What is the difference between training and learning and development?


Learning and Development is the fastest growing HR specialty off late. Now, the last time you checked, wasn’t learning a part of training and development. Training and Learning have been traditionally two peas in a pod. If you go by past experiences training modules and a traditional production based approach has worked just fine. But, the times are changing. Companies need to create a person oriented, problem solving approach and if you wonder why, then let’s understand the reasons in details.

Focusing on Personal Development

Targets, product yield and profitability, the terms employees have grown to love and hate in the same breath. As a company, sustainable profit is your first priority. Employees are your biggest asset and it is no rocket science that a motivated employee lines up amongst the best performers. So, at its base learning development officer should focus on personal development. Learning captures the areas of improvement in an individual. The next step from there on is development of employee competencies and relevant knowledge base.

So, how does personal development relate to profitability in business? The entire concept of learning and personal development is based on the fact that able people make efficient employees and that in return boosts profitability.

A Problem Solution Approach

People know when they are becoming a better version of themselves. Nothing is more motivating for employees than an employer who takes learning initiatives. As a chief learning officer your focus should be to create modules that make employees better problem solvers. Training modules provide direct skills needed for a particular process. So, let’s say there are ten processes that need a skill training, you go ahead with minimum ten training sessions. But, while we work, there are situations unique in nature that require a solution. Learning focusses on this integrated problem solving approach.

Learning is Three Dimensional

Learning, as you can see is a three dimensional process. It is not just about a single session, but an evolving process that is aligned to business aims. One of the major chief learning officer responsibilities here is to create a culture that helps this learning process. Training goes one dimensional with specific skill focus. However, in the current global market and diverse work place, you need much more than a technical knowhow. But you need it right? Learning focusses on skills and problem solving capability of individual. It makes even the mistakes a fruitful part of the process. Learning takes into account mistakes and asks how to get better and move towards perfection rather than cramming it all in a go.

The three dimensions of learning are – focus on problem solution, individual development, yield or production centric. Training has its focus on the last dimension mentioned above aka yield centric approach. Learning is a holistic and long term approach. Motivated, capable, problem solving employees of today with potent skills are the leaders of tomorrow that will lead your organization towards change. The recent focus has shifted towards a learning centric approach and technology is the flag bearer of this change. Employees find learning more engaging and scalable when they can access it anytime and anywhere.

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