Tightening the belt on training may not be a company’s best option to reversing a sales slump. Changes in how the market reacts to your product and services can throw your employees off their game. It may be time to fine tune the employee’s skills, behaviors, confidence; or it may be on how you are reinforcing their efforts.

The first step is to conduct an employee assessment. Create a chart for each employee in your group.chart-for-blog


In this example, the top of the chart identifies the skills and abilities required for success in the role. Think about the role, not the person at the point. Include attributes necessary when performing in either an up or down side market. Your chart may look different.

Along the side, identify all the constituents or individuals who are important to the success or failure of someone in this role. Some of those may be: the internal team (peers and subordinates), you (the boss), upper management, and external customers or vendors.

Now it is time to think about specific individuals. Establish a rating on how well they are doing in their current role given the market changes. Is there a difference in attitude, skills or other capabilities to drive today’s results? Were you satisfied with their contribution before the new demands of the business? Note whether this trend is moving positively or is declining. Are the changes due to stress or a deficiency in depth or breadth of the key characteristics?

Once you pinpoint some areas, identify training that targets building the skill, attitude or confidence which is impacting results most significantly. Your responsibility as the boss is to set goals with the employee. Clearly identify the areas of development and structure a way to embed the information quickly.

Learning the skill through training classes, workshops or working with an executive or business coach is only the first step. Assign the employee to a task or project that will test how well they understood the skill and how they are adapting it to business situations. You may have to begin with a simple project; over time move to progressively more difficult projects to see how they integrate their skill into other abilities. Continuously review how well they utilize the skills and behaviors; reinforce what they did well or what they should continue to work on.

Taking these steps will enable the manager to pull training through to more effective results. If you are able to show specific change in behaviors which improves sales or relationships, organizations will more readily fund initiatives.