The Difference Between Training and Development

Written by Nic Dampier

difference between training and development

What Is Training and Development?

The investment you put into training and development initiatives for your staff will pay off several times over during the course of their time with the company. Successful training and development programs will improve job performance and productivity, encourage growth, and even find previously unforeseen talents.

Employees don’t just need training and development during their onboarding process, but will greatly benefit from continuing education over the course of their time in the role. Your organization needs staff who are able to respond to changing work environments and market conditions. Training can also prevent workers from falling into unproductive habits that become difficult to break if practiced over a long period of time.

Importance of Training and Development

The benefits of training and development that each of your staff members receive will be reflected in your organization as a whole. It can be particularly effective at improving:

  • Employee & company productivity: Effective training can improve efficiency, decrease workplace accidents, build employee engagement, and open internal lines of feedback and communication to improve productivity.
  • Employee retention: Employees who receive the right training are more likely to feel confident in their role, build positive relationships with their managers and colleagues, and be able to step into new roles and responsibilities.
  • Company growth: By increasing efficiency and productivity, improving communication, and decreasing turnover, you can build an organization that operates at maximum capacity and is adaptable to new challenges. When you spend less time on internal issues within your company, you can spend more time on the strategies to increase revenue and growth.
  • Business objectives: Staff that have gone through similar training programs, or that have been trained together, are better able to work as an effective unit, outlining goals and working strategically to achieve them.

Training vs. Development: What’s the Difference?

While the terms training and development are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to two different types of employee education.

Employee Training

Training typically refers to education initiatives by your workplace that relate directly to your position. It can have a specific goal such as improving workplace, safety, productivity, or communication. Trainings may also be specific to the skills required for a position, including customer service, team management, or human resources. Many trainings occur in a group setting and last for multiple sessions.

Employee Development

While training usually focuses on a particular role or position, development focuses more on the person. Skills learned in development are broader, growth-minded, and are often more universal. Development is typically initiated by the individual, who is looking to build on their strengths and discover new talents they might not have known they had. Development can also be tailored to an individual’s background and experiences, so they receive the education that will benefit them the most.

Popular Types of Employee Training

Supervisor Training

The best supervisor training teaches ways to create an active and engaged team, manage projects and deadlines, and bring out the the best in your employees. 

Frontline offers several trainings designed around the different aspects of supervision and management. Leadership Foundations can prepare new supervisors with a basic skill set for leading others. Supervisor Boot Camp teaches management skills specifically for the manufacturing industry, including financial literacy, communication essentials, and accountability.

Customer Service Training

This type of training educates employees on how to interact with customers and sell products or services offered by their organization. Frontline’s 5-Star Customer Service training covers face-to-face and digital customer interactions, handling complaints, and word-of-mouth advertising. It teaches staff a four-step process for a culture of excellent service, and how that service can be a competitive advantage.

Manufacturing Training

Manufacturing companies need their staff to be trained on specific machinery and procedures, in addition to methodologies for improving workflow. Frontline’s Lean Academy Training serves as an introduction to Lean manufacturing. A method for minimizing waste and maximizing productivity in manufacturing systems, Lean can also improve worker satisfaction by making processes more efficient. This training covers concepts such as waste reduction and understanding efficiencies. 

Types of Employee Development

Communication Development

Employees at all levels can benefit from communication development. This type of development teaches skills related to interpersonal communication, including how to have difficult conversations, resolve conflict, gather feedback, and increase self-awareness as it relates to communication styles and methods. 

It can also focus on communication between different cultures, nationalities, and languages, such as Frontline’s Working Across Cultures. Additional trainings include Working Better Together and Foundations of Emotional Intelligence.

Leadership Development

This type of development educates managerial staff and others in leadership roles on how to increase staff engagement, improve internal processes, retain talent, and increase profits. Research shows that managers who receive leadership training improve their job performance by 20% and learning capacity by 25%. 

Some of Frontline’s leadership development trainings include Purpose-Driven Leadership Training and Developing Coaching Leaders.

Employee Training & Development with Frontline

Frontline offers a variety of effective training and development courses for multiple types of roles and departments. Most of our programs fit into the categories of leadership development, human resources, team development, professional development, and operations. Some cover high-level strategic functions, such as Leading Change and Strategic Workforce Planning, while others cover specific skill sets, such as Time Management and Courageous Conversations.

Find out how Frontline Training Solutions can help your organization develop the skills and technical knowledge needed in today’s ever-changing workplace. Our solutions can help you effectively acquire, develop, and retain talent for your organization.

We also have a calendar of events showing the in-person and virtual events we have available in the coming months.

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About the Author

Nic Dampier

Nic Dampier understands the value of good storytelling and the impact this has on brand identity and community. As the Director of Marketing for Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids, as well as Frontline Training Solutions and the Grand Rapids, Michigan location of Specialized Recruiting Group, he is responsible for the strategic direction, vision, and branding of all marketing and communication initiatives. He has a passion for storytelling with excellence and helping brands become scalable and sustainable. Nic is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a Degree in Strategic Communication Management and is focused on developing brand strategy that cuts through the noise by following a communication filter he designed called C.R.I.C.K.E.T., which stands for brand messaging that is Clear, Relatable, Intentional, Consistent, Kinetic, Engaging, and Truthful. Nic is also a veteran of the United States Navy, where he served as a Religious Program Specialist Petty Officer Second Class immersed in the middle east culture learning how to communicate across cultural boundaries. After the Navy, he spent a decade serving as a Creative Arts Pastor for a large multi-site church network telling stories of the church and directing the production/music experience for thousands of people in person and online. He is an accomplished destination wedding and brand filmmaker of 13 years. Most recently he was featured in the 2021 ArtPrize International Art Competition as a “must see,” by local news where he won 97 individual fan-favorite awards for his entry featuring 19 stories overcoming various adversity and struggles like homelessness, alcoholism, and prison through…