The 9-box matrix is a talent management tool that is used to provide a visual representation of an organisation according to each person's individual performance and potential in a matrix. Performance is measured based on factors such as job performance, skills and competencies while potential is assessed based on qualities like leadership abilities, adaptability, and readiness for advancement.
This representation allows managers and People professionals to identify high-potential individuals, high performers as well as those who may need further development or support within the organisation.
What can I see on a 9-Box matrix?
The 9-Box matrix consists of a grid in which the X-axis represents Performance and the Y-axis represents Potential. Based on these two conditions, each person is placed on the matrix according to the responses provided during their competencies review.
Each colour of the matrix represents a different type of profile that is defined below:
- Potential Gem: These people have shown to have high potential for growth however their current performance is low. They may require additional support, training, or mentoring to enhance their skills and improve their performance.
- Rising talent: Individuals show a high potential for growth and moderate performance and have the right skills to lead a team but they still require support for further development.
- Star: People in this category have demonstrated both high performance and possess high potential for future growth. They are considered valuable assets within the organisation and are often targeted for development and promotion opportunities.
- Variable performer: People in this category have a low performance but exhibit a moderate potential for growth. They may benefit from targeted development programs to enhance their skills and improve their performance.
- Core player: Individuals falling into this category demonstrate moderate performance and potential. They may require further evaluation or development to determine their suitability for future roles or advancement.
- High impact: People in this category show moderate potential but a high performance level. They are key to achieving goals as they are consistent workers however they do not show team leadership skills.
- Under performer: Individuals falling into this category have both poor performance and limited potential. Organisations may need to evaluate their continued employment or explore alternative solutions.
- Average performer: People in this category demonstrate moderate performance and low potential. Organisations may need to assess their fit within the company or provide support to improve their performance as they may have recently joined the organisation.
- Trusted professional: People in this category consistently deliver high performance levels but may have limited potential for future growth within the organisation. They are typically recognised for their current contributions but may not be prioritised for high-level development initiatives as they do not show interest or leadership skills.
What is the 9-Box matrix useful for?
The 9-Box matrix is used by organisations to get to know their current employee status and be able to conduct informed guide talent management decisions. A 9-box matrix is useful for the following reasons:
- Talent identification: It helps identify individuals with high-potential and high performance who can be considered for key leadership roles but also pinpoint people who possess both strong performance and the potential for growth and development.
- Succession planning: Organisations can identify individuals who are ready for promotion or lateral moves, ensuring a smooth transition when vacancies arise.
- Talent development: The matrix provides insights into the strengths and development areas of employees that allows People teams to identify individuals who require additional training, mentoring, or support to enhance their skills and capabilities.
- Resource allocation: By identifying high-potential individuals, organisations can invest in their development and create custom development plans for each employee allocating their resources effectively. It also provides visibility over the underperforming employees who may require performance improvement plans or reassignment.
- Calibration and discussion: The matrix can be the basis for discussions and calibration sessions among managers and People professionals as it facilitates objective conversations about individuals performance and potential which promotes consistency and fairness in talent assessment across the organisation.
- Alignment with business strategy: It helps identify individuals whose skills and potential align with the future needs of the organisation, ensuring that talent management efforts are in line with broader business objectives.
In short, a 9-Box matrix helps identify high-potential employees, assess skill gaps, and determine appropriate strategies for individual and organisational growth.
Why should my organization conduct a competency-based review?
Performing a 9-box evaluation can provide you with valuable information about your teams, their performance, and their potential that will help you to make informed decisions about talent management, performance improvement, succession planning, and talent development strategies within your organisation. Some of the benefits are listed below:
- Understand the different performance levels within your organisation.
- Insight into the growth potential of your workforce in areas such as leadership abilities, adaptability, willingness to learn and readiness for advancement.
- Identification of areas where there may be talent gaps within your organisation so the organisation needs to focus on talent acquisition, development or retention strategies to address those gaps.
- Identify potential successors for critical positions, allowing organisations to create a tailored succession plan for each role.
- Provides visibility over specific skills or competencies that individuals may need to enhance their performance or advance their careers.
- Helps organisations to identify individuals who may be underperforming or struggling in their roles and may require additional support or a reassignment to better align their skills and interests.