Employee training vs. Employee development

Many times employers put the terms «training» and «development» in the same sentence and even consider it the same thing….

But, in the competitive world we live in, you can not make that mistake anymore….

The fact is that «employee training» and «employee development» are two very different terms and failing to recognize how to address both of the issues can cost you money and the lost of valuable talent.

Employee training VS. Employee development

The main strategic difference between the two is that employee training is something a company does so that the staff member can do the job currently.

Employee development has a long-term view on employees and gives them opportunity to grow and develop skills and competences that can be used on and off the job.

In a way, employee training is just a small part of employee development.

Employee development is a process that takes years and is done through series of trainings, job rotation, new tasks, job switches, conferences, various working assignments and evaluations.

Another key difference between the two is that employee training is not something that depends on the staff member. For example, if your business is going to use a new accounting software, your accountants need to undergo training to know how to use the software.

Employee development is a long-term strategic blueprint for the employee’s growth. Thus, the supervisor, manager and employee together map the road for the employee’s development. While the management can offer choices and different directions for career and personal development, the employee is the one who makes the choice and decides in which area they want to develop their skills.

Basically, employee training is a necessity and employee development is a comprehensive strategy for retention and motivation of the staff.

Employee development, however, is not possible without training. Training is an unseparatable part of development and helps employees acquire new skills and competences which then help their personal and career development.

Let me illustrate with an example.

The roadmap for development of a sales employee might be becoming more fluent in the business practices in the Middle East so that the company can enter new markets. The employee might have huge interest in doing business in the area with or without the organization they are working in. The goal is to develop this sales person into somone who will be able to create a strategy for entering Middle Eastern markets.

Then part of the employee training might be a course in Arabic or Farsi to support the communication with future busienss partners from the Middle east.

This is the main difference – employee training creates a skill and employee development creates new business opportunities for the company and employee.

The need for both employee training and employee development is obvious. Leaders, however, need to start recognizing and addressing the difference in their strategies if they want happy, motivated and productive employees.

We will be glad to help you with employee training or aligning your employee development programs with the necessary training.

Contact us or browse through our courses for more information.

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