A well-designed training matrix is an effective way to track employees. It can also save money and time in tracking down the necessary certifications or weaknesses that are gumming up an otherwise smoothly run business.
From tracking the competency levels of employees to analyzing gaps in actual knowledge in comparison to the required knowledge needed to get the job done, a training matrix has a variety of uses.
Uses of a Training Matrix
A training matrix can be used as a visual tool to identify employees' skill level, places where they may need improvement and at what pace they are carrying out the requisite project. A well-crafted training matrix can be used for different departments or teams within departments and combines all of the information from the many moving parts of a project to give a clear overall picture.
When to Use a Training Matrix
A training matrix is helpful to a small business with 10 employees and is necessary when a business swells to more than 100 people on staff.
Often, a training matrix system is used by management to pinpoint exceptional work being done by an individual or a team. The training matrix method of evaluating employees tends to be more reliable than human perception of an individual or team’s skill or production level.
Training Matrix Template
There are many ways to create a training matrix. The basics of a training matrix template should include:
- Staff Requirements – A training matrix manages what each position requires and which employees are up to speed or need more training.
- Automated Reminders – The matrix alerts management to important due dates for recertification or retraining, lack of skill set or compliance issues.
- Store Certificates – A training matrix is an electronic filing cabinet for all of your important certifications as well as proof of instruction for individual employee training.
- User Access – The training matrix template should be easily accessed by team managers as well as project managers so that it is used correctly by all employees to improve overall efficiency.
- Compare Data Trends – A good matrix will compare data and segment data so that managers can be proactive with staff.
Creating a training matrix in Excel is a relatively simple and straightforward process. The designers at Microsoft have created an effective tool that can be manipulated for a wide range of businesses or skill-instruction needs.
Types of Training Matrices
There are a few approaches to creating a specific training matrix.
- Skills-Training Matrix - A simple training matrix will map a staff member’s skill with an end date and subsequent graduate certificate. The matrix can be used to prove that the employee is up to date on certifications and has completed all training. It can also show when the training was completed.
- Cross-Training Matrix – These types of training matrices are used when there are individuals or teams that need to be cross trained, such as in a manufacturing or industrial environment. This helps each department see where they may have a weakness that can affect the entire team, among other vital details.
How to Keep a Training Matrix Up to Date
A training matrix is only as good as its data input. Make sure that the training matrix template you choose can be used easily by those who need to update information on a daily or weekly basis. This also means that you should ensure the information entered can’t be easily manipulated by those who shouldn’t be in the program or those who have a personal motive.
Create a master of the matrix on a regular basis for future comparison should a discrepancy arise.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.