A training matrix should have columns listing a company's employees' names, roles and important skill areas, and each row should focus on one employee, addressing the employee's critical skills and need for training in any critical area. The purpose of the training matrix is to compare the skills an employee has with the ones needed for the employee's current role. This can show a company areas in which additional training is needed.

When choosing skills to address on a training matrix, a company usually lists high-priority ones that apply to many roles, although all skills don't have to apply to all employees on the matrix. For example, an information technology company may have columns for project management, leadership, PC hardware, customer service and communication skills. When reviewing each employee, the company may use an "X" to indicate a critical skill column, use color codes to show how basic or advanced the employee is in a skill area and use another color, such as red, to fill in the cell for skills that need additional training.