The key to corporate profits in 1999? Employee training and communications -- not layoffs -- say profit advisors. Just as crucial: Firms should formulate a profit program, appointing a chief profit officer (CPO) to oversee and communicate it, says the Chicago-based Institute of Profit Advisors 1999 Profitability Outlook Survey. The most frequent business profitability mistake? Lack of communication to employees about profit plans, says the survey. That's followed by not having a CPO, insufficient employee training, lack of sales/marketing plans with accountability, lack of employee reviews, and lack of employee compensation evaluations based on productivity and industry competition. Most important actions to improve profitability? No. 1: Have a profit plan. Other high-rating tactics include enhancing customer satisfaction programs, upgrading staff motivation and training programs, and nixing marginal product lines/services. Staff reductions rated dead last. For a full copy of the study and results call Minkus & Dunne Communications at 312-541-8787.