What is a Skills Matrix?
When managing a team, department, or even an entire company, you want to ensure that everyone has the skills they need to succeed. Employees who lack crucial skills, don’t just hurt your company, it also hurts anyone who tries to do a job they aren’t equipped to handle. Happy employees are more productive, perform better, and seek new jobs less often, resulting in a workforce that benefits the bottom line. There is no division between an employee’s success and that of your company.
A skill matrix for employees is a mapped-out network of the skills your workforce already has, or should ideally possess. Creating a database of skills that updates itself as individuals complete training courses is ideal. And, using an employee skill matrix chart will allow you to see at a glance who has the skills to work on various tasks. When fostering a well-balanced workforce, it’s essential to arm your employees with both general and specific skills. Not everyone will attain the same proficiency, however, so when you need someone with mastery over a particular skill, you need to know who tops the charts. Sometimes, a project might require middling proficiency at multiple tasks, or you might need three different people with high ability at three different skills. Whatever the case, having various skill matrix levels of each employee defined from the get-go will help you choose the best person for each project.
Benefits of Skill Matrix Building
Having a picture of the skills pool you can draw from has immense benefits across the board. When choosing members for a team or project, you can immediately see who is best suited for the job based on their available skillset.
Choosing people for tasks based solely on their documented skills is a fair and equitable way to distribute responsibility and shows that you value each team member’s skills. As a best practice, skills matrix building should focus on selecting the best person for each job. This has several benefits.
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.
Putting people in roles they dislike or don’t feel qualified to perform will breed resentment and self-doubt. Team spirit and productivity will suffer as a result. It’s also bad for team cohesion if someone fills a role the other team members don’t think they’re qualified to carry out. Having a skills matrix to point to as the reason you made your choices allows everyone to understand that your motivations are above board and not based on favoritism or politics.
People tend to stay in jobs where they feel appreciated. Offering ongoing training is investing in your current employees and showing that you will still find them valuable in the future. This makes each member of your workforce feel like an integral part of your team. Mastering new skills and taking on new roles offers exciting challenges and personal growth, improving job satisfaction across the board.
Since they have visible evidence of your appreciation, employees are less likely to jump ship at the first sign of opportunity elsewhere. Continuing skills training also gives them a tangible path toward promotion, which also helps raise your retention rate. Promote-from-within cultures allow your workforce to have confidence that hard work and experience will pay off for them in your company.
As skills improve, so does proficiency. Adding more skills to each employee’s repertoire will allow them to complete more tasks with less effort. This lowers their stress, improves their outlook, and makes them less likely to look for a different job. Rewarding productivity (as sales roles often do) is an excellent incentive for employees to learn new skills that they see as beneficial to their work.
As you can see, building a skills matrix and allowing your employees to acquire additional skills benefits everyone in your company. Equipped employees are happier employees—who perform better, complain less, and stay longer. That’s a win-win scenario for everyone!