Skills Development

Training must be guided by an in-depth understanding of organizational skills and internalized
if it is to deliver sustainable value, yield desired results and maximize return on investment


Guiding Principles

  • A skills assessment is an essential first step in the skills enhancement process…the skills of the individuals to be trained must be understood if training is to be properly aligned to meet the needs of the target groups.
  • Our experience suggests that “spot” training programs and periodic seminars, outside the context of a disciplined skill enhancement system, seldom bring sustainable value to the client and the participants.
  • We encourage a performance based, shared responsibility approach to skill enhancement; the primary responsibility for on-going skill enhancement should be assigned to the immediate supervisor as well as the person being trained.
  • As a “trainer and trainee” team, they must be supported by resources provided by the Human Resource function, the availability of training support tools and materials and a disciplined reinforcement process with measurable outcomes.
  • Shopper Solutions Planning and Category Management skills development should focus primarily on the operational/technical aspects of the job. Programs must be highly interactive, and designed for ease of translation from the classroom to practical on the job application.

WWA’s Skills Assessment is a seven step process that identifies both common and individual skill development needs across the organization

The skills assessment process focuses on the operational and technical aspects of the job. It provides a deeper understanding than can be gained from other forms of assessing individual and functional group skills.

Step 1: Interview key stakeholders and collect information to understand job requirements and expectations

Step 2: Define key skills required to meet job expectations…current and future

Step 3: Conduct one-on-one interviews (90-120 minutes each) to identify individual skill strengths and development needs across the sales leadership team members and account management personnel

Step 4: Identify common strengths and development needs across each position group that should be addressed as part of the 2010 training initiative

Step 5: Rate skills on a scale of one to four as follows:

  • Poor or little knowledge/application
  • Fair knowledge in area, but not being applied
  • Good grasp of knowledge in area, more application require
  • Excellent grasp of knowledge/application (illustrated by example)

Step 6: Prepare a people/performance rating grid

Step 7: Categorize people into performance/potential groups

Performance Rating Grid

Learning Strategy and Plan

The learning strategy and plan includes the following:

  • A detailed recap of the Skills Assessment work
  • Identification of the skill development priorities for the primary position groups along with rationale.
  • Determination of training modules going forward along with a curriculum outline for each training module
  • Grouping of training modules into training seminars and determination of general timing
  • Preferred training delivery methodologies for the key modules
  • Development of training reinforcement strategies
  • Development of training investment estimate for submission into company’s budget

Training Reinforcement

Emphasis on training program reinforcement is the only way to ensure sustainability and optimum return on investment. This requires a performance based, shared responsibility approach to skill development; the responsibility for skill development is assigned to the immediate supervisor as well as the person being trained. We prepare post-training reinforcement question and answer guides for use by participants and their supervisors, leader’s guides for field managers and we often participate in post training exercises.

In each retail client engagement we implement our innovative WWA Learning SystemSM. Designed to bring sustainable value to training investment, the system establishes a disciplined approach to post-training program reinforcement of those skills and technical aspects of the job targeted for development. It aligns the progression of an individual’s expected skills development with the proficiency of the position. It measures progress versus the desired pace of change, identifying shortcomings that can be addressed through tutorial training or other means. Importantly, it is a precise way to measure return on training investment.

We Offer a Wide Range of Training Modules

Depending on the outcome of the skills assessment, training typically focusses on one or more of seven development areas.

  • Category Management
  • Shopper Solutions Planning
  • Collaborative Business Planning
  • Supplier Knowledge
  • Negotiations
  • Merchandising Basics
  • Inventory Management
  • COGS Management

We also provide one-on-one tutorial training and coaching to address individual skill development needs at the senior executive and mid management levels.



Our skills assessment, training and reinforcement process ensures quick start application, measurable performance improvement, sustainable results and maximum return on investment.

WWA is uniquely positioned to deliver sustainable results and maximize your return on skills development investment

Our 30+ years skills development experience includes retailers, wholesalers, CPG manufacturers, brokers, syndicated data companies and industry associations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, UK, Australia and Asia.

  • Our unparalleled understanding of the retailer-supplier interrelationship provides a real world context to skills assessment and development.
  • Our leading edge operational and technical focused interview based skills assessment provides an in-depth understanding the skill gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Since category management, shopper solutions planning, shopping experience enhancement and joint/collaborative business planning are core consulting competencies, this expertise is easily translated into current and future state skills development strategies and plans.
  • All training is conducted by WWA’s senior consultants with extensive operational, consulting and training expertise. Their “I’ve been there” insight reinforces the integrity of program content and ensures translation from the classroom to business building application.