Why you need to start using a Skill Matrix to develop your teams

1. Allows you to develop individuals and teams simultaneously 

Despite the fact that most jobs are team-based, the majority of companies tend to take an individualized approach to training. The thought is that if every team member is trained and competent in his or her job duties, then the team as a unit will be competent. The truth is, that’s only part of the equation. To truly create successful and dynamic teams, it is important to train not only on the individual level but also on the team level. A competency-based skills matrix turns training into a team exercise, so that’s it’s not just about building skills on an individual level, but building them as a team.


2. Reinforces multiple levels of competency

 Standard learning management systems rarely have a way to track competency. In the cases that they do, they typically equate “x employee completed training content” with “x employee is competent in this skill.” A Skills Matrix, on the other hand, views the act of completing training as simply the first step at becoming competent in any given skill. Competency is measured not by amount of training content consumed, but by an individual’s ability to perform the duty to expectations, make improvements to said duty, and eventually train others on it as well.


3. Creates greater visibility for managers

Whether you’re managing a team of two or two-hundred, it’s important to stay on top of everyone’s performance. The larger your team is, the harder this can be. A Skills Matrix allows you to have a 360-view across your entire team on one screen, which can be useful in several ways. Most importantly, you’ll always know who on your team is competent and/or qualified to perform a specific job duty. This could come in handy, for example, if you’re a manager at a warehouse facility and one of your forklift drivers doesn’t show up to work but you still need someone licensed to drive it. By taking a quick look at your team’s skills matrix, you can easily identify which individuals on your team are qualified to perform the duty so you are able to quickly fill the role without sacrificing productivity.


4. Encourages higher levels of engagement between team leaders and their direct reports

The most effective way for team leaders to drive engagement with their team members is through direct and regular feedback. One of the most common complaints from team members is that they don’t feel like their managers care about their development or career goals. This feeling almost always results from scant feedback and/or low engagement. On the other hand,

managers that have large teams frequently complain that they struggle to engage with individual team members simply because their team is too large to know all of them well. Skill Matrices solve both of these problems. Both team leaders and their direct reports can log progress, feedback, and concerns into the system at any time. The days of the annual performance review are over. Skill Matrices make engagement a daily, continuous exercise, so your team can make daily, continuous improvement.


5. Establishes greater accountability 

Using a Skills Matrix is the best way to empower your employees to meet expectations and hold them accountable if they don’t. With individualized Skill Plans that clearly indicate which skills and duties each team member is responsible for, he or she is given a clear plan and all of the necessary resources to meet expectations. If an individual is neglecting, forgetting about, or struggling with a specific skill or job duty, it is clearly visible to his or her manager who can then step in to remedy the situation.