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What is an Employee Training Matrix? And How Do You Create One?

A training matrix is a visual tool for tracking and managing the training and development of employees within your business. But did you know it's a strategic tool too? If utilized properly an employee training matrix will help you realize your business vision.

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Unlocking growth in your organization doesn’t always require monumental changes or expensive consultants. Sometimes, the key lies in simple structured approaches that maximize your existing resources. One such approach is creating a training matrix, a visual tool that streamlines your training processes by mapping the required skills and competencies your team needs to succeed.

It probably sounds complicated, but it isn’t. Here’s how a skills or training matrix could simplify your business’s growth.

What is an employee training matrix?

A training matrix is a visual tool for tracking and managing the training and development of employees within an organization. 

It helps;

  • Identify training needs, 
  • monitor skill acquisition progress, 
  • and ensures team alignment with future organizational objectives.

It provides a clear visual representation of who has been trained on what, identifies gaps in knowledge, and helps prioritize future training needs.

The importance of a training matrix in the workplace

Implementing a training matrix is more than just a nice to have—it’s a strategic move. A well-maintained training matrix has a number of benefits and ensures that all employees are equipped with a career growth plan and the necessary skills to perform their roles efficiently, reducing errors and increasing productivity. 

According to a study by the Association for Talent Development, companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized training.

In 2024, providing learning opportunities is the number one retention strategy for top talent (LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2024).

LinkedIn Learning Report 2024: Benefits of a Training Matrix
LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2024

The bottom line is that in 2024,

  • People crave AI skills. 
  • They’re motivated by career progress. 
  • Companies must embrace both AI skills and career development to energize and retain talent.

What are the benefits of an employee training matrix?

You know that training helps your team members helps retain top talent, and increases business results. But why use a training matrix specifically?

A training matrix offers;

  • Clarity and Organization: Clear visual overview of training status across the organization. It also keeps the business focused on its vision and mission.
  • Improved Efficiency: Streamlines the process of identifying who needs what training.
  • Enhanced Accountability: Employees and managers can easily track progress and responsibilities.
  • Better Resource Allocation: Helps prioritize training efforts and budget more effectively.
  • The chance to be future-proof: With AI tools impacting how most of us and organizations themselves work, a training matrix becomes a critical tool in ensuring businesses and their employees are ready to embrace the future and to keep innovating.

Understanding the Employee Training Matrix

The employee training matrix is the cornerstone of an effective training strategy. It allows managers to monitor training progress, identify skill gaps, and allocate resources where they are most needed.

Sounds great but it also sounds like a lot of work. It doesn’t have to be. Let’s explore the essential elements.

Key components of an employee training matrix

An effective employee training matrix typically includes:

  • Employee Names: List of all employees.
  • Skills/Competencies: Specific skills or competencies required for each role.
  • Training Programs: The training courses or modules available.
  • Completion Status: Status of each employee’s training (e.g., not started, in progress, completed).
  • Assessment Scores: Results from any training assessments or evaluations.
  • Expiry Dates: For certifications that require periodic renewal.

All of this information can be reflected in a variety of ways depending on what works for your organization. 

“If a company invests in learning today, they will have more engaged and impactful employees ready to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.”
Sara Dionne on Learning for the Future
Sara Dionne
VP, Learning & Development (CLO) at Comcast

A step by step guide to creating your training matrix

Creating and using an employee training matrix may seem daunting, but it can be broken down into manageable steps. Here’s a guide to get you started:

Identify training needs

Start by identifying the essential skills and competencies required for each role within your organization. This involves:

  1. Job Analysis: Review job descriptions and speak with team leaders to determine the necessary skills.
  2. Performance Reviews: Use performance evaluations to identify areas where employees need improvement.
  3. Regulatory Requirements: Consider industry standards and legal requirements for certain roles.

Map skills and competencies

Once you’ve identified the necessary skills, map them out against each employee. This involves:

  1. Creating a Grid: On a spreadsheet, list employee names on one axis and the required skills on the other.
  2. Rating Proficiency: Use a rating system (e.g., beginner, intermediate, expert) to assess current skill levels.
  3. Highlighting Gaps: Identify where the gaps are and prioritize these areas for training.

Assign training

Next, link each skill gap to a specific training program. This involves:

  1. Researching Training Options: Identify internal and external training programs that address the identified needs.
  2. Assigning Training: Allocate training programs to employees based on their skill gaps.
  3. Scheduling: Create a training schedule that aligns with business needs and employee availability.
  4. Test knowledge: Test the retention of knowledge through quizzes and real world application.

Practical tips to implement your training matrix

Once your training matrix is in place, it’s essential to keep it up-to-date and relevant. Here are some tips to manage it effectively:

  1. Regular Updates: Continuously update the matrix as employees complete training and as new skills are required. The ideal would be to assign the task to head of HR or even the head of each department. 
  2. Align against business objectives: If you’re not aligning the training of team members with the vision of the company, you’re making a big mistake. At least annually review the training matrix as part of the business strategy. 
  3. Monitoring Progress: Regularly review the matrix to track progress and make adjustments as needed.
  4. Feedback and Improvement: Gather feedback from employees and trainers to improve the training process.
  5. Integration with Performance Reviews: The training matrix should be used as part of regular performance reviews to ensure alignment with career development goals.
  6. Use of Technology: Leverage software solutions designed for training management to automate updates and reporting.

How to measure the success of your employee training matrix

Measuring learning effectiveness can be a challenge.

Success starts with small experiments to gauge progress on critical business priorities.

Business impact of learning according to LinkedIn Learning Report 2024
LinkedIn Learning Report 2024

The 2024 LinkedIn Learning Report shows that productivity and performance are the most common objectives for those who chart business outcomes.

Common implementation challenges and how to overcome them

Implementing a training matrix can come with challenges, but knowing them ahead of time can help you mitigate their impact:

  1. Resistance to Change: Employees may be resistant to new training requirements. Overcome this by clearly communicating the benefits and involving employees in the planning process.
  2. Resource Constraints: Limited time and budget can be a hurdle. Prioritize training programs that offer the highest impact on the business and consider blended learning approaches (e.g., combining online and in-person training). Also, consider what type of training is a priority, I.e., new hire training, ongoing training, or transitional training.
  3. Keeping it Updated: The matrix can quickly become outdated if not maintained. Assign responsibility to a specific team or individual to ensure regular updates.

Bottom line?

Creating and maintaining a training matrix is a powerful strategy for driving organizational growth. By ensuring that your employees have the necessary skills and knowledge, you not only improve individual performance but also boost overall productivity and competitiveness.

Companies with high learning cultures see a 57% higher rate of retention than those that don’t prioritize learning. 

How learning culture impacts business - LinedIn Learning Report 2024
LinkedIn Learning Report 2024

In the same report in 2020, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. This statistic underscores the importance of an effective training strategy for both skill development and employee retention.

By implementing a training matrix, you’re taking a proactive approach to employee development, ensuring your team is always ready to meet new challenges. This tool not only fosters a culture of continuous improvement but also positions your organization for sustained growth and success.

FAQs on an employee training matrix

A training matrix gives you a business an overview of all the skills available in the business.

This helps manage and deploy skills efficiently, spot skills gaps that could hurt productivity in advance.

The insights from a training matrix can be used for daily decision making as well as to help create the future vision of the company.

A training matrix should include the following;

  • employee names,
  • their roles,
  • required skills or competencies
  • current qualifications or training levels of each employee,
  • and any gaps in training.

 

It can also include a progress chart on how far each team member is in their training journey.

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