How to Develop a Training Matrix – Employee Development

How to Develop a Training Matrix – Employee Development

Developing Your Training Matrix for Employee Development

Our 2020 blog on the Employee Skill Matrix covered the role of the Employee Skill Matrix, particularly in terms of ensuring change management processes are undertaken fairly and carefully. It also described how a skill / training matrix can be useful in providing a structure for a variety of other important business processes that require sensible well thought out moves, whether they be temporary or permanent.

A training plan is an essential business tool for businesses of all sizes

The training plan can be used for many purposes. For example, when analysing organisational processes and comparing with the existing team’s capabilities, it is advantageous to know what skills, qualifications & competencies your employees have.

This type of analysis allows you to quickly identify gaps in training or weaknesses in skills, also to know who has the required skill sets to carry out certain roles or tasks within the business. From a health and safety perspective, you can keep track of team member’s training records and the status of qualifications/certificates i.e., whether they are valid, expiring, or expired & ensuring your business’s compliance.

Situations when a skills / training matrix is valuable:

  • visually showing the tasks and skills required for specific roles and the current competency and skill level of each employee for each task;
  • knowing who can be re-deployed during periods of peak in demand or if a person is off sick;
  • when planning the implementation of a new project or technology, identifying employees: who have the skillset required; who could train others; and who needed training on what and when;
  • gathering important information for proposed restructures, and changes to employee roles;
    undertaking succession planning;
  • ensuring compliance by managing essential regulatory training and certificate updates e.g., fork-lift training and first aid certificates;
  • working with team members on their personal development plans;
  • setting staff training and development budgets; and
  • demonstrating that the business is actively training and upskilling New Zealanders when applying for Employer Accreditation with Immigration New Zealand.

A skill / training matrix is an essential tool for organising the information gathered in these activities and displaying it in an organised and easily read way.

The matrix itself can be prepared on a simple Excel spreadsheet or electronically via an online system.

Irrespective of what method selected, steps involved in building a training matrix include:

  • Listing all roles within the business (i.e., the positions);
  • Nominating the key skills required for each of the positions, the relative level of experience or competence required, and the relative importance of the skill to your business (NB: key roles require a robust succession plan to be in place);
  • Looking at each individual and working through the list of training requirements, recording whether it is a requirement for their job role or not. Where there is a requirement, record if the person holds the necessary certificate or qualification and where possible, the expiry date. If there is a requirement and their certificate is missing, record this also.
  • Rating each employee against each of the required skills for each role (regardless of the role they are presently in, taking into account the level of skill and level of experience.

This process should give you the crucial data you need to determine your training and development needs and to develop a training plan and budget.

Another important step in the overall process that goes hand in hand with this is having a relevant Learning and Development Policy and Performance Appraisal Process as this is where managers identify learning needs jointly with employees.


Below is an example of a simple skills/training matrix template.

example of training matrix

Technological and societal changes are coming at us thick and fast, and we need to keep up with the various skill and training requirements associated with change.

Your employees are a core and valued resource in your business and as such, there is a real need to have a continued focus and investment on growing staff capability. This approach also helps them to achieve their career goals and aspirations while at the same time contributing to your business success.

A skill / training matrix approach is an important business tool to assist you with this.

If you have any questions about setting up a skill / training matrix, a Learning and Development Policy, performance appraisal processes or you would just like some general HR guidance and expert advice, please give us a call, we would be very happy to assist you.

Book a complimentary 15 minute consultationnow with our Director, Tanya Gray.

Employee Skill Matrix

Employee Skill Matrix

Employee Skill Matrix
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Employers are at risk when making team changes – even minor changes, without correct processes in place. The Skill Matrix reduces this risk.

Employee Skill Matrix

There are a number of areas of high risk for employers when it comes to HR Management – one of which is considering changes to employee roles without the foundation of knowledge and consideration of the bigger picture.

The employee skill matrix provides the structure of information required to make sensible moves – whether they be temporary or permanent.

Putting correct, structured processes and communications in place during any shift in employment is the other side of the high-risk equation. Where personal grievances are upheld in court, it is almost always due to a lack of correct procedure being followed rather than the actions taken.

Every alteration of an employee’s work environment requires documentation and written consent from both parties for every aspect.

The role of the Employee Skill Matrix

The Skill Matrix is a grid that tables the skills, experience & training an employee has and matches them against the skills & experience required for each role, often also taking into consideration the relative importance of the role to the business & the relative time of accumulating the required level of expertise & training for any given role replacement.

When you conduct a skill matrix for every employee and you also detail the skills required to do any job in your business well, it becomes apparent where you have overlaps and where you have gaps.

It will also become apparent if you have gaps in your succession plan in covering key and core capabilities – and you will see the requirements for training and development in some areas.

It can happen that in considering moving one person from one role to another, that you plug one hole and in doing so, create another hole. Employees with overlapping key and core skills become relatively more important to your business overall.
There is value in letting employees become aware of their importance – this instils a sense of pride. It is equally important that they see you putting in place the necessary steps to replace them if required to do so – if for no other reason than to have adequate cover should any key employee become ill or require leave.

A strategically planned HR Strategy takes the future direction for the business into consideration and identifies priorities for the process of building skill and capability for the future – allowing business owners to build experience and trust in the most impactful areas.

Restructuring or temporary restructuring

On any occasion where a business owner needs to respond to an emergency or unforeseen situation (such as a pandemic limiting business functionality), an equally planned and measured approach must be put in place.

The bird’s eye view of an external party such as ourselves is extremely valuable in this situation, as we look at skills and capability as much as (if not more than) anything else – and we are somewhat more removed from the stress of the emergency situation to hand.
In every business situation, employee skills, experience and aspiration to a degree must be considered before all else – even in emergency planning situations.

To create an Employee Skill Matrix, the 4 pillars for success are as follows:

  • List the roles in the business (the positions)
  • Nominate the key skills required for each of the positions, the relative level of experience or competence required, and the relative importance of the skill to your business. Key roles require a robust succession plan to be in place.
  • Rate each employee against each of the required skills for each role (regardless of the role they are presently in, taking into account the level of skill and level of experience.
  • This should give you your map of where you need to increase resources and where you may be able to release or redeploy some.

Please give us a call to discuss further if you need some expert advice or if you feel you are getting caught up in the details.

Human Resource Gap Analysis

Human Resource Gap Analysis

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What is an HR Gap Analysis and why is it critical to your business growth?

Human Resource Gap Analysis – Most, if not all business owners commit to an annual business plan – which usually encompasses a Sales & Marketing Plan, Operational & Resource Management Plan, and a Finance Plan.
Planning revenue and capital expenditure for future growth is key to business scaling – every accountant will tell you that – but what about considering the people that you will need to create this growth through those resources acquired? Machines and software don’t make a business successful – people do.

Often business owners plan business growth without also considering the Human Resource plan to make the future business structure possible.

The HR Gap Analysis is every bit as important for your future business growth as your financial plan and your marketing strategy

This does not mean you rush out and hire new employees – it means you need a planning or strategy strand in the overall plan that brings into consideration the skills that you will need to either have developed across your current team members, or that you will need to introduce – and the timeline required to make all this happen.
When you think of building your business in bite-sized chunks of ‘what skill and which resource do I need to make this next stage happen’, it all becomes much easier. The overwhelm is reduced and a more productive planning process starts to take shape – then before you know it, your business transformation is underway – delivered by hard working people other than yourself!

The first step is conducting the skill analysis

To complete your Gap Analysis, you must first identify all skills required to grow your business to the first stage of planned growth, then look internally to see if you have those skills available to you with current employees – or if there is an obvious choice for training and development internally.
The second step, therefore, is preparing your Training and Development Plan.
Showing your employees your vision for the future, then delivering their role in that future with a concrete training and development plan is the single most valuable action a business manager can take in business planning for growth.

Upskilling an existing team member to develop and retain them in your business for longer is also an HR fundamental

The employee you know and who knows you – with mutual trust and business history is much more likely to fully commit to your vision of growth than an incoming new but higher level employee coming in cold.
The third step of the HR Strategy building process is one of establishing revised KPIs and job specification for any employee undergoing development so that your communication is absolutely crystal clear.
Follow these steps and you are on track for smooth, planned business growth with fewer speed bumps.

If you would find it useful, you are welcome to complete our Team Training Survey to take your HR Strategy to the next level. We will contact you with with survey results.


Four good reasons for establishing Training and Development Plans – and how to do this! 

Four good reasons for establishing Training and Development Plans – and how to do this! 

Four good reasons for establishing Training and Development Plans – Spring has arrived – a great time of year to look at the strategic planning that lies ahead!

Training and Development plans are possibly an even more important flow on from performance management than remuneration reviews.

Training and Development plans are possibly an even more important flow on from performance management than remuneration reviews.

Four good reasons for establishing Training and Development Plans – Recently we’ve been discussing performance management and how this relates to remuneration, and to an employee engagement and contribution to business. As your business grows, it becomes increasingly more about the people you employ, the business intelligence you have installed to guide them – and the training and leadership skills you have introduced to increase skill and knowledge.

Training and Development plans are possibly an even more important flow on from performance management than remuneration reviews. People love feedback – and training gives an employee a feeling of worth – and an increased level of engagement in your business.

Believing in people and committing to developing them increases job satisfaction, increases engagement and increases individual contribution.

Training, however, is not a panacea for all the benefits mentioned above. As the owner and manager of the business, it is up to you to establish an understanding of the expected outcome.

With this in mind, I have put together a form for employees to complete before, during and after a course of training. They also must report into their manager with the new initiatives they will undertake and hold accountability for future outcomes.

Communicating clearly your expected outcome from training with employees prior to the training taking place WILL improve the future running of your business

An underlying benefit of introducing Training and Development within your business is that people will start to see the future, and will proactively assist you in shaping it – you empower  your team – enabling you to ‘direct more than you effect’, which in turn delivers a more profound growth within your business – it’s all good news!

Integrating employee Training and Development plans along with key performance indicators (kpi) oriented goals and measurements WILL have a positive impact on HR in terms of employee retention. It instils commitment and loyalty within the team – which in itself becomes increasingly dynamic.

Outside of employee education and improved retention, an often overlooked aspect of succession planning is also a significant benefit. No staff member should leave a gaping hole in the business when they are absent. Cross training to have overlapping key skills provides you with sufficient skill cover for holidays, sickness and resignation – without you needing to step back in.

Cross training of key or important skills delivers flexibility and efficiency within your business. Training & Development Plans allow for full cover of key skills in the event of sickness or absence.

So, is Training and Development planning worth the investment?

YES!!! Absolutely, but as the owner of the business, you must ensure that all are accountable for implementing positive progress toward KPIs as a direct result of the training plan.

So, in closing – consider this quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is MOST ADAPTABLE TO CHANGE” Unknown Author.

If you are ready to take this very important step toward your future business, let us help you apply the method to the madness with our experience and guidance in HR Strategy.

Tanya Gray - HR ConsultantFor more information on the path forward to a more productive, positive, motivated team, ready to take your business to the level beyond the next, call me today or email should that suit you better!






Tanya Gray
Phone 092803977