Manage Your Staff with the Skill Will Matrix

When you are managing a group of people with different personalities and motivations, training models like the Skill Will Matrix are always useful. Not all people respond positively to a single management style. If you want to get the most out of your team, the challenge is to mold an approach that will fit each of their individual personalities.

Using the Skill Will Matrix as a guide, you can create a productive work atmosphere where everyone functions to the best of his abilities.

The Skill Will Matrix is a simple guide you can use to assess individuals. Once you determine where a person stands in relation to the matrix, it will be easier to know which management style is best for him.

Skill Will Matrix, management style,

The Skill Will Matrix is made up of four quadrants. Each quadrant is specifically labeled. These labels signify a management style you can use, depending on the skills to complete the job, and the willingness to commit to do the work needed.

Elements of the matrix and what they mean:

1. Skill- If a staff has the ability and the experience to accomplish the job, he is considered to have the skills for it. The matrix is designed so you can situate a staff’s skill level vertically from low to high.

2. Will- The willingness of a person to do the job. A person with high will has the desire and the drive to do the work, and may not need much pushing or external motivation.

3. Guide- Place a staff in this quadrant if he is a high “will” level, but a low score in “skills.” This means that he can make many mistakes but can learn from them. As a manager, you can train the person, provide learning tools, and give feedback when necessary. You can also structure tasks to minimize risks.

4. Direct- Directing is a management style you can use when a person has both low skill and will levels. Be clear on the project’s goals and factors, such as the budget, deadlines, and method. Give tasks that ensure quick and fast results, and talk about their motivation. This will build up initiative and prevent frustrations from both parties.

5. Excite- For someone who has the skill but not the will, you will need to “excite” them. Find out the reason for the low “will” level and try to offer effective motivations, maybe through incentives and understanding the importance of the task. You can delegate responsibility and authority to this employee because he has the skills for it, but still have to monitor and give him feedback when needed.

6. Delegate- a staff with both high skill and high will can receive greater responsibility and authority, since he is competent and committed. You can give him some freedom to approach the task the way he sees fit. You can also involve him in the decision-making process. Of course, you still need to set clear goals and be available for feedback and guidance.

Effective Management, The Easy Way

Managing your team using the Skill Will Matrix as a guide makes it easy to pinpoint what you need to do. It’s a simple tool which allows you to assess each person in your team and immediately know how to get the best from them.


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