We believe such dilemmas can be solved, when the Head of Design understands how each person in the team works and knows what are their skills. It will help you to share the work in your team, according to each designer's skill set. So, the workflow unfolds more naturally and productivity rises.
1. Create Skills Matrix
Skills matrix is a common HR tool, and has 2 basic purposes:
- provides assessment of a team's competency
- insights on personal skills.
Basically, it is a spreadsheet with team members and their skills.
Doing your own skills matrix is fun, everything can be made up to your needs. However, skill sets need to be related to particular positions in your design team. Point out major designing skills, and add up common leadership, communication skills.
Such matrices can be made in Excel/Google Spreadsheets, but it takes months to create your own one. However you can use one of our ready-to-use skills matrix templates to save time.
2. Evaluate Skills
When your skills matrix for designer is done, it is time to start evaluating skills of each team member. For this purpose, you should conduct a review of current skills with every designer.
You can use separate skill matrices to review each designer, however it might be time consuming, especially if you work with a team of 10+ designers. But this step is necessary to understand strengths and weaknesses of your team.
Vectorly can help you to automate the evaluation process, and conduct skill review with each designer remotely. Such a way will help to reduce the process time.
3. Set Personal Development Plan
We believe that you cannot hire a person and think of her as an unchanging asset. Give your employees an opportunity to grow, set the right goals. You can't become what you can't see, so it is also important to make the growth process transparent. That's why we need PDPs (Personal Development Plan).
It is easier to set PDP, when you know their strengths and weaknesses. Let each designer choose 3-5 skills to grow, and discuss personal ambitions and possibilities to grow skills. Those selected skills become personal goals for a particular period of time.
Help your employees to set the right tasks, and link them with daily product tasks. Practical approach helps your employees to grow skills faster and makes the growth transparent - they see the progress and its outcomes. We also provide a feature for this purpose - Action plan, designers can monitor tasks and track the progress there.
4. 1-on-1 meetings
When you're leading a design team, you want to stay in touch with your team, receive as much feedback as possible. 1-on-1 meetings are a great way for managers and employees to connect individually on certain issues, and ensure that team members are working toward their goals.
These meetings have major importance in skills evaluation, and personal development plan setup process. 1-on-1's aren't about reports, it's an opportunity to give and receive regular feedback, fostering growth.
For the Head of Design, 1-on-1 meetings are also a place, where you can find out what's going on in the team without micromanaging, and a great chance to build mutual trust with designers.
5. Create Knowledge Base
After you set personal goals for each designer, you need to also create a knowledge base. While product tasks have practical approaches for designers' growth, a knowledge base can help the team to master theory.
A knowledge base basically is a list of design-oriented literature, articles, courses, and videos. Besides reading the right literature and attending external courses, you can organize design meetups and workshops, where senior designers can share their knowledge with less experienced colleagues.
You can also create a knowledge base with Vectorly, and combine all the theory with daily practice tasks.
Repeat: Make the process continuous
And finally, remember skill growth work is never done. It is always work in progress because projects and workplaces are constantly changing. Your eternal goal, as the Head of Design, is to keep up with designers' needs and motivate them to strive and prosper.