Human Resources professionals use a variety of definitions to describe employee training functions. The words training, development, and continuing education are often used interchangeably so the following introduction to the topic should help to clarify the terms. Regardless of what terms are used, training and development are essential ingredients in maintaining high employee job performance and engagement. Learning is on-going and there can never be an end date assigned to this job function.
Training is a process that involves the learning of job skills and gaining knowledge in order to enhance the job performance of employees.
- Training is mostly short term with a concrete goal
- Training focuses on the role of the employee
- Training targets a specific job or role requirement
- Training revolves around an immediate or present need
- Training enhances the knowledge or skills for a particular job or role
Development is any learning activity that is directed towards future needs and is concerned more about career growth than immediate performance.
- Development is a long-term activity, with goals that are open-ended and ongoing.
- Development focuses on the person.
- Development is more conceptual and focuses on the overall progression of the staff.
- Development activities are about the future.
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.
- Education is centred around learning the theory.
- Education refers to the acquisition of broad knowledge and skills, typically within a classroom or other educational environment.
- The skills and knowledge acquired through education tend to be more theoretical and allow students to develop reasoning and judgment surrounding broad topics.
For a more detailed explanation of employee training and development, please watch the video:
Training Journal – The online version of the magazine includes articles on staff training, wellbeing, development, learning and leadership.