The 9-box talent matrix helps companies identify the most talented talent in an industry and gives employers a clear indication of their Bench Power. In the most practical case, employers think beyond performance but also incorporate potential in decision-making. Consider your employees who are among those who are most likely to perform at the best level and are therefore poor performing, so simply relying on performance reviews would be unconvincing. A 9-level talent matrix helps HR professionals identify the best people and the best employees by comparing employee performance with a range of other metrics and innovative attributes.

What is a 9 box talent matrix?

The 9 boxes are used in evaluating an organization’s talent pool for potential and performance. The vertical and horizontal axis indicates potential and performance.

The lower the boxes, the bigger the potential growth, and the higher the boxes, the better performances are. Employees with low performance on the bottom left are a group of employees with the least growth opportunity. The high performers have the greatest potential. Employers are placed in a wide range of roles. You could have people who feel no need for growth from their present position, but that is fine.


How do you create a 9 box talent matrix?

9 box talent grids have a basic three-by-three framework. For this, you will plot employee potential on x-axis (very high potential, moderate potential, low potential) & current performance on x-axis (low performer, moderate performer, high performer). Although this is the easiest form of the 9 box talent grid, many organizations use custom shapes to customize each square to their needs. You may refer to the sample 9-box grid to learn more about how to assess talents.

Using 9-Box Grid for Talent Management

When employees are grouped in these categories, the leaders can customize the individual developmental plans according to their individual categories. Most of the time, effort and energy you’ve invested will go into high-performing performers, with many opportunities to succeed. The matrix indicates investments increase as you go further up and down and decrease as you progress farther left and right.

Box 6, 8, and 9

Employees in boxes 6, 8, or 9 in the current role are top performers and great assets within the company. They need special attention to keep them motivated. They have a high potential to grow in the company. The development of these resources is crucial. They can be stretched to deliver more. Talents in box 9, high performers / high potential are eligible for promotion and ready in the short term to join the leadership team or take the next step in the career path.

Future potential high performer, high potential. Working at full potential. High performing 9 box talent high performance

Box 3, 5, and 7

Employees in boxes 3, 5, or 7 in the current role are core players. They are core players, possess high performance and a high potential for the company. These are the future growth leaders. They need development and mentorship in order to prepare them for the next roles, unlock their full potential and leverage their performance.

Moderate potential performance management. Performance and potential talent 9 box

Box 1, 2 and 4

Employees in boxes 1, 2, and 4 in the current role are on the low moderate side. They need close guidance and development plans such as the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). That’s include training and mentorship. Employees in box 1 have poor performance and potential due to bad hires. It is highly recommended to replace them with better candidates. It is also important to review the hiring process to avoid bad hires in the future.

Low performance low potential. Future potential, nine box. Job-requirements of team members

This 9-box grid will make you efficient as it will match people to specific labels. The true value lies in the process as well as in its discussions. Although you don’t need the nine box grid to decide who has the best chance of surviving, or expected to improve, or growing in any given company, the 9 box talent matric can be used to establish their overall position and start an effective conversation with managers.

Importance of Succession Planning

Successions are basically an effort to identify and coach future leaders. It is crucial that organizations take on a longer-term strategic role. Sometimes, it can be a strategic aspect that gets left out of priority lists. We know succession planning can improve the effectiveness of delivering effective business results. When done correctly, it can assist in identifying whether the team has the best seats in the organization.

9 box grid for succession planning

In the same way, organizations use the 9 box grid to develop succession plans. Successive plans should focus primarily on star performers with excellent potential. It is those individuals that make your business a better place. This matrix helps determine leadership talent and helps identify them. Leadership talents are then developed to more senior leadership positions through leadership coaching and mentoring, and regularly 360-degree feedback – among others.

Using 9-Box Grid for Succession Planning

The 9 boxes are a useful resource in identifying potential successors. After determining critical roles, a leader should think about the current employees in his organization who could take on these roles. The succession bench is essential for a successful leader. A key component is finding and training employees to take on the successor role once they have moved up. When using the 9 boxes of succession assessments, the leader will want to train the best talents that they can for their future roles.

Succession, retention, assessing potential future. Potential team members. Performance management

Critique of 9 box grid performance and potential

Although 9-box grid is an effective way of evaluating talent performance, they’re uncontested. Its biggest weaknesses include its reliance upon traditional management, which is defined by yearly subjective evaluation. Some businesses have moved from performance reviews annually to focusing on constant feedback. The system provides more opportunities and information for evaluating performances more precisely and accurately. It is highly recommended to measure performance as objectively as possible.

Beware of Common 9 Box Grid Pitfalls

Although 9-box talent grid offers benefits, they have some disadvantages. That’s a subject. The decision on the landing spot depends on management. Depending on how the assessment is conducted, it may differ from person-to-person. Some people see employees as having less potential, others may see the moderate potential. To evaluate the quality of work a lot of tools are necessary. There’s no aptitude in this field. Just because someone has an excellent performing capacity isn’t necessarily a good management option.


The 9 box talent grid may help in determining employee performance levels within the organization. Software is used by organizations in performance management, employee management, and succession planning. Remember, 9 boxes aren’t meant to give employees a label. Instead, if you are assessing the employees’ success in a particular field and having discussions afterward that will help you assess their successes, you will invest in developing them for success as well.

An automated 9 box talent assessment makes the process more objective and meaningful within the company. Hence, it is highly recommended to avoid making 9 boxes talent grid based on the managers opinion only, but it has to be supported by objectives and development plans.

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What is the 9 box model?

The 9-Box Model is an analysis, visualization and comparison tool that uses data to compare the performance of employees across various fields. The performance map helps HR professionals identify key leaders and train their employees for future roles.

What is the purpose of 9 box grid?

The 9-box grid is a personal assessment framework assessing employee contributions to the business.

What is the 9 box grid assessment?

The 9 box grid is used to assess talent pools in the industry. The horizontal and vertical axises show potential and horizontal axises show performance. The higher the boxes, the greater growth possibilities and the further the right boxes, the higher the performance ratings will be.

How do you do a 9 box assessment?

It’s possible to create 9 box grids using three methods. Step one. Assessment of employee results. Secondly: Assess the potential of employees. The last step, merging performance and potential in two dimensions. Low performers with minimal opportunity. Performers in the lower range but with moderately or extremely high potential. Moderated to high performance with little potential.

Why do companies use the 9 block for succession planning purposes?

Using the 9 box grid can assist you in identifying employees who are potential leaders. This also helps keep employees engaged at work. Succession planning focuses on high potential and performance employees for retention and substitution in case of departure.

Are there any disadvantages to using a nine-box grid for succession planning?

9 boxes often cause conflict among managers and employees. People are unable to distinguish the two dimensions used when placing people in boxes. It can be greatly subjective if it is not well managed.

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