Easier Said than Done

November 18, 2020by Lahiru Perera

Over the past 17+ years of a sales career, one of the most important things I learned is that people you groomed will always come back to you with loads of respect. I am sure many of us can relate to that moment. However, it was not easy to deal with people, while you enjoy the company of most of them, there were few misfits. Employees who don’t fit in should be direct in the right direction. I have never laid off anyone but have shown them this isn’t for them, in fact for some of them I have found placements in different establishments.

As managers, we encounter two types of challenges—competency and commitment, the same essential dimensions we use to evaluate our employees. As managers, it’s our duty and ability to understand where the employees are and understand what’s keeping them away from giving 100%.


He is not committed, let’s have an alternative”, something I have heard in many meetings. The question to ask is that “have we evaluate the problem and invest the right time for that person?”. As shive Khera said, “working with people is like looking for gold when you dig for gold, you move tons of dirt to find an ounce of gold”. When there is an appealing commitment issue, coaching, mentoring, and motivational training can sometimes fix. However, we may not have enough time to do all this in the current competitive world. In my experience and recommendation are that devote adequate time to seek means to lift this employee’s motivation. Work is just one world he or she is living, and there could be many that hinder their commitment. Simple 10 minutes coaching session can be a real-life saver sometimes rather than getting rid of them. Motivational training is overrated these days, which is like a shower; the feeling doesn’t last long. However, line managers play an essential role as they need to stick along to monitor and coach regularly.


It’s impossible to find the perfect employee. Everybody comes with many shortcomings and gaps in terms of the knowledge required to conduct their work. However, competency issues can fix with the necessary training and experience gain over time.

Interestingly some of the good-right attitude and committed employees come under this category. Not only they are committed but also loyal to the organization, and I call them “safeguards”. With the necessary training and mentoring, we can pull them back on track. We, as managers should understand the psychology of these employees, where they could even lead to depressions. Thereby it’s paramount that we even try with a job rotation to see whether if they could shine in a different court.

Whether it’s a commitment or competency issue most importantly, have that discussion with them to inform that your interest in them and their importance to the organization. They need to be aware of the development plans companies laying on them and take active participation.

Employees’ ability to shine depends on the coaching ability of the manager. Hence managers must learn the art of coaching and practise more often so that both commitment and competency issues can identify quickly.

In my experience, the time you invest in your employees will never go waste. At least they will find their ways only due to the 10 minutes discussion you had with them.


by Lahiru Perera

Lahiru is an experienced Sales leader having trained and groomed over thousands. His a strong believer of human potential and unleashing that potential through Coaching .

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