How to track training needs with skills matrix levels

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Skill Matrix Levels

As businesses develop a greater need for the organization of teams so does the need for clarification in knowledge and skill gaps. And, as technology progressively lends itself to organizational efforts, the use of a skill level matrix has become more and more widespread. For this purpose, a skill matrix is an excellent tool. But what exactly is a skill matrix and what is it for?

A skills matrix is a visual aid that helps teams clearly see what skills and competencies its employees possess, and it’s a valuable tool in skills management and development. The goal of a skills matrix is to support and understand team development by tracking team members and their skills.

What a skill matrix does

1. Identifies necessary or beneficial skills
2. Organizes these skills into rows
3. Maps the names of team members to their skills and skill level
4. Allows members to indicate which skills they possess
5. Identifies knowledge gaps and risks
6. Aids in the development of a knowledge-sharing program to mitigate knowledge gaps and risks

The benefits of using a skill matrix

There are a number of benefits to using a skill matrix in any organization. A few of them include:

  • A skill matrix lets managers and team leaders clearly see who has what skills and in what proportion.
  • It also makes team assignments and team formation straightforward.
  • Skill matrices also make individual skill tasking fast and efficient.
  • Finally, a skills matrix also helps management teams see strengths for use and weaknesses for improvement.

Common skill matrix terms

Before we take a closer look at skill matrix levels, it’s important to know and understand some common terminology. 

Skill matrix levels: These are the proficiency levels of an individual team member in a given skill, usually listed as 1. Entry, 2. Intermediate, 3. Advanced, and 4. Expert

Skill matrix questionnaire: This is used in creating a skills matrix, the questionnaire is there to let team members list their skills and indicate their level of proficiency in a given skill. Here’s an example of what one could look like.

Employee Skills Matrix Levels

There are a number of ways to use skill levels to indicate an individual’s proficiency in a given skill. They are generally entry, intermediate, advanced, and expert. For the sake of brevity, this can also be abbreviated into tally marks, boxes, or by the use of a simple number system. Here’s what the skills matrix levels typically look like. 

  1. Entry: A beginner who has learned one or more basic supporting skills but needs practice and training
  2. Intermediate: Has been performing the skill for a year or more and has shown competence in the skill
  3. Advanced: Has been performing the skill for some time, can deliver valuable products or services, and is conversant in the skill
  4. Expert: An expert has been doing the skill for some time, brings all the professionalism and prowess of someone with an advanced level of proficiency- but adds style and wisdom to their performance

Some organizations may choose to go by this level model instead:

  1. None: This skill level is likely appropriate for a new hire who has very little to no experience in the skills they need to perform their role. 
  2. Basic: Employees who have basic skills level show competence and can apply that skill in specific situations
  3. Intermediate: An intermediate skill level indicates that employees are proficient in a certain skill. 
  4. Advanced: An advanced skill level shows that employees have closely mastered a certain skill and should be considered as a subject matter expert who can help others grow in that skill.

By including the category of none in an employee skills matrix, an organization may mean to indicate that they are moving into a new area of endeavor and are developing new teams and skills. This is especially useful for companies that want to hire internally. Of course, these skill levels are open to alteration depending on the needs of your organization.

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Skill Matrix Examples

Now that you have a good idea of what a skills matrix is all about, let’s talk about a few examples of such matrices for more clarity. The following three examples are areas of competence where we might look for and compare skills held or desired by members of that team.

1. Product management skills example

Product management teams need to be proficient in a number of disciplines from the technical to the interpersonal. Members must deal with and optimize the parameters of the product while working with those who can help make the vision into a reality. A skill matrix format for a product management department will cover all of the jobs that product management teams must do, and since there are many- a diverse team is a good idea.

  • Customer engagement
  • Prioritizing market and product requirements
  • Collaborating with designers
  • Analyzing internal and external data

2. Leadership skills matrix example

There are different types of leaders for different industries and different levels of leadership. Anyone with an outstanding skill or competency should have some leadership skills, otherwise, their abilities might never see the light of day. A representative leadership skills matrix will be a useful tool in any workplace.

  • Problem-solving
  • Research
  • Planning
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Setting team expectations

3. Sales skills matrix example

Like product management, sales professionals need a wide range of skills from interpersonal to rhetorical in order to get the job done.

  • Product knowledge
  • Rapport development
  • Business communication
  • Tech-savvy
  • Client engagement

Sales Skill Matrix Example

4. Lean skills matrix

Lean companies are always looking for ways to optimize, streamline, and enhance productivity. That being the case, they are always looking for people who can help them to do this, people with lean skills.

  • Problem-solving
  • Management
  • Analytical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Written and verbal communication

Skills Management Software

Naturally, creating, editing, and updating a skill matrix chart can be a bit of a chore, especially if you’re trying to do it manually. Excel sheets and spreadsheets are nice, but skills management software is rapidly growing in popularity for good reason. Skills management software makes it easy to create and update your skill matrices so managers and trainers can easily visualize their team’s skill levels.

Skills mapping software is a great way to build the most efficient and productive team possible by matching team members with similar, the same, or complementary skills. Skills management software can also alert you to skill gaps and help decide how to fill those gaps. 

Skills matrix software is valuable for its ability to save time and money. But more importantly, it can help you to see clear connections between members in different departments who might be well suited to be on the same team. It can also alert you to critical competencies that are missing. With skills matrix software the automation that’s built into the app means better organization for you, and that spells productivity.

Improve Skills with Lessonly

If you find gaps with your employee’s skill levels, or simply want to level up your team’s skills, Lessonly can help. Our enablement software makes continuous training and coaching possible for all customer-facing teams. With Lessonly, trainers and managers can easily create, deliver, and track training on key skills for entire teams and individual employees so everyone has what they need to succeed. And, we make it easier than ever for teams to understand their rep’s skills, uncover opportunities for additional coaching and training, and deliver personalized coaching at scale. Our powerful solution also enables team members to apply newly learned knowledge and hone skills through interactive practice exercises. The result is a 76% improvement in performance. See how teams train faster with Lessonly.