Employee training and development includes any activity that helps employees acquire new, or improve existing, knowledge or skills. Training is a formal process by which talent development professionals help individuals improve performance at work. Development is the acquisition of knowledge, skill, or attitude that prepares people for new directions or responsibilities. Training is one specific and common form of employee development; other forms include coaching, mentoring, informal learning, self-directed learning, or experiential learning.
Employee training and development can help employees become better at their jobs and overcome performance gaps that are based on lack of knowledge or skills. This can help organizations and teams be more productive and obtain improved business outcomes, leading to a competitive advantage over other companies. Training can help organizations be more innovative and agile in responding to change and can help with necessary upskilling and reskilling to help organizations ensure that their labor force meets their current needs. Employee training and development also can help with succession planning by helping to identify high-performing employees and then assisting those employees with the development of the knowledge and skills they need to advance into more senior roles.
Employee training and development can be an effective tool for recruiting and retention, since many employees cite a lack of development opportunities at their current job as a primary reason for leaving. Employees who have access to training and development opportunities are more likely to stay at their organizations for a longer period of time and be more engaged while there; in fact, LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report found that 93 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Their 2021 Workplace Leaning Report additionally found that companies with high internal mobility retain employees for twice as long.
Finally, some forms of employee training, such as compliance training or safety training, can help organizations avoid lawsuits, workplace injuries, or other adverse outcomes.
There are many types of employee training and development. In high performing organizations, training and development initiatives are based on organizational needs, the target audience for the initiative, and the type of knowledge or skill that learners are expected to obtain. Some of the most common types of employee training and development include:
There are many types of employee training and development methods, including:
Instructor-led refers to training in which an instructor teaches a live course to learners.
Organizations that want to create an employee training and development program should begin by conducting a needs assessment. In a needs assessment, a talent development professional, often an instructional designer, collects and synthesize data and information to determine the difference between the current condition and the desired future state of the organization, business unit, or team. The needs assessment can uncover the specific skill or knowledge gaps, identify the best way to close the gap, gain support from stakeholders who are involved in the assessment, and build rapport with learners.
Depending on the scope of the project involved, the organization may need to involve an instructional designer or team of instructional designers. The instructional designer(s) will then create learning experiences and materials that result in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. In other instances, an organization might purchase off the shelf training from a vendor, or provide development opportunities by leveraging digital assets, employing leaders as teachers, or through some other method.
After the training and development program has been created, organizations need to determine how employees will access it. This will be dependent on the specific audience for the training, as well as the type of training and the technology involved.
ATD is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in the workplace. We provide world-class professional development resources that equip and empower trainers, instructional designers, and other talent development professionals. For access to even more training and development resources, including practical tools and templates, research, and insights, you’re invited to become an ATD member.Learn more.
From individual practitioners to full L&D teams, ATD it the trusted source for actionable tools, research, events, courses, and certifications.
Upskilling and Reskilling: Turning Disruption and Change Into New Capabilities
By applying the forward-facing learning strategies of upskilling and reskilling to enable employees to build new and improved capabilities. This whitepaper summarizes research findings that identify effective approaches to training design and delivery that support better learning outcomes and enhanced organizational performance.
Find the right course for your professional development.
Read blogs from our subject matter experts discussing the latest trends and hot topics in talent development. Discover new perspectives and different takes on old ideas and learn more on the future of this profession.
Sign up for free to any of our near-daily webinars. Listen to some of the foremost thinkers in the field on best practices in a number of topic areas related to talent development.