What’s A Training Matrix And How To Create It (+ Free Template)
Finding 'the perfect candidate' to fill your job position is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Not only is it impossible, but it also costs irredeemable time and resources. Every talent, even those with the best qualifications, requires some training to make them an indispensable part of your organization.
You need to equip them with resources and coaching that would help them give their best performance. And a training matrix is your dashboard to always stay on track of company-wide training.
📋 What is a training matrix?
A training matrix is a table that brings together all company-wide training programs - and maps them with employees and teams.
In a way, it's every L&D manager's main dashboard.
- Regularly, People Ops runs a training needs assessment survey to identify further company-wide training needs, gaps, and favorite ways of learning.
- Managers and employees define individual development plans at the beginning of a development cycle (e.g., 6 months). They can contain a mix of company-wide initiatives and personal short/long-term goals.
- All these measures come together in a training matrix. It's the company's bird's eye view where People Operations plan out and track the progress of each initiative - down to an individual level.
It more or less gives an overview of training across people and teams in a company. It can be 2-dimensional on excel or online organizing tools - Or a mixture of graphs, Harvey Balls, bars, and other visual formats.
In a way, it's a synthesis of development plans (see our template here) across people/teams - with company-wide programs added.
❓ Why should you have a training matrix? (and use it almost daily)
A training matrix is a fantastic tool for maintaining a schedule of employee training needs, courses, or programs and effectively implementing it to meet and track the requirements.
It helps streamline the training and development process.
If you're an avid reader of our blog, we don't have to explain to you the gigantic value of a robust learning and development strategy for people and organizations anymore.
So we'll cut it short this time. This is how proper planning pays out:
- A survey conducted by Axonify showed that 93% of employees experienced a positive effect on their level of engagement by implementing well-planned employee training programs.
- And 70% of employees would leave their current job to work for an organization that invests in streamlined employee development and learning.
- Last but not least, retention rates for organizations with streamlined and robust learning processes rise to 30-50%.
🆚 Training matrix vs. skills matrix: What's the difference, and how do they go together?
Many confuse the two concepts, although they are, in fact, pretty different.
A skill matrix is an overview of all the skills or competencies you have in an organization. For each employee or team, it helps you identify gaps, strengths, and opportunities.
Practically, a skills matrix gives a picture of the current skills composition within the company. It's an analytical tool to identify the current state.
A training matrix is your overview of all the training programs that people are (or should) be doing across the company.
Practically, a training matrix is your planning dashboard. It's where everything comes together, where you can track regular progress on mandatory and voluntary courses, and where you can identify good and bad programs.
How they can work together
A quick recap on employee development plans:
A development plan defines the focus areas and critical actions for an employee's development.
It usually contains...
- The goals (focus area)
- The key actions (i.e., training) required. These include courses, but also mentoring, job shadowing, work projects, and so on.
- Deadline for each action
- Budget required for the training
Your skills matrix is a powerful tool for creating more effective development plans - and other company-wide training programs.
Creating a decent development plan is hard without understanding the gaps between people's actual skills and the desired competencies.
And without understanding company-wide skill gaps, blindly forcing training courses upon everyone is a bad idea.
And your training matrix is the synthesis of all actions. That's it.
🛠 How do you create a training matrix?
Here's a step-by-step process of creating a training matrix for everyone.
Before starting: What should be on a training matrix?
Designing a training matrix on an excel sheet does not take much, just a little bit of planning and data required from the skill and development matrix.
The key ingredients of the training matrix are.
- Employee ID
- Reporting Manager
- Training programs
- Calculation: Percentage of training completion
If you want to go deeper, you can add dimensions like the approved budget.
Step 1: Assess the training required by new hires and old employees
Here it really depends on how far your current development process is.
If you're starting all over, do so with a training needs assessment and individual development plans.
If you're a bit further, add skills matrices and competency models for more informed decisions.
Don't forget to add the mandatory stuff: Think of compliance, company onboarding, and hybrid work policies.
Step 2: Add every employee
Simply list all employees as new rows. Create columns for
- People manager
- Anything else that should be in here
Step 3: List down the training required
List down every single training that is taking place.
- Company onboarding
- Team onboarding
- Company-wide workshops or course providers
- Input from the development plans. Either add every single action (including things like mentoring) - or limit it to courses. We recommend adding a category variable to filter later if you go for the prior.
Step 4: Divide the training program into different topics
Now that you are done assigning training programs across people or employees in your company. It's time to divide the training program into subtopics. So you can easily track the progress or development of every individual employee. Or you can note down the number of topics and track the number of topics covered.
You can even use ticks or other visual aids for ticking on every topic. Or you combine this with the development matrix.
Step 5: Track the progress and status quo
This is where things get exciting.
Tracking progress is essential to 1) evaluate success afterward and 2) identify places where the budget went to waste.
First, define a way to track everyone's progress.
In our template, we went for...
Note: The "Not started" and "completed" checkboxes are "FALSE" and "TRUE" variables on the spreadsheet. This way it's easier to count them alter.
Then, add these values to the matrix' cells according to your overview.
Bonus tip: Ideally, you will automatically take this data from other places like individual development plans.
If everything else sounds like a lot of work, feel free to check out our fully-automated employee development software.
Step 6: Add formulas for maximum insights
To get the most out of your analysis, add formulas to calculate automatically...
- Completion rate by course (Total # of completions / total # of started)
- Failure rate by course (1-completion rate by course)
- Completion rate by person (Total # of person's completions / total # of courses the person started)
If you're uncertain about these, you can always have a look at our template.
This is what the result looks like:
📝 Training Matrix Template (Spreadsheet)
Our training matrix spreadsheet template is your shortcut to setting up your first training matrix in minutes.
You can get it for free here. Once you received access, make sure to click "File" -> "Make a copy" and customize it however you wish.
⚙️ Spreadsheets vs. Software For Employee Development
It's universally accepted that spreadsheets are "cheap to use."
In a sense, they don't require software and maintenance costs.
However, we often neglect the cost of 'manpower' required to fill in the data and constantly monitor it manually.
Not only this, but they're also prone to human error and require the user to know Excel formulas.
The other limitation of using spreadsheets is its scalability. Spreadsheets aren't a feasible solution for large organizations that need to assign tasks and track the progress of 1000+ employees across several departments.
Cloud Software For Seamless Processes
Using software like Zavvy is an effective solution to setting up a complete, automated framework without getting lost in the busywork.
Managers and HR departments use our tool to assign, engage, and track the progress of their people on autopilot.
➡️ Get started with Zavvy today.
A training matrix combined with a skill matrix and development plan helps list the skills and qualifications required to be part of a team, group, or unit and create a plan for preparing and training them for the project and job and generate maximum revenue.
Make sure to take advantage of the other resources on our blog; we're constantly updating with new posts about onboarding, HR basics, and development. If you already want to put your employee training program into action.
With solutions like development plans and feedback, you can easily set up a seamless cycle of growing your people–without the complications of spreadsheets.
Connect with our experts to learn more about building a productive and engaged workforce for long-term success.