Organization & Leadership Consulting

The Differences Between Training and Development

A progression of plant development illustrates the difference between training and development within work culture.
The difference between training and development is small but important.

When you begin to discuss professional development and training within the confines of your work environment, it’s important to make distinctions between the two. Contrary to popular belief, the two concepts are, in fact, different. Your healthy work systems will greatly benefit from both. So, let’s discuss the nuanced but important differences between training and development.

Training Within Your Organization

First of all, clearly defined terms are often most beneficial in shaping the culture you desire for your organization. Training can be defined as teaching a particular skill. When you think of training, focus your mind on how you would introduce a new skill to your team. Or how you might train a new team member. Those new skills are the purpose of training.

Training means that you’re guiding members of your team in the instructional aspects of a skill they either haven’t seen or mastered. Think in terms of actionable tasks and expectations. Initial training and onboarding of a new set of skills is an exciting time full of potential. So, be mindful of the expectations you set. And also consider how the training will impact the overall culture shaping of your organization.

Training is specifically educational with a clear, measurable goal. It’s the chance to learn new skills that will benefit the overall team and an individual’s specific role. Training increases the practical knowledge necessary for continued success but usually in a more short-term focus. And, interestingly enough, training affords the opportunity to encourage development.

Development Within Your Organization

On the other side, development can be defined as employee growth. Development seeks to grow the individual team member and develop character. When you think of development, think of how an individual team member approaches their tasks or their co-workers. Development seeks to improve the overall approach and attitude of an individual. And, in turn, the growth that comes from development benefits both the team member and the team.

Development is also an educational process. But instead of learning a specific, concrete skill or process, you and your team are often learning theories or strategies. Development is also a long-term process. It is essentially life-long. Both team members and leadership can expect to always be seeking growth and improvement through development efforts.

Like training, development within your organization can also be an exciting time with the potential for real growth and culture shaping. It can be a time to bring real and lasting change to the overall systems within your organization. Remember to set expectations and lead by example. Utilize every opportunity to encourage your team while also acknowledging that growth can be challenging.

Training and Organization with TurningWest

While training and development are different concepts, they’re both absolutely essential to the health and success of your healthy team culture. If you need assistance in implementation or growth for your team, TurningWest will move your organization in the right direction. Achieve the healthy work environment you need to succeed with in-person or remote executive coaching. Begin moving toward success today. TurningWest – Your guide to a healthy culture with meaningful results.

Suggested Resource- Inquiring Mindset Interview With Dr. Marshall Goldsmith


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