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What is Training and Development?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated May 16, 2024
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In the business world, the term “training and development” refers to the process of supporting additional learning, education and improvement in the performance of the human resources within an organization. Since training is intertwined with development, the two words are generally used in tandem with each other to define the continual enhancement of employees in order to reach organizational goals. Without training and development initiatives, an organization can fail to reach its full potential.

In most organizations, the task of learning and development is handled by human resources personnel in cooperation with departmental management. This relationship relies on everyone’s cooperation, communication and clear set of work skills as defined by work descriptions among all levels of the company. When an organization values its employees and wishes to reach objectives, then an employee development program can be implemented to make this happen.

For the growing organization, creating a clear plan to handle the challenges of new development and training needs is left up to the human resources department. With the help and support of department managers, the human resources team can identify areas where additional training is needed in order to support this growth. In addition, existing employees can be evaluated to see where further development needs to take place.

In training and development, once an organization has determined that additional education and teaching needs are to take place, a structured plan is designed to address gaps. The human resources manager leads the way by finding out what key skills and aptitudes are needed to perform various tasks within each work team. Skills that are not present are highlighted against those that are already available in the workforce.

Once the training and development needs are determined, the human resources team arranges for additional training to take place to bring all workers up to speed with the skills needed to perform their duties on the job. Managers are often utilized to perform the training. In addition, outside trainers can be brought into to teach the skills needed to do certain tasks. In some cases, key employees are provided with outside educational opportunities to earn the skills or credentials needed to improve their work performance.

Training and development essentially consists of three critical areas of focus, including training, education, and employee development. This process is continual and consists of employees having access to the tools and training needed to perform their duties at a highly productive rate. This also allows for a transfer of knowledge from experienced employees to new hires so that the work team as a whole continuously keeps up with production levels and leads the way to new innovations and growth.

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