Training and development is a systematic process to enhance employee skills, knowledge, competency, awareness, and sometimes well-being with the expectation of increasing work performance and quality of life. It involves organizational investments to establish, maintain, and expand employee’ skills, knowledge, and competencies based on organizational needs and the needs of employees. While training and development are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences.
Specifically, training focuses on the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and abilities with the purpose of improving employee performance in a currently held job or one related to it. This usually means specific positive changes will take place in those areas enabling better performance and productivity. Good training programs should be designed to meet the goals of the employee while meeting the needs of the organization.
Development refers to learning opportunities designed to help employees grow. It is not limited to improving performance on their current or similar job. It is meant to enhance, broaden, and deepen knowledge that is aligned with employees’ developmental goals. Some activities include specialized training for different jobs, career development, wellness, and other self-directed learning activities.
According to IBM, the top 10 benefits of employee training and development programs are increased productivity; reduced micromanagement; train future leaders; increased job satisfaction and retention; ability to attract highly skilled employees; increased work consistency; increased camaraderie; ability to cross train; and added innovation.
The goal of training and development is to change or enhance the behaviors or skill sets of individuals or groups for the better. As a result, they will be inclined to share knowledge and insights enabling them to do better work and develop attitudes that will help them perform better individually and as a group.
Employee training and development programs are critical for enhancing employee performance. The International Journal of Business and Management Research indicated that 90% of employees surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that training and development programs improved their job performance.