What’s the Difference Between Training And Development? A Comprehensive Guide

What's the Difference Between Training And Development? A Comprehensive Guide

The term “training” refers to learning new skills through formal instruction. On the other hand, “development” means improving existing skills and capabilities. In both cases, the goal is to improve performance. For example, training is usually done for new employees, while development focuses on existing employees.

However, these two terms are often confused because they sound similar and may be used interchangeably. For example, some people say that training is a subset of development, which is wrong. They are entirely different concepts.

In this article, I will attempt to provide a more detailed account of the difference between training and development. 

Let’s jump right in.

Difference Between Training And Development

Difference between training and development

There is a subtle, yet significant difference between training and development.

  • Training is the process of inculcating new skills or abilities in employees to help support the company’s goal.
  • Development is the process of improving existing skills and abilities of employees to better fit the company’s needs.

To develop your sales team, you need to train them first.

Through this article, I aim to make it easier for you to recognize the difference between Training and Development by discussing the points mentioned earlier in more detail.

So let’s dive in and get a deeper understanding of the critical difference between Training and Development.

What is Training? 

Training programs help employees understand the company’s job performance and rules and regulations. Companies and organisations develop their training program to train recruits selected and recruited by the company.

Training programs inform them of the company’s rules and regulations, policies, and processes. On-the-job training, induction training, apprenticeship training, and promotion training programs are some of the critical programs in organisations.

Here Are Some Characteristics Of Training

Key characteristics of training

Training is the action of teaching new things. The objective is to teach the employees new skills through a structured learning experience that requires passive engagement from the learners and is focused on short-term benefits and the immediate needs of your business. Training is usually done in large groups and is scalable (up to hundreds or even thousands of people at once).

The training aims specifically to an aspect of the individual employee’s job, and the content is reusable and consistent. You can measure the employees’ understanding of the training. An experienced trainer usually gives a teacher-training course.

This type of training is often done as part of a job performance description. The progression is linear, meaning that once you’ve mastered one level of skill, you’ll move on to the next. Learning and Development (L&D) specialists help companies improve employee performance by providing training and development opportunities.

These professionals work closely with managers and human resources departments to design and implement learning plans. They also conduct assessments and evaluations to determine if employees need additional training or coaching.

What is development? 

Development programs help companies to develop their employees’ abilities. These programs are designed to make employees better and more robust, allowing them to be ready to face new challenges.

Development refers to development activities conducted in an organisation or a business. This training is also known as executive development or management training. This process of development activities aims to improve the employees’ conceptual and intellectual knowledge. Employers also aim to boost workers’ efficiency and effective functioning at work.

Another significant difference between training and development is that unlike training, development is a more holistic process of boosting the overall growth of individuals. It helps to develop individual personalities on the whole. By altering and shaping the employees’ approaches and making them more competitive, trainers assist them in becoming better people.

Here Are Some Critical Characteristics Of Development

Characteristics Of Development

Development is a process that enables improvements in the existing skillset of employees, whilst inculcating new ones that support the company’s goal. The first step to employee development is to figure out what problem you want to solve. Next, you should decide if you wish to build a product or service. Finally, it would be best if you determined which technology you want to use.

A development plan is a Long-Term Process. One of the examples of development training is personal development in a person’s lifetime. Developing people involves creating change in the way they behave. You have to find ways to get people to act differently than they did before. That’s why developing people requires thinking outside the box.

You will probably need to involve others during the process of developing people. For example, you may need to consult with other experts or colleagues.

You might also consider using different methods to develop people. Some people prefer to learn by reading books or watching videos. Others like to practice skills in real-life situations.

We have spoken about the difference between Training and Development. Now let’s view the similarities in the characteristics of Training and Development.

What Are The Similarities Between Training and Development

Similarities in training and development

Training and Development Program help improve the company’s efficiency and productivity, an applicable job requirement. Training and Development Program also help the organisation’s attitude towards employees.

Training and development programs aim to improve the skills of employees and the functioning of companies. Organisational heads try to create an attitude change in their employees.

Training and development both involve teaching someone new skills. However, they differ in that training focuses on one skill at a time whereas development focuses on multiple skills simultaneously.

One of the significant similarities between training and development is that they both help prepare for future challenges. 

Difference Between Training and Development with Comparison Chart Key Differences

Difference between training and development

The main difference between training and development is that development is a continuous process while training is a one-time event. In addition, the development focus is not only on the learning process but also on improving personality traits.

If we compare the terms “training” and “development”, we can see many similarities between these two concepts. Both these processes are aimed at enhancing the performance of employees.

However, there is a specific difference between training and development that is discussed below.

Training & Development: A training program is designed to improve the employee’s skills. On the other hand, a developmental program aims to develop the employee’s personality.

The focus of training program is usually conducted once a year. In contrast, a developmental program is carried out continuously throughout the year.

In a training program, the trainer teaches the employee all the necessary skills required for his job. But in a developmental program, the trainer helps the employee better understand himself.

In the process of training, the emphasis is on acquiring knowledge. In a developmental program, it is more critical to develop behavioural skills.

A training program has a limited scope. It is focused on specific tasks and duties. The trainers teach the employees how to perform those tasks effectively.

On the other hand, a development program is extensive. It covers various aspects of human behaviour. Thus, it helps the employee become aware of his own strengths and weaknesses.

Experts usually conduct training programs. In comparison, developmental programs are led by psychologists specialising in this field.

A training program lasts for a short time. Whereas a developmental plan may last for years or even decades.

A training program provides immediate feedback. Whereas a developmental process does not provide any feedback.

Training & Development – Difference Between Training And Development

Key areas of difference between training and development

The difference between training and development is discussed in greater detail below:

1) Focus

Both training and development have similar goals. They aim to enhance the performance of an individual. However, the focus of development lies in developing personality traits.

2) Duration

Another key difference between training and development is the duration of each process. Training programs are usually conducted once a month. At the same time, developmental programs can be run daily.

3) Scope

Training programs cover only a few areas of life. For example, they help you learn how to use a computer or write a report.

Developmental programs cover almost every aspect of your life. For example, it will help you to manage your money, handle relationships, etc.

4) Feedback


Training programs do not offer any feedback. In contrast, developmental programs provide continuous feedback. This feedback enables the employee to modify their actions accordingly.

5) Cost

The cost factor is a major difference between training and development. Development costs less than training. You need to spend less time and effort conducting a developmental program.

6) Timing (Duration)

Training programs are conducted yearly, whereas developmental programs can be done anytime.

7) Process

Training programs are conducted in a formal manner. At the same time, developmental programs take place informally.

8) Goals

The goal of training is to improve the performance of an individual through practice. On the other hand, the purpose of development is to change the way of thinking of an individual.

9) Objectives (Goals)

There is a stark difference between training and development with regards to the objective. The objectives of a training program are clear-cut. For example, you want to increase your salary.

On the other hand, the objectives of development are vague. For example, you might want to develop yourself.

10) Results :

Results of training are measured objectively. For example, if you successfully complete a training course, you get a certificate.

However, the results of development cannot be measured directly. For example, you cannot measure the effect of a developmental program on your personality.

11) Environment

Environment is also a key factor in the difference between training and development. In a training environment, there is no distraction. There is also no pressure from colleagues.

Whereas in a developmental work environment, there are always a lot of distractions. Moreover, you feel pressured to perform better.

12) Teamwork


Team members work together during training sessions. Whereas team members often compete with each other during development sessions.

13) Management

Management plays a significant role in both training and development. During training, management helps you understand the training session’s objectives. Whereas, during development, management allows you to identify the problems you face in your job.

14) Measurement

During training, measurement is done using quizzes. Whereas, during development, measurement is done by observing changes in behaviour.

15) Evaluation

Evaluation is done after completion of training. Whereas in development, evaluation takes place before starting a new project.

16) Follow Up

Follow-ups are conducted after the completion of training. The purpose is to ensure that the trainee has learned what they should know.

On the other hand, follow-ups are conducted before starting a new project to ensure that the trainees have understood the instructions properly.

To Sum It Up (Conclusion)

There are several aspects of difference between training and development. Training and development are two different programs used by Human Resource Management. There are differences between them, including objectives, number of people, orientation, focus, terms, and motivation.

Learning and training are two different processes. Both play an essential role in the development and performance of employees. By understanding the key differences of each cycle, you can design learning and training objectives and strategies that help you achieve your long-term goals and build your company’s future vision.

Training helps people learn new skills and improvise their basic skills. The learning process helps people grow as individuals. Both are important to your company. It would be best if you used both to develop your employees.

Over To You

I hope I was able to explain the difference between training and development. If there is anything else, you would like me to add, please feel free to ask through the comment section below.

You may also leave suggestions for what you would like me to write an article about next.

I aim to answer as many HR-related questions as possible through the medium of my Blogs and articles.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article. Have a nice day!

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