Employee ExperienceLearning and Development

Expertise Mapping – Understanding Employee Skill Matrix Charts

5 Mins read

Employee Learning and Development (L&D) is one of the most crucial tasks carried out by HR managers and L&D specialists. Businesses can gain a competitive edge, boost profitability, and enhance retention by evaluating employee performance and providing them with the necessary training. Nevertheless, figuring out which skills are necessary to equip their employees with in order to prepare them for upcoming tasks and problems is not always simple for HR managers and business owners. For this reason, expertise mapping (other known as skills mapping) can help make things simpler.

Expertise Mapping is a concept that helps you answer questions such as: what skills does my staff have? Who is better at what? Who will replace a certain employee in case of a sick leave? 

To learn about these questions and more, we will further elaborate on expertise mapping and its benefits, how to create a skills matrix chart, its efficiency, and provide work environment skill mapping examples. 

Understanding Expertise Mapping

A visual display of all of your employees’ competencies and skills is called expertise mapping. It includes specifying what abilities and types of knowledge are necessary to fill a specific function, carry out a specific task, or assemble a team for a specific project. Further, it determines which of these abilities are currently present in your organization next. As a process, it is highly valuable for HR and Project Managers. 

Expertise mapping can be used to analyse an organization as a whole as well as individual divisions, teams, or fields. By doing this, you can examine the contributions that each employee makes as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of Expertise Mapping

  1. There are cases when just a small number of workers can complete a job to the necessary standard. The precise responsibilities and criteria that are essential to your organization are identified through expertise mapping;
  2. It identifies the workers who might gain from additional training;
  3. You can determine who among your staff members is the most valuable, as well as who is a specialist in a field and who has more general skills and competencies;
  4. In a flash, HR may construct a candidate profile to replace an employee who leaves your firm unexpectedly, or you can quickly discover potential substitutes for employees absent due to illness;
  5. You can keep tabs on the advancement of your teams, departments, and people individually.

How to Create and Use an Employee Skill Matrix Chart

1. Establish a Skill Database

A skill database is a catalogue of the abilities needed for a position, division, or project. At this point, you should identify the necessary skills (soft skills as well) for your organization by compiling them into a group of categories and sometimes even subcategories, for example:

  • Project Management;
  • Marketing & Sales;
  • Communication & PR;
  • Graphic Design;
  • Data Analysis;
  • Problem-Solving Skills;
  • Teamwork & Reliability

If you’re a data-driven company, we suggest you gather as much data for the necessary skills for your company as possible. This way, you will easily rank the most important ones in the beginning. Also, asking more senior workers about what skills are necessary for a role could be a huge help. For starters, you may ask highly qualified workers or department heads to compile a list of the abilities needed at each level—beginner, senior, intermediate, and advanced. This will save you time and draw attention to particular skills you might not have thought about.

2. Establish a Grading Scheme

To rank the proficiency or skill level of users, a grading system is utilized. You must specify how you will evaluate the skills after you have a list of them. For instance,  Junior, Middle, or Senior could indicate levels of proficiency in the IT sector. Keep in mind that grading methods may vary for various firms and industries, as well as for various positions and departments. You must identify what functions are ideal for your company.

For example, for Project Management related grading, you can use the following scheme:

  • The employee has no training (1);
  • The employee has completed one (or more) training (2);
  • Able to work under supervision or coaching (3);
  • Able to work independently (4);
  • Superusers: Can coach others for that skill or process (5).
Employee Skill Matrix Chart

3. Assess the Abilities of Your Personnel

You have a variety of options for doing this; each has advantages and disadvantages. You can choose from the provided skill mapping examples:

  • An employee rates each talent on a personal basis through self-evaluation; 
  •  Manager evaluation: The manager assigns a skill score to each employee;
  • Evaluation by a team or a client: You can gather input from a team or a client and use it to assess an employee’s abilities;
  • Employees must pass tests or quizzes to determine their ability level in the skills evaluation process; 
  • Certification is a quick and reliable way to assess a certain skill, but not all employees possess it and not all skills can be certified. 

We advise you to start with self-evaluation and certifications for a quick outcome. Give your staff members the chance to grade their own skills using the grading system and add their certificates. Use a skills exam or many approaches concurrently if you require a more precise evaluation.

Note: Add choices that allow staff members to pick their favourite abilities or skills they’d like to develop.

4. Visualise the Data in a Matrix or Table

  • Using Excel is one of the most popular ways to generate a skills matrix. To create a skills matrix in an Excel document, follow the steps listed below;
  • Make a table or matrix called “Skills,  Competency, or Expertise” with the skills stated in the first column;
  • The names of the team members should be written horizontally in the “Name” column.
  • Under Name, add the columns “Expertise” and “Interest”;
  • Include data that shows the expertise and level of interest;
  • You’ll get a general idea of each employee’s skills by doing this. Sort the knowledge into groups based on how it will help you finish a practical assignment.

5. Acquire Personnel with the Required Abilities

Map each role’s requirements to the employees who possess those qualifications. This information can also be used by workers who possess particular talents to spot skill gaps and close them.

You will receive a summary of each employee’s competence level after doing this. Sort the knowledge into groups based on how it will help you finish a practical assignment.

6. Determine Training Needs and Assign Tasks

Develop training and development initiatives that will aid personnel in developing their abilities. If any staff members lack certain abilities, you might think about hiring a trainer to lead a workshop. Employee skill development for roles and projects will benefit from this.

Skills Mapping Example

Imagine Lily, a manager of learning and development in her company’s marketing division, intends to organize the training schedule for freshly graduated students who have joined her organization.

After talking with managers about marketing projects, she pinpoints five skills she considers crucial, including Project Management, Writing, Public Speaking, Accounting, and HR. 

She requests declarations of expertise from the newest members about each talent. Later, Lilly conducts a graded assessment to validate their claims.

Expertise Mapping

You can identify who needs training or identify any talents that are lacking by using even a simple matrix like the above one.

General Skills Mapping Process Tips

Don’t Involve Too Many People in One Single Skills Map

Since an employee skills matrix chart’s main aim is to remain clear and simple, we recommend properly dividing teams, jobs, and roles and keeping it as short in number as possible.

Stick to the Most Important Competencies and Issues

The possibilities of using skills mapping tools and skills mapping processes are endless, but again, to remain clear, we recommend keeping the list of skills as simple as possible.

Further Reading:

20 Best HR Podcasts You Should Add to Your List
Commuting to Work: The Ideal Distance
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About author
Fatjona Gërguri is the content writer for Employee Experience Magazine, covering the relevant topics about employee experience, organizational culture and general HR topics.
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