A skills matrix can be a powerful way for businesses to identify and track employee skills. By mapping out the skills of each employee, businesses can more easily assess where training is needed and plan for succession. This article will explore the most common pitfalls to avoid when creating and using a skills matrix.
Pitfall 1: Not assessing the right skills
When creating a skills matrix, it is essential to assess the right skills. The most important skills will vary depending on the specific company and position.
For example, customer service skills may be more important for a call center than for a software development company. It is essential to take the time to assess which skills are most critical for each position.
Pitfall 2: Failing to benchmark skill levels
Once the relevant skills have been identified, it is crucial to benchmark the skill levels of each employee.
This will help to ensure that employees are appropriately qualified for their positions and that they can meet the demands of the job without over or underperforming.
Pitfall 3: Not updating the skills matrix regularly
A skills matrix is not a static document; it should be updated regularly. As positions are created and eliminated, the skills to be assessed will change.
In addition, as employees gain new skills and experience, their reported skill levels should change.
By regularly updating the matrix, organizations can ensure that it remains accurate and relevant.
Pitfall 4: Not using the matrix to guide training and development
Once a skills matrix has been created, it should be used to guide training and development efforts. By identifying gaps in employees’ skills, businesses can target training programs to improve those skills.
In addition, by monitoring changes in employees’ skill levels over time, organizations can identify individuals who may benefit from additional training or development opportunities.
Pitfall 5: Overcomplicating a large skills matrix
When it comes to a skills matrix, one of the biggest dangers is making it too complicated.
With so many employees to keep track of, it can be tempting to continually add columns and categories to the spreadsheet.
However, this can quickly lead to confusion and make it difficult to extract useful information from the data.
It is therefore vital to keep the matrix streamlined and organized, with only the most essential information.
Pitfall 6: Lack of communication
Once a skills matrix has been created, it is essential to communicate it to employees.
This will help them understand what is expected and how their performance will be evaluated.
In addition, by sharing the matrix with employees, organizations can encourage transparency and open communication about skills and development needs.
Pitfall 7: Ignoring feedback on the skills matrix
When creating a skills matrix, it is crucial to solicit employee feedback since they have first-hand knowledge of their skills and abilities.
By incorporating employee feedback, organizations can ensure the matrix is accurate and comprehensive.
Pitfall 8: Insufficiently linking skills to business goals
A skills matrix should be aligned with the goals and objectives of the business.
This will help ensure that employees are trained in areas that benefit the company the most.
Pitfall 9: Forgetting to include career paths
Do not forget to include career paths when mapping out skills.
This will help employees see how their current skills fit into the bigger picture and where they need to develop further.
Pitfall 10: Failing to integrate with other HR systems
A skills matrix should be integrated with other HR systems, such as performance management and succession planning.
This will provide a more holistic view of employee development needs across the organization.
Pitfall 11: Relying on job titles instead of skills
Another pitfall to avoid is over-relying on an employee’s job title instead of their actual skills. Just because someone has “manager” or “director” in their title does not necessarily mean they possess good leadership qualities.
In other words, do not let job titles deceive you; instead, focus on what an individual can do (i.e., their measurable skills).
As mentioned earlier, a skills matrix can be an incredibly valuable tool for any organization—large or small—in terms of clarifying expectations, measuring employee performance, guiding training and development initiatives, etc.
So, if you do not have one already, what are you waiting for?
Start working on your organization’s skills matrix today! Get your free templates now.