Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Training and Development 

The terms training and development are used in human resource management. Although they seem to refer to the same practice, detailed analysis shows that there are differences between the two words.


What is Training?

Training is the process of equipping employees in a specific organization with specific skills, competency, and knowledge so that they can be able to handle various tasks. Training practices are mostly done to new employees so, that they can familiarize themselves with the operations of the entity.


What is Development?

Development is the process through which organizations equip employees with skills and knowledge to the extent that they can have steady growth and they can handle any job that is offered by the agency.

Moreover, development is undertaken to help individual employees within the premises of the organization to have management skills after proving themselves at junior levels


Difference Between Training and Development

Aims and Objectives of Training and Development

The primary difference between training and development is that training aims to ensure that employees of the organization are equipped with skills and knowledge so, that they can be able to handle specific jobs in the company.

In development, individuals are equipped with skills and knowledge so, that they can develop a conceptual framework and general understanding of operations of the company.

Besides, training helps to ensure that employees improve their work performance while development prepares workers for future challenges in the same organization.

Number of People Involved in Training and Development

The second difference is that the number of people involved in training is significantly different from the number of individuals involved in a development program.

Training involves a large number of people who are usually assembled in a workshop or seminar so that they can be taught a specific skill that will enhance their job performance. It is a group-based practice.

However, development does not involve a group and mostly includes a single person who is equipped with skills, competence, and general knowledge to handle various tasks within the organization.

Orientation in Training and Development

An individual is required to undergo training so that he or she can be able to perform a specific job in the organization. New employees in the business are subjected to training programs to expose them to their new roles.

On the other hand, development is career oriented and works to help the individual master in a particular field. For example, an individual will be developed to master accounting concepts, so that he or she can undertake accounting duties at management level.

Focus on Training and Development

The focus of training is to help individuals in the organization be able to handle specific tasks within the organization.

This means that training is geared towards ensuring that individuals can handle immediate tasks in the company.

On the other hand, development is geared towards ensuring that the people under the program are in a position of handling future tasks when they arise.

This means that training helps one to immediately execute the knowledge gained while the knowledge and skills acquired under development are implemented in the future.

Terms in Training and Development

The period for training and development is different. Training takes a shorter period because fewer skills are gained. People in training are only taught to handle a specific duty and are required to execute the skills acquired immediately.

Training only takes a considerable period, but mostly depends on the complexity of the skill being impacted.

Development is a gradual process, which is done in long-term. This is because development involves understanding the operations. A person under the development program is always learning on how to improve specific aspects of the organization to enhance its activities.

Motivation involved in Training and Development

Under the training program, the trainer is tasked with the role of offering motivation to the trainee, so that they can work hard to ensure they acquire the skills and knowledge to execute the tasks required.

Under the development program, an individual is required to have self-motivation because external parties are not involved in ensuring that a person develops to be a future manager in the organization.

Therefore, a person must motivate himself or herself, so that he or she can be declared suitable and qualified to handle management positions in the company.


Differences Between Training and Development

Summary Notes

  • Training and development are two different programs used in human resource management to equip employees with skills and knowledge to handle various tasks.
  • Differences between training and development include objectives, number of people involved, orientation, focus, term, and motivation.
  • Training equips individuals with skills to handle specific tasks while development provides a person with conceptual knowledge so, that they can control operations of the company in future.


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  1. Thank you very useful info

  2. I really appreciate for this forum post. May you discuss the different training methods please?

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References :

[0]Fitzgerald, William. "Training versus development." Training & development 46.5 (1992): 81-84. 

[1]Hunt, David Marshall, and Carol Michael. "Mentorship: A career training and development tool." Academy of Management Review 8.3 (1983): 475-485. 

[2]Tannenbaum, Scott I., and Gary Yukl. "Training and development in work organizations." Annual review of psychology 43.1 (1992): 399-441. 

[3]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/training-education-development-1848687/

[4]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/training-education-1848682/

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