In order to maintain an organised workplace, you need to know which skills are required for each department. The next step is to identify each team member’s individual skills and their level of competency. For instance, you may have two people who understand how to use a particular piece of machinery, yet one is a master and the other is a trainee. When you create a visual representation of this information, the result is called a skills matrix.
By regularly consulting and updating your skills matrix, you never have to worry about losing track of capabilities. A common example is when more than one team member has annual leave at the same time because the company is going through its quiet season. Everything is fine for the first day or two, but then it becomes clear that those on holiday are the only ones who know how to complete a specific task. The furlough scheme was a much more magnified instance of this, resulting in companies inadvertently having no access to essential skills for weeks or even months at a time.
When a skills matrix is in place, you know exactly what you need to remain productive and compliant. If a member of staff is absent, is about to leave the company or simply not on shift that day, the skills matrix makes it clear who can capably take responsibility over certain duties. If there’s no alternative, it also shows you where training and upskilling are required in order to futureproof your operations.
Without a skills matrix, it can be very easy to believe that a newbie or an apprentice knows how to carry out a job. This happens a lot when the individual has been quickly shown how to do something but hasn’t received in-depth training, especially when they don’t have the confidence to point this out to their superior. The rookie is then left to execute the task without adequate instruction, which may lead to property damage or personal injury.
A skills matrix instantly shows you what each team member can do and to what extent. This can include notes on whether they require a supervisor or additional training, which in turn will accelerate their learning and personal development.
A skills matrix brings one more advantage that’s worth its weight in gold: strategic employee engagement. Thanks to the visual nature of a skills matrix overlay board, each team member can quickly see which areas of expertise they’re personally lacking. In addition, they can compare their own competencies with those of their fellow teammates. Whilst it isn’t a competition, this can go a long way in motivating staff to achieve more and set their own targets.
We’ve found that many workers use a skills matrix to shape their ongoing development, strengthening the culture of continuous improvement on a personal level as well as company-wide.
We’re here to help you create a skills matrix and deliver training in any areas that need improving, ensuring that your business can run smoothly at all times. To find out more, get in touch on 01482 296451 or fill in our contact form.
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