What is a Training Matrix | Benefits & Free Downloadable Template

What is a Training Matrix | Benefits & Free Downloadable Template

Discover how a training matrix can help you deliver more organised and efficient development programmes. They are a crucial component of successful training and we will help you understand the difference between a training matrix and other common matrices used in Learning & Development (L&D). After reading this post you will be prepared for any challenges that you may face when using one as well as what to include in one. Deepen your understanding of the training matrix today!

Note: If you already know what a training matrix is and are here looking for a solution, you can skip ahead to our free downloadable resource section.

What is a Training Matrix?

A training matrix is a type of table with training requirements as column headers and individual employees as row headers. The result within the training matrix is the training status of that employee with regard to that specific training requirement. A training matrix provides HR managers with an overall view of training across the team, department, or organisation. Using a training matrix ensures that all training needs are being met or accounted for.

Training Matrix vs Skills Matrix

The difference between a training matrix and a skills matrix is that training matrices include all types of training needs while skills matrices focus on skill sets and skill levels. A skills matrix is used to analyse, document, and manage employee skills. Skill training needs may form the bulk of the training needs in a training matrix, but there may also be training needs unrelated to skills in the training matrix.

Training Matrix vs Competency Matrix

The difference between a training matrix and a competency matrix is that training matrices map training requirements while competency matrices map competency requirements. A competency matrix is used to analyse, document, and manage the required competencies for a specific role. On the other hand, training matrices may not necessarily be role-based. Additionally, a training matrix can include but is not limited to competency training needs.

Training Matrix vs Capability Matrix

The difference between a training matrix and a capability matrix is that training matrices address employee training needs while capability matrices address the capability needs of the organisation or groups within the organisation. Unlike a skills matrix and a competency matrix, a capability matrix can have a wider scope than a training matrix. Capability needs may not just include training needs, but also other required resources for a group to reach its goals.

Free Downloadable Training Matrix Template

Once you’ve learned everything you need to know about using this important professional development resource, you will need to create one yourself. Alternatively, we have created a free training matrix template that you can use. Head over to our download page and learn more about it. It’s a Google Sheet template that can be used by anyone. It includes everything you need to keep track of your organisation’s training.

importance of training matrix presentation

Importance of a Training Matrix

Training matrices are important because of the following reasons.

1. Training Matrices Improve Training Processes

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2023 found that a majority of organisations (81% of their respondents) plan to use investment in training as their key workforce strategy for the next 5 years. Since there will be an even greater focus on training effectiveness, it’s necessary to ensure that training processes are optimised.

Training matrices improve training processes by allowing HR managers to identify the most urgent training needs at any given time. Since HR managers can quickly identify training needs, they are then able to facilitate timely training delivery.

Furthermore, a training matrix helps prevent excess or unneeded training from taking place since it shows the updated status of training requirements. Training matrices are also essential to the development of training plans, programs, and calendars.

2. Training Matrices Enhance Work Performance

With more efficient training processes due to the use of training matrices, more employees are able to receive sufficient and relevant training. Since employees have the required training, they can do their jobs better. Without the foundation laid by training, employees won’t be able to reach their full potential and maximum productivity levels. While a training matrix focuses on current training needs, its long-term effects include a greater capacity for innovation within the organisation.

For example, a journal article proposed that Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) training matrices can help prevent incidents caused by the actions of staff with weak HSE awareness and competency. This highlights how training matrices can impact employee performance, especially with regard to safety protocol and incident prevention.

3. Training Matrices Support Career Development

Aside from the training required for the performance of job roles and tasks, the training required for an employee’s career development is also covered in training matrices. Employees may have specific career goals in mind which require specific types of training. By clearly mapping out all employee training needs, the training matrix provides HR managers with the data they need to further the career development of employees.

How to Create a Training Matrix

Here are the 5 essential steps to create a training matrix:

1. Conduct a Training Needs Analysis

A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is a diagnostic tool that will help you identify the different training needs of individual employees, teams, departments, and the organisation as a whole.

The key starting point of a TNA is to gather information about the capabilities, skills, and knowledge of employees. You may need to conduct large-scale assessments to get this information if you don’t have it readily available.

Once you’ve collected the necessary information, you can assess whether or not the current capabilities, skills, and knowledge of employees are sufficient to meet organisational goals. Next, identify the training required to bridge that gap. If there aren’t any gaps and no additional training is required, you may opt to put training on hold or focus on developing future workplace skills. Aside from training to close the gap, you may also want to include training requests from employees and stakeholders.

2. Organise Training Requirements

You can group training requirements into various categories. Here are just some ways you can organise those training needs:

  • Priority – urgent and non-urgent, low priority and high priority, etc.
  • Mandatory/Non-Mandatory – whether or not employees have to attend training
  • Job Roles – a category for each job role in the organisation
  • Skills – some job roles may require the same skill or skill set

3. Specify Training Matrix Scope

You may want to include all training requirements into one training matrix for the entire organisation or use the categories created in the previous step for separate training matrices. You may choose to focus this specific training matrix on a certain team or department. Perhaps the training matrix is for a particular skill set or qualification. The scope of this training matrix should ultimately depend on what you think is best for your organisation.

4. Input Information into the Matrix

Access the information you collected in the first step and choose how you want to present this information in the training matrix. Here are just some ways you can present training matrix information:

  • Text Description – e.g., In Progress, Done, Mandatory, Optional, etc.
  • Numerical Value – e.g., 1 to indicate low completion or assessment score
  • Symbols – e.g., check mark to indicate training completion or passed assessment
  • Colour – e.g., yellow to indicate that training is at least 50% complete

5. Plan Training Matrix Maintenance

A training matrix will be useless if it’s not going to be updated regularly. Ideally, the training matrix should be synced with the organisation’s training programs and assessment systems. Depending on the software you use, you may not need to manually update the training matrix and will just need to periodically check if its tracking is in order. However, if you need to manually update the training matrix, ensure that you set reminders for either yourself or for whoever is responsible.

manager creating training matrix

How to Implement a Training Matrix

Here are the 5 essential steps to implement a training matrix:

1. Identify Urgent Actions Required

While creating the training matrix beforehand, you may have noticed that different training delivery methods need to be used or that assessments need to be graded more carefully. It’s great if nothing needs to be fixed but it’s important that you get these issues out of the way before implementing the new training matrix.

2. Get Approval from Stakeholders

Some of the urgent actions you’ve identified in the previous step may require stakeholder approval. Present those actions together with the training matrix to stakeholders. Set up a meeting with them to discuss whether or not ongoing training programs need to be modified or replaced. This meeting will also be an opportunity for you to secure the required resources.

3. Notify Trainers and Employees

Once you have stakeholder approval, contact current and new trainers. Current trainers will need to be briefed on the training matrix. For new trainers or potential trainers that you’re interested in getting for newly identified training requirements, you should confirm their training fees and availability. After finalising the trainers and the training programs developed or modified based on the training matrix, inform employees about the training they will need to complete.

If training and assessments are handled separately in your organisation, you should go through the same process for the assessors and the assessment systems developed or modified as a result of training matrix creation

4. Follow the Matrix Maintenance Plan

Follow the training matrix maintenance plan throughout implementation. If the training matrix automatically syncs with the organisation’s training programs, you will just likely need to review the matrix on a regular basis. If the training matrix can’t be synced with the organisation’s training programs, you will need to review and manually update the matrix more frequently.

5. Evaluate Matrix Effectiveness

Similar to how the effectiveness of training programs has to be evaluated, you also need to evaluate the effectiveness of the training matrix. Here are some examples of what you may want to consider when evaluating training matrix effectiveness:

  • Is there a noticeable increase in the capabilities, skills, and knowledge of employees?
  • Are the professional development needs of employees being met?
  • Are the established training programs helping the organisation meet its goals?

Training Matrix Challenges & Solutions

Using a training matrix can pose challenges such as:

  • Difficulty updating the training matrix
  • Difficulty getting insights from the matrix
  • Difficulty incorporating new training needs

However, these challenges can be solved by:

  • Using a training matrix software or creating the matrix on a platform that allows for edits – such as excel.
  • Making the matrix easy to understand from the get-go or during training matrix creation
  • Setting criteria for when a new training need can be incorporated during implementation

What to Include in a Training Matrix

A training matrix should include:

  • A blend of in-person and online training
  • A blend of technical and soft skill sets
  • Personalised training pathways
  • Training focused on cybersecurity
  • Training focused on health and safety

Conclusion

By now, you have a greater understanding of what a training matrix is and how to use it. If you’re still not ready to commit to a training matrix software but need some help creating a training matrix, you can download this customisable training matrix template for free!

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