So what is the difference between training and development? Does it really matter?
It matters because we need to be able to identify activity. We often hear of employees never having been trained in a skill or process. But is this really true? We need to underatand what training is and is not, to be able to educate our workforce, and develop our organizations.
Understanding the difference between training and development
So that we can perform a comparison between training and development we need to understand what they are. , or could be.
Traditionally training has comprised the of learning a set of skills. Or predictable actions or behaviour. This change in skills and behaviour is usually aimed at improving the current job performance of an individual. Training may also prepare an individual for a potential job or role.
Development not only seeks to improve performance in a role, but seeks to bring out some form of maturity growth. Development is used to increase the potential of an employee as well as equip them to be ‘better’ individuals.
Training is usually a short term process.
Training usually requires guidance (or instruction) in a series of steps to gain a skill, or set of predictable knowledge.
Often for non-leadership related activities.
Aimed at a specific task or job role.
Is more long term in nature.
Often includes education in philosophical and theoretical concepts
Aimed at developing relationships, often for the purposes of improving leadership skills
More general and non-tangible than specific
The Purpose of Training
To provide the ability to undertake a task or job
To improve productivity and workforce flexibility
To improve safety and quality
To develop the capability of the workforce
The Purpose of Development
More productive management and leadership come from better educated and informed managers. Research has shown that the performance of managers can be improved through:
Increased capability and skills
The purpose of ‘development’ is to improve leadership effectiveness through planned and structured learning. A planned approach to developing managers and leaders will enable the growth of managers. It will also provide for the future needs of the business or organisation.
Training compared to Development
Comparison Chart of Training & Development
|Meaning||The action of teaching a person a particular skill or type of behaviour.||The action of providing the opportunity for an individual to improve their general knowledge and abilities for their overall growth.|
|Term||Short Term||Long Term|
|Focus on||Present/ immediate need||Future role|
|Concentrated towards||Job & ability||Career & possibility|
|Who leads?||Trainer/ Line manager||Self|
|Purpose||To improve the work performance or capabilities of an employee.||To prepare individuals for future challenges.|
|Number of people||One or many||Only one|
|Aim||Specific job or role related||Conceptual and general knowledge|
It’s all about intention – not the vehicle.
One of the biggest problems many organizations have is the claim that employees “have not been trained”.
In the past (the 1970s & 1980s), training was associated with being in a classroom with a trainer or instructor. A training course started at the beginning, ended at the end, and everyone in the room got the same things.
The world has moved on.
Several things have changed. Mainly organizations have got smaller. Less and less people all need the “same training”. The workforce are better educated than ever.
Training now can just as easily be “on the job” by a peer or team leader, as it can “off the job” in a classroom with a specialist trainer. Formal classroom training of course still exists. Indeed in many situations it is the best way to train people. But it is no longer the only way.
The classroom is just a vehicle for “training”, the classroom is not training!
Understanding the ‘Training’ Label
I have heard many people claim that they are not trained to do a certain task. When challenged they claim that they were “only shown by xxx”. Some people seem to have the frame of reference that training only happens in classrooms with “formal trainers”.
This is not the case.
As managers and learning and development professionals, we need to help people understand that training can come in many forms. Indeed that classroom may be an option, but as time goes on it becomes the leas common, not the most common delivery method.
To help all of our employees understand that “on the job training” is valid we need to do a number of things:
Legitimise ‘on the job training’ by use of language, certification, training records etc. We need to ensure that team leaders use the language of “I will train you” not “I will show you”
Training or Learning
In recent years the label “training” is being wiped from the language of many organizations and replaced with the word “learning”. This is all to do with responsibility and culture, and the theme of an artickle for the future. In the mean time we need to train our employees!
How do you explain the difference in your business?