In 2015 100s of HR professionals were asked a simple question in a survey… in one word describe…TRAINING
Participants were invited from the CIPD Members LinkedIn group, the CIPD communities, and the CIPD Facebook group. 613 participated. Of those, over 70% have been in HR for more than 11 years.
Not all questions were mandatory
The demographics for this were:
Processing of one word data.
During data analysis, spellings were corrected, and capitalisation resolved. No words were merged.
Responses to the one word survey
- Development 18%
- Skills 14%
- Learning 10%
- Knowledge 5%
- Improvement 4%
- Progress 3%
- Growth 2%
- Capability 2%
- Developing 2%
- Upskilling 2%
Looking at the top 10 words, it can be seen there is a range of things being addressed. Interesting that training is seen as “development”.
Some years ago “Training & Development” departments rebranded to be called “Learning & Development”. The word training was removed and learning added. Does this mean that “Training & Development” departments or functions were actually “Development & Development” departments?
As a professional in this space, it is worrying that “Training” is seen as “Development” by so many. Now on one hand that suggests that Training is held in great esteem, but on the other, it shows a lack of understanding of what “Development” is actually about. For example you can “Train Managers”, but you need to “Develop Leaders”. Some people train a lot, and they learn new skills, but that does not mean they have developed as a person. Development is really hard, and not often achieved.
Respondents to the survey seem to have a level of confusion of the various strategies and purposes around learning, training and development. If people in HR do not “get” the subtle differences, then what hope do we have of educating the average manager or business leader?
Results from this survey are just a light weight touch in a moment of time, but for me it rings alarm bells about the state of our profession.
Other words used included:
Ability, advancement, alignment, building, capability, change, competence, competencies, competency, compliance, conformity, consistency, delivery, develop, developing, development, developmental, empower, empowering, empowerment, enabling, engagement, enhancement, enhancing, essential, facilitation, fun, future, gap, growing, growth, improvement, improving, indoctrination, investment, knowledge, learning, necessary, necessity, opportunity, performance, potential, preparation, process, progress, progression, results, self, skill, skills, success, support, teaching, understanding, upskilling, value