop a skills matrix that addresses the specific needs of your organization.
1. Identify Desired Skills
The first step is pinpointing the skills you need. This could mean writing down the skills necessary for a certain project, a new hire, or a specific department. It all depends on the reason that prompted you to create a skills matrix in the first place. Remember that all skills have a place in the matrix, whether they are soft or hard. If you don’t know where to begin, you can conduct research in your organization, asking more experienced employees to give you their opinions on the skills that are non-negotiable in different scenarios.
2. Create A Grading System
Once you have a list of skills, it’s time to decide how you want to grade your employees’ capability in each of them. Once again, you can decide whatever works best for your company. Some businesses use letter grades or percentages. Whatever you choose, we suggest you keep it simple. An example of a straightforward grading system would be the 0–3 scale, which would go as follows:
0 = Awareness: basic knowledge and understanding of the skill
1 = Novice: a sound understanding of the skill but minimal practical application
2 = Professional: possesses the skill in question and uses it to solve daily problems
3 = Expert: has a lot of experience applying the skill and can coach others on it
According to your business needs, you can utilize a similar grading system or something completely different. If necessary, you can also implement different grades for different departments or projects.
3. Evaluate Employee Skills
The next step in the process of creating a skills matrix is assigning each employee or department a grade. And in order for you to be able to do that, you must, of course, evaluate their skills and performance. There are various assessment techniques you can use, from self-evaluations and traditional online assessments to 360 reviews and customer reviews. Each method has its pros and cons, which is why it’s best to combine a few of them to get more accurate results.
4. Visualize Data On The Matrix
Although a skills matrix doesn’t necessarily require a visual representation of the data, it’s always better to go for it. Putting all the information you have gathered in a chart or graph will help you discover valuable insights or patterns that would remain obscured otherwise. For instance, a graph could easily show you which departments have concentrated the most highly skilled employees and which are lacking. Or you might be able to improve a problematic team dynamic by easily identifying team members who have scored low in teamwork.
Once you have completed these steps, you’re ready to make the most of your skills matrix to improve recruitment, Learning and Development strategies, resource allocation processes for your next project, or any other goal you have set for yourself or your organization. All it takes is careful planning for the possibilities for change and advancement to become endless.
Skills matrices are one of the most valuable tools you can use to evaluate the skills and competencies of your workforce. They provide you with essential information that can be used to uncover skills gaps, highlight potential leaders, improve decision making and planning, and drive innovation and success in your organization. In this article, we provided you with 4 easy steps to create a skills matrix so that you can achieve these goals and drive your business forward.