The development of the company is the result of the competencies of everyone who works for it. In small companies, the awareness of employees’ competencies and resources is much greater due to the close and direct cooperation. How to maintain this knowledge in companies such as Polarys Polska, where the number of employees is increasing? With help comes the Competency Matrix.
How we define competencies?
A Competency Matrix is a tool that visually presents the competencies of individual employees in defined areas. It allows us to measure and understand employee skills, develop, and manage them. The crucial thing is competence, which consists of 3 elements:
– knowledge – acquired in studies, courses, and training;
– skills – practical application of knowledge, e.g. at work;
– attitude – motivations, goals.
The combination of knowledge, skills and attitude gives a complete picture of competence and determines whether a person can use it to perform a task or solve a problem.
Hard & soft skills
A key step in creating a Competency Matrix is to prepare a list of competencies we want to measure. Knowledge of SQL, databases, business processes…. – several hard skills immediately come to mind, which we can easily identify in our daily work. However, it is important to not forget the soft skills that are essential in the execution of duties, such as communication skills, teamwork, and proactivity. They are more difficult to identify and it is hard to assess their level of advancement, but they support the execution of tasks and improve the quality of cooperation.
Level of knowledge vs. interest in the topic
Another important aspect of creating a Competency Matrix is the grading scale. At Polarys Polska, we are interested not only in knowing the level of knowledge of competencies but also in the level of interest in developing a given competency by an employee. Knowing whether someone is interested in developing competency is no less important to us because it allows us to plan the development of the organization and set further goals following the individual preferences of employees.
Like any tool, the Competency Matrix, despite its great possibilities, also has limitations. The list of competencies cannot go on forever, so it is worth selecting those that are crucialfor the organization. However, at Polarys Polska, we arealso curious about additional skills our employees could share, so we added an „other” section, where everyone could present their competencies outside the main list. On the one hand, employees were not only limited by the defined list of competencies, but on the other hand, the organization gained knowledge of employees’ competencies which are not revealed daily. This allows us to take a broader look at the range of employees’ skills and identify new directions for development, both individually and from the perspective of the organization.