Competence matrix: definition and tips

by Danique Geskus | Apr 24, 2024

A competency matrix is a valuable tool for organizations to understand the skills and competencies of their employees. But what exactly does a competency matrix entail? And how can you use it effectively to improve your team’s performance and development? In this article, we explore these questions and offer practical tips for implementing and utilizing a competency matrix.


What is a competency matrix?

A competency matrix is a structured tool that identifies the skills, knowledge and behavioral characteristics of employees. It provides an overview of the
competencies required for specific positions within an organization and evaluates the extent to which individual employees meet these requirements.


The benefits

A competency matrix offers several benefits to organizations, including:

Objective assessment:

It enables managers to objectively evaluate the evaluate employee performance objectively based on measurable criteria.

Development planning:

It identifies skills gaps and helps create targeted development plans for individual employees.

Succession planning:

It supports succession planning by identifying and developing potential successors for key positions.

Recruitment and selection support:

It serves as a guide for recruiting and selecting new employees by outlining the competencies required for a position defining.




What should be in a competency matrix?

A competency matrix is a tool used to assess and visualize the skills and competencies of individuals in an organization. It helps identify strengths, areas of development and needs for training and development. Here are some elements you can include in a competency matrix:



Add a section listing employee names. Each employee is identified by their name and/or identification number so that their competencies and achievements can be tracked.



Define the relevant competencies for the functions and roles within the organization, as mentioned earlier.



Define different levels for each competency to track employee progression and development, such as beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert.


Assessment criteria:

Establish clear assessment criteria for each competency at each level so that employees know what is expected of them and how to improve.


Rating scale:

Develop a rating scale to assess employee performance at each competency and level, as described earlier.


Individual evaluations:

Evaluate each employee’s competencies and indicate what level they are at for each competency. Also identify specific areas of improvement that employees can work on.


Development plans:

Establish individual development plans for each employee based on their reviews. These plans should include specific goals and actions to improve their competencies and address areas of improvement.


Monitoring and updating:

Provide a system where the competency matrix is regularly updated and monitored, as mentioned earlier, to track employees’ progress and keep track of changes in their competencies and development needs.

With these modifications, the competency matrix not only allows for tracking competencies, but also for identifying individual areas of improvement and creating targeted employee development plans.

Learned UI showing how a Marketing manager was assessed by three people on different skills

Within Learned, you can easily compare the skills & competencies of your employees. Try Learned now for 14 days for free!


5 tips for use

Here are some tips for effectively implementing and using a competency matrix:

1. Define clear competencies

Start by identifying and defining the essential competencies for various positions within your organization. These can include technical skills, soft skills and behavioral traits. Make sure these competencies are specific, measurable and relevant to the positions.

2. Measure competencies objectively

Use standardized assessment criteria to objectively measure employee competencies. This can be done using self-assessments, managerial assessments, peer evaluations, performance reviews and other relevant data sources.

3. Identify development needs

Analyze competency matrix results to identify skill gaps and development needs. Then establish targeted development plans to address these gaps and improve employee skills.

4. Use the talent management matrix

Use the competency matrix as the basis for talent management initiatives, such as succession planning, career development and recruitment and selection decisions. Identify high-potentials and potential successors for key positions within the organization.

5. Provide continuous evaluation and adjustment

Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the competency matrix and adjust it as needed based on changing business needs and stakeholder feedback. Ensure that the competency matrix remains relevant and up-to-date in an ever-changing business environment.




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