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Mary Ellen Waltemire

Leadership Coach and Facilitator


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Training vs. Development

   This new year is off to a great start! As leaders working with your team, you know the importance of employees being able to successfully perform their jobs. As such, it's important to know the difference between training and development. Both are intended to improve the productivity and performance of employees. Simply put, training is the "now" and development is the "future".  Here's a closer look...

    Training occurs in the present and is intended to provide job knowledge and skills needed by employees. More specifically in training, objectives are well designed, specific and measurable. Training might include basic job skills, learning new technology, improving personal skills, like communication, or learning new protocols put in place by an organization. Training is often developed for the benefit of multiple employees with inspiration provided by the trainer or through successful completion of competency tests.

   Development on the other hand is a longer term initiative, focused on the individuals' career growth and future value to the organization. With the goal of bringing out the best in an employee, development is continuous and most often involves the individual and their manager. Development is intended to support career growth and expand an employees opportunities within the company. A well crafted development plan may pertain to improving skills, changing habits or adjusting to changes within the organization. Motivation for development comes from the employee, who is truly interested in professional growth and opportunities.

   Leaders who are interested in developing both capacity and capability in their team members may find it helpful to explore both training and development with all their employees. What about the current training and development plan is working well, what needs to improve, how might others be involved? By having a well-designed and highly functional system for development that is supported by excellent training is key to continued organizational success.