Training or Development?

For a long time, most companies looked at employees as entities that needed trained on how to do their job and then they were done. In today’s ever-changing world, there is now a demand that companies go beyond just training employees in a certain job, but also developing employees so they keep up to date with the most current technologies and methodologies to perform their job and grow. But what is the difference between training and developing? (Gulati et al., 2017)

Organizations need to train employees for a variety of reasons. It helps orient an employee on business practices, gives skills needed to complete their job, educates them on the projects or services they offer, and gives them a chance to develop competency while they work. It is the process of increasing knowledge and skills of an employee. Training an employee is usually a short-term process and is very job oriented. Training an employee revolves around a current need. (GeeksforGeeks, 2020; Gulati et al., 2017)

Before an organization should invest in any type of training method, they should first understand what training needs to be done and who the best person for the job would be. This is done through a needs assessment. Unfortunately, this is not a common practice. Another option relies on managers. Managers need to assess and determine what training needs to take place and how to proceed. They need to set goals for the training. Once they have taken the necessary steps, managers can work with the HR Department to design the training curriculum, deliver it to the appropriate employees, and then assess its effectiveness. (Gulati et al., 2017)

A word that is commonly paired with training is development. However, these are two separate entities. Development is a long-term process that is more focused on the larger picture of developing the singular employee. It looks at improving a person’s self-awareness and managerial capabilities. It is an informative process that looks at developing the overall growth and improvement of skills of each individual employee. This process is focused more on the career goals of an individual; not just the job. This helps an individual reach his/her potential. (GeeksforGeeks, 2020; Gulati et al., 2017)

When employers focus on personal development they attract higher quality employees to their organization and it keeps current employees more engaged with the organization. An employee’s development is most effective when the objectives align with the company’s goals and needs. To make sure this happens, employees need to have a strong understanding of what their skills, capabilities, and aspirations are, and an understanding of the company’s strategy. A crucial part of employee development is feedback. When working with HR to develop an employee, make sure they are capable of receiving feedback. (Gulati et al., 2017)


GeeksforGeeks. (2020, December 15). Difference between Training and Development.

Gulati, R., Mayo, A., & Nohria, N. (2017). MindTap – Cengage Learning. Cengage.Com.

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