Employee Life Cycle: Development

Yes, there is a difference between training and development.

So, why is development so important? I am glad you asked! Development is a strategic business tool that should be discussed right along business development and goals.

Employees stay longer when the employer is investing in them. 94% of today’s workforce would have stayed with a previous employer if they offered staff and personal development. WOW, 94%!! The number one way to fortify your company’s workforce and have a “next man up” culture is by developing the employees you have today. When you develop your employees, you are not only investing in the company’s future success and growth, but, also, investing in the person that walks through your door each day. Every employee wants to be of value and feel valued.

The major differences between training and development are:

  1. Training is a learning process for new employees in which they get to know about the key skills required for the job. Development is the training process for the existing employees for their development.
  2. Training is a short-term process, 3 to 6 months, mostly done within on-boarding, but development is a continuous process, and so it is for the long term.
  3. Training focuses on developing skill and knowledge for the current job. Unlike, the development which focuses on the building knowledge, understanding and competencies for overcoming with future challenges.
  4. Training has a limited scope; it is specific job oriented. On the other hand, development is career oriented and hence its scope is comparatively wider than training.
  5. In training, the trainees get a trainer who instructs them at the time of training. In contrast to development, in which the manager self-directs himself for the future assignments.
  6. Many individuals collectively attend the training program. Development is a self-assessment procedure, and hence, one person himself is responsible for one’s development.

According to SHRM, “Employee development is almost universally recognized as a strategic tool for an organization’s continuing growth, productivity and ability to retain valuable employees.” Employers must develop current employees instead of continually finding new talent. Here are some reasons developments is crucial for businesses:

  • Remaining competitive. How will your company stand out in the market?
  • Dealing with ongoing skill shortages. There is no better way to deal with labor shortages than to fight it head on within your company. 
  • Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Promote from within! 
  • Create a culture of learning. In the last couple of years, all companies had to learn and adapt in order to grow in a new work environment. 
  • Taking employee development “off hold.” Companies cannot afford to NOT develop employees. 
  • Adapting to changing business structures.  
  • Increasing worker productivity. Workers who receive training and educational opportunities are more productive.
  • Reducing turnover. We have all heard the phrase, “What if you train them and they leave, but what if you don’t train them and they stay.” Valued and developed employees are happy! Lower absenteeism, better productivity, and true leaders emerge when development becomes in focus. 
  • Aligning employee development with the organization’s needs. STRATEGIC! If you are wanting to expand, go after a high-profile customer, or go into a new area of work, employee development must be the number one strategy used to accomplish.

Ok, so we know the differences and the reasons why development is important, but how do you start an effective development program?

The first step is to have the buy-in and understanding of executive leadership. Without this support, any development and succession strategy will not be successful.

Next, communicate the strategy to upper management. It is crucial to have the frontline management team executing development together. Performance metrics and guidelines will monitor the progress and effectiveness of employee development.

Listen and talk with the employee. What are their goals, their values. Ask your employee what they want to accomplish. Together, set that plan into action with measurable goals.

People walk into our doors and the employee is the one who does the job. As an employer, investing in your employees in the best return of investment you can make. A focus on the person and employee

Marcie Richardson

With over 20 years of HR experience, Marcie understands the struggles companies face in compliance regulation and policy structure. She recognizes that effective company culture and policies start with how we treat employees. As the Director of Human Resources for Guarantee Restoration Services in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she values the need for a strong company culture to ensure operational continuity. Marcie obtained her IICRC in WRT and ASD because she believes to truly understand the needs of each employee, you need to understand their job. Marcie also holds a Louisiana Department of Insurance License in Health, Life & Accident.


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