The Difference between Training and Development.

The words training and development are mostly used together in the corporate world and are seen as activities focused on improving the knowledge, performance and productivity of the employees.  However, there is a distinct difference between their meanings and implications, which are often overlooked by a majority of professionals.

Training programs are organized by the organization to develop employees' knowledge and skills as per their job requirements. On the other side, development is not directly related to job requirement, rather it aims at the generic development of the individual employees for the long run. Think of this way- training is mostly provided to teach new skills while development focuses on improving existing skills.

Let us look at the image below to understand the difference between training and development.

Training vs development.jpg

With the ever-changing business environment, it is crucial that organizations pay equal attention to both training and development to stay ahead of the competition.

Both training and development are required to work hand in hand for providing the right skills and knowledge to employees and help them get the most of it for both organizations benefit as well as their own progression. When an organization looks at employees' overall growth, apart from the job-related training, it also helps in building a more efficient, motivated and productive workforce.  





Why You Should Be Investing in Employee Development?

emp dev blog picEmployee Development is often seen as an optional requirement by organizations and they tend to neglect it without realizing its real potential. On the other side, employees are always eager to learn and develop and look forward to organization’s support and commitment towards employee development practices. Employee Development is equally or more beneficial for the organizations than it is for the employees and overlooking this can be detrimental for an organization’s growth in the long run. 

Let’s see how Employee Development benefits the organization:

Attracts and Retains Employees: Ortus research indicates that the biggest catalyst for employees leaving an organization is lack of career development (75 per cent). An employee development program enables learning and career growth for employees while remaining in the same organization. It makes them more skilled, knowledgeable and ultimately results in better productivity. Providing the platform to support and nurture your employees’ career development promotes employee loyalty and motivation. The amount of effort, time and money invested in a hiring process easily surpasses the efforts required for an employee development program. Organizations that focus on their employee development also attract best of the talent. Prospective candidates see it as an added bonus to their work positions.  

Increases Employee Engagement at Work: Employee Development can be a powerful medium for organizations to keep their employees engaged and provide new challenges to them.  It gives employees an opportunity to learn new skills, take their career to next level or even take a new role altogether and all of this reduces the monotony of everyday work or role. It not only adds to their satisfaction at work but also improves their engagement and performance at work. With the right training and opportunities, their concertation and commitment towards the work automatically increases.

Builds Skilled and Knowledgeable Workforce: Employee Development program broadens the skills set of employees making them technology and business experts. They will have the right expertise in their domain of work, which will add to company’s overall performance. Skilled workforce acts as a backbone for organization’s growth and innovation and employees’ skills, expertise can be leveraged to come up with innovative products/solutions, superior customer experience.  It can be used as an edge to compete in the market.

Each employee contributes to an organization's overall performance. And, employee development programs aim at making them as successful and productive as they can be. Employee development does not have to start as an extensive or costly affair. At the basic level, organizations can involve and support managers to understand their subordinate’s skills and be their coach. It can be manager’s role to pass on, skills, knowledge and insights through coaching and mentoring. It can be added in to manager’s duty and there must be way to provide reward and appreciation. This approach can be further taken to create Individual Development Plan (IDP), where employees will be owning and taking charge of their own development. And, it will be organization or managers responsibilities to support and measure their plans. Overall, Employee Development should be seen as a business strategy and not another human resource investment.

Individual Development Plans: What are they and why are they important?

small v1If you’re researching Learning Management Systems (LMSs) you’ve heard the term “Individual Development Plan” or “IDP.” So what is an Individual Development Plan, why is it important, and who uses them?

Let’s search on the web to find out. Hundreds of links are referenced for government, education and corporate organizations so IDPs must be important! Where to start? How about at the beginning of the search results, which is at: OPM is the US Office of Personnel Management so their definition should be accurate. 

OPM defines an IDP as:
“An individual development plan (IDP) is a tool to assist employees in career and personal development. Its primary purpose is to help employees reach short and long-term career goals, as well as improve current job performance. An IDP is not a performance evaluation tool or a one-time activity. It should be looked at like a partnership between the employee and the supervisor. It involves preparation and continuous feedback. Many agencies require IDPs for new and current employees. It is encouraged throughout many organizations. Many Federal agencies require their employees to complete an IDP, annually. All Senior Executives are required to have an Executive Development Plan (EDP) (5 CFR 412.401).”

Let’s summarize the OPM definition:

  1. It’s a tool to assist employees in career and personal development to help employees reach career goals and improve current job performance.  
  2. It’s a partnership between the employee & supervisor and involves preparation and continuous feedback.
  3. Many public and private organizations encourage the use of IDPs.


With point #1 in mind, career and personnel development are critical functions of LMSs so including IDP capability into an LMS makes sense to optimize the process of employees reaching their career goals and improving their job performance.

For example, a core feature of the GyrusAim LMS is the “IDP Screen” which employees use to manage their personal development. On this screen all training is shown including required training, completed training, and even recommended (but not required) training. Also all methods for acquiring the training is displayed, from eLearning, scheduled instructor-led training, virtual classrooms, and more. So it’s extremely easy for employees to find and acquire those skills needed or recommended for them, for their job, or for their department! Employees can concentrate on obtaining their skills instead of figuring out how to use a complicated LMS just to manage their personal development.

Point #2 is the “Partnership between employee & supervisor.” This natural partnership must be maintained, even within a computerized LMS. To accomplish this, the GyrusAim LMS includes a “Manage My People” screen which managers use to review their employee’s IDP screens. This allows for easy analysis of their employee’s developmental progress, which promotes focused and easy communication between both parties. Other developmental details can also be accessed from the Manage My People screen such as employee enrollments, skill gap analysis, training transcript, and pending training approvals so that an open communication process is fostered between supervisors and their employees, enhancing their “partnership.”

Lastly, because many public and private organizations encourage the use of IDPs, it is a consistent concept for personal development which once an employee is familiar with it, they can use it for the rest of their career in other organizations too.

For these reasons, using an IDP approach is an excellent idea for employee personal development and when researching LMSs pay particular attention to those systems that use this technique.

Benefits of Skills-Centric Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Employees benefit by a skills management system because they’re provided with:
• A better understanding of quality proficiency related to their jobs
• A clear view of what skills and skill gaps they currently have
• A learning and development plan that takes into account their job-based skills requirements
• A record of their learning and development achievements
• Recognition of their skills and opportunities to use them in other assignments in the organization

Through skills management, managers are presented with:
• A clear picture of the skill requirements of their employees
• An understanding of their employees’ skills strengths and weaknesses
• An informed basis for career development planning discussions
• Ability to develop prescriptive learning and development plans
• A facility to identify subject matter experts for assignment-based work

Executives need to know that their organization has the skills to fulfill business strategy. A well-implemented skill and learning management system provides:
• A view of the capability of the organization
• Proof that the organization is meeting regulatory requirements
• Learning and development plans that are aligned with business strategy

Why Skills Management?

Successful implementation of a skills management within your Learning Management System (LMS) helps organizations to:
A) Execute business strategy by developing skills that support business objectives,
B) Stay competitive by developing and retaining a well-skilled workforce,
C) Reduce costs by identifying real training needs and reducing contractor spend and recruitment costs,
D) Maximize workforce ROI by developing and utilizing employee skills effectively,
E) Mitigate operational risks by identifying skill gaps and shortages and reducing the risk of non-compliance,
F) Develop intellectual capital by developing the capability of the organization, and
G) Retain employees by identifying and facilitating employee development and improving utilization

Activate Formal Learning

Most people are familiar with these statistics:

  • 70% of development happens on the job
  • 20% is through mentoring and coaching
  • 10% is through formal learning which includes instructor led workshops and e-learning courses

Not only are these statistics familiar, they intuitively make sense.  We have grown up with teachers, coaches and parents telling us “practice makes perfect”.  So, we practiced and practiced and got better and better at riding a bike or playing the piano.

Even though 70% of development or skill building happens on the job, where do most corporations spend their learning and development budgets?  The answer:  On formal training where only 10% of development happens.  How do they help their learners practice and apply the content from the course on the job?  The answer: GyrusAim Skill Centric LMS and  Vado’s courses as every Vado course contains step by step instruction on how to apply on the job.

What is Skill Centric Learning Management System (LMS)?

In a skill-centric learning management system(LMS), skills are embedded in many entities. They are associated with learning objects (an atomic learning node that teaches one skill at one level), jobs, assessments, organizations, certifications, business objectives, and training costs.

Hierarchical entities such as jobs and organizations provide even more power moving skills from being more general to more specialized simply by being associated with as part of the job or organization. In job hierarchies for example, skills assigned at the high level node apply to all jobs associated under that node. All electricians may need to know how to install receptacles, while a master electrician may need to know how to rebuild an electric motor.

GyrusAim, the new learning management system by Gyrus Systems, builds skill maps identifying jobs, courses, learning objects, organizations, business objectives, certifications, and people.

You can use your own competency library and rating schemes or integrate with a third party skill repository. Learning and retraining can be assigned based on job role, department, physical location or other attributes.

Individual Development Plans (IDP) Are Here To Stay

Organizations are made up of individuals working towards a common goal.

Individuals within an organization may share common goals, but chances are, they have goals of their own.

That’s were individual development plans come in.

An individual development plan (IDP) can help employees:

  • Improve skills
  • Gain new experiences
  • Learn about emerging trends and technology
  • Explore unique training and development opportunities
  • Identify resources to keep their career fresh and exciting

An IDP which is a feature of the new Gyrus LMS, GyrusAim. can help employees:

  • Create a list of knowledge, skills, or abilities (KSAs) that they would like to acquire or improve
  • Correspond activities for each KSA to help develop in the areas listed  above
  • Identify specific resources for each activity (i.e.: classes, a mentor, a developmental assignment, etc.)

It is very simple…  employees that can create IDPs are happier and more productive than employees who don’t.

If you are interested in having a happy, motivated workforce, give your people the tools they need to create their own IDP. An LMS like GyrusAim can help.

To learn more about IDPs visit:

Individual Development Plans

A well-run individual development plan system requires sophisticated automation because not only do the needs of each employee change depending on their own career objectives, but the needs of their jobs and organizations change also.

Developing individual development plans for employees is one of those things that makes so much sense, but the details makes its implementation almost impossible.

Individual development plans take the concept that each employee has a different way to be developed. This could be because of job title, organization needs, any associated certifications or licenses, projects, and other requirements. It is difficult enough to do for a handful of employees, but seemingly impossible for hundreds or thousands of employees.

A well-run individual development plan system requires sophisticated automation because not only do the needs of each employee change depending on their own career objectives, but the needs of their jobs and organizations change also.   GyrusAim helps manage the individual development plan processes.

The alternative is to use boilerplate training which says that everyone with this job title requires the same training. Doesn't that sound so 1990ish?

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