Employee training and development

Employee training and development
Finding the right employees is a key to a successful business. When you are 100% sure in your team you can focus on long-term business development. When it comes to finding suitable employees there are two main options: constantly attracting highly skilled workers “from outside”, or investing in the training and development of existing employees to tailor them “from inside”.

In the first scenario,managers often try to find the perfect employee that checks all the boxes. However, this way can lead to a dead end, as the notion of a perfect employee is merely an illusion. It is more fruitful for managers to focus on internal improvements by teaching new skills to current workers. Individuals with practical knowledge perform better. Training includes refining current competency, learning new trends and unwrapping applicable soft skills.

What does training and development mean?

Personnel training and development can be described and the set of actions aimed at improving overall workforce quality by teaching employees skills how to be better at their job through various learning options. It is a core element for organizational advancement, as it enables team members to stay competitive and relevant in their respective fields while being an important part in making the company succeed.

Undoubtedly, corporate training and development offers few perks
  • Productivity levels increase. Employees who follow the training have better performance and show higher productivity, which leads to overall rise in work satisfaction - this makes your team members work better and stay longer in one company.
  • It makes the company stand out from its competitors. By ensuring that staff constantly improve their skills and learn recent industry trends, companies can maintain leading positions on the market.
  • It provides learning opportunities as well as career advancements. Training and development invests into a learn-and-grow culture in business, driving innovation and creativity.
Training and development of employees can be conducted through multiple channels, they include but are not limited to: new employees welcome programs, shadowing, on-the-job training, mentoring and coaching, online seminars, workshops, and other online learning activities. These programs are designed to improve applicable skills, for instance, technology knowledge, communication and passive skills, executive skills etc. It is also important to mention before we dive into types of HR training and development techniques that training and development are not the same things.

The difference between training and development

Both activities are important when it comes to business success. Despite being synonyms these activities have different goals and objectives which will be described below.


Training is about ensuring that employees have the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs effectively. This is a short-term process aimed at improving existing skills and knowledge, usually through formal learning programs such as workshops, seminars or on-the-job training. The objective of the training is to improve the performance of employees in their current role by helping them develop professional skills.


Development, on the other hand, is a process that extends over an extended period of time and targets employee's overall skills, knowledge, and abilities. It focuses on enhancing an employee's potential for their development and preparation for future roles within the organization. Development is more about coaching and mentoring - broader leadership development programs. The primary focus of training and development is on creating a person who is proficient in his job and is ready to assume new roles and accountabilities.

Why is it important

Importance of employee training
94% of employees world stay with a company longer if there was an investment in learning.
In addition to three staff training and development benefits described above there are many other advantages that influence the success of organizations and employee growth. Here are few more reasons why training and development are so important:

Benefits for the company

  • Team performance goes up:
    Training and development provides employees who have the opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge, thereby improving their work performance and productivity. Well-trained and developed employees are better equipped to overcome challenges and fulfill organizational objectives.
  • You can retain talented workers:
    Organizations offering learning opportunities are more appealing to potential candidates and show a greater proportion of employee retention.
  • It helps to better adapt to changes:
    In today's fast-changing commercial environment, organizations must adapt quickly. Useful training and development programs enable team members to learn and retain information that can assist them in meeting the new challenges of changing business conditions.

Benefits for employees

  • Skill Enhancement:
    Training and development programs enable employees to become industry professionals and acquire greater skills and knowledge, thus improving job performance and effectiveness in their roles.
  • Increased Job Satisfaction and Confidence:
    When employees perceive that their employer invests in their growth and development, they experience higher job satisfaction and are more likely to remain with the organization.
  • Career Advancement and Personal Growth:
    Training and development practices facilitate preparation for career opportunities to be promoted within the organization. Furthermore, development programs contribute to personal growth as specialists learn new things and broaden their horizons.
  • Adaptability:
    Training and development programs lend specialists the opportunity to adapt to new technologies, processes, and changes in the business environment.
  • Teamwork:
    Team-based training or teambuilding help to develop teamwork skills among specialists, improve cooperation and communication within the team.

Employee training and development strategies

Choosing training form
When it comes to employee development, there are several options: one can utilize internal resources to do so or choose to hire external experts. Depending on the size of the business a company can choose either a combination of both, a lot of times larger companies establish corporate universities to comprehensively address personnel development needs.
External Training
External training involves hiring coaches or training organizations from outside the company. However, it is important to select a training provider appropriate to your needs. Educational niche has a low threshold for participation, leading to a market saturated with inexperienced individuals who claim to be trainers or coaches. Hence, it is essential to verify the qualifications of trainers and review their past projects. Additionally, exploring trainers' social media profiles can provide insights into their credibility. Instead of relying solely on bold promises, it is advisable to seek out authentic student testimonials to hear about actual experience. If feasible, reaching out to these students for further inquiries can be valuable.
Internal Training
Internal training is done within the company and begins with creation of a program and training guidelines. For this purpose relevant materials are gathered and organized into a coherent program, they often integrate theory and practical assignments that help to reinforce learning. It is crucial to ensure that the training program focuses solely on information that employees can immediately apply in their work. Including pertinent or extraneous information will likely result in quick forgetfulness, wasting both budget and development time.
It is worth noting that internal training doesn't always have to be conducted in traditional “academic” settings. Online employee training and development have gained popularity during the past few years due to the following reasons:

  1. Accessibility: Online training can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and at the employee's own pace. This flexibility allows employees to fit training into their work schedules and personal lives.
  2. Low Cost: Online training generally proves more cost-effective than traditional in-person training as it removes travel, location and equipment costs.
  3. Consistency: Online training ensures all employees are getting the same quality of training, irrespective of their location or department.
  4. Audit: Online learning platforms provide analytics that help organizations track employee progress and determine areas for improvement.
Depending on the chosen approach—external or internal—the specific training and development methods will be determined accordingly.

It is fair to mention that internal training isn’t always supposed to take place indoors. Online employee training and development have grown more and more popular in recent years because:

  • It can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and at the employee's own pace. This flexibility allows employees to fit training into their work schedules and personal lives.
  • It is generally more cost-effective than traditional in-person training since it eliminates the need for travel, venue, and material costs.
  • It ensures that all staff receive the same quality of training, regardless of their location or department.
  • E-learning platforms provide analysis to help organizations track employee progress and identify areas for improvement.
Depending on the chosen form of training - external or internal - the training and development methods are also determined.

Selecting training and development strategies

The staff training and development strategy is not a one-time action, but a constant process of growing the business and personal qualities of employees. As part of this work, HR managers perform a set of actions. Let's briefly talk about the main ones.
1.On-the-Job Training:
On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a staff training and development strategy that provides employees with new skills or knowledge while they are actively performing their job duties. It takes advantage of real work situations to provide hands-on learning experiences.

On-the-job training usually includes the assignment of a more experienced employee or supervisor to provide training and guidance to the learning employee. The intern works alongside the experienced employee, observes and participates in tasks, and gradually assumes more responsibilities.
2.Mentoring and Coaching:
Mentoring and coaching means that an expert (mentor) “matches” with less experienced or new employees (mentees) to provide advice, assistance, and feedback. These strategies emphasize the mentee's personal and career growth.

Mentors establish a supportive and trusted relationship with mentees, providing guidance, sharing knowledge, and providing advice based upon their own experiences. Coaching, on the other hand, emphasizes specific skill development through targeted feedback and guidance.
E-Learning implies the use of electronic technologies, such as computers, the internet, and digital learning platforms, to deliver training and development materials. E-Learning provides flexibility in terms of access, timing, and pacing. Employees can access training materials from anywhere, anytime, and follow the modules at their own pace, taking into account different learning styles and schedules.

Also, E-Learning platforms usually offer tracking and analytics features. Organizations can monitor employee progress, assess completion rates, and track performance measures to assess the efficacy of training programs and identify areas for improvement.
4.Classroom Training:
Classroom training refers to a conventional face-to-face educational session held in a physical classroom setting. It involves gathering a cohort of employees who receive guidance from a trainer or an expert in the respective subject.

This form of training encourages collaborative learning, encourages discussions, and promotes interaction between participants, facilitating the exchange of ideas and personal experiences. Additionally, classroom training frequently incorporates hands-on exercises, simulated situations, real-life case studies, and group tasks to enhance the learning process.
5.Job Shadowing:
Job shadowing involves pairing an employee (the shadow) with a more experienced employee (the mentor) to observe and learn specific tasks or responsibilities. The shadow closely observes the mentor's work and gains firsthand insight into their role and responsibilities.

Since an employee can “shadow” multiple workers, job shadowing offers the opportunity to explore different career paths and gain a better understanding of the skills and competencies required in specific roles. It allows them to assess their own interests, strengths, and areas for development in relation to different career options.
Also, there crucial techniques organization can implement to improve training and development in the workplace:
  • Develop a training strategy that outlines the desired outcomes and targets of the educational session.
  • Verify that the training matches the organization's overall goals and objectives.
  • Consistently offer positive feedback from employees concerning their performance to enhance their comprehension of their strengths and areas requiring improvement.
  • Acknowledge and incentivize employees for their accomplishments to promote ongoing learning and personal development.
  • Assess the efficacy of the training initiatives to ensure they adequately meet the needs of employees and the organization.

Trends in employee training and development

Organizations are implementing various practices to promote a culture of learning and development. Numerous forward-looking employee training and development initiatives have been developed in HRM. Training programs are designed to be accessible to a wider range of employees while maintaining a personalized experience in delivery.

In recent years, there have been several trends in employee training and development.
1) Moving Online
Recently, especially after the pandemic, a prominent trend has emerged — the transition to web-based platforms. With the increasing adoption of remote work and virtual collaboration by companies, the demand for online training solutions has skyrocketed. This has given rise to the popularity of employee training and development software, which provides a diverse array of features to facilitate effective learning. These software solutions often include interactive modules, gamification components, and advanced analytical capabilities that allow organizations to monitor and track employees' progress. This has led to a surge in popularity of employee training and development software, which offers a range of features such as interactive modules, gamification, and analytics to track progress.
2) Adaptive learning

Another trend is creation of personalized and adaptive learning. This involves making training and development programs to the specific needs and skill levels of individual employees, using data analysis and AI to personalize the learning experience.
3) Gamification
Gamification is a new approach to employee training that utilizes artificial intelligence and game elements to create visually stimulating and immersive environments. These environments simulate real work scenarios and provide employees with a pilot understanding of how to solve problems in their work. By employing gamification techniques, workers are provided with feedback regarding their performance, including acknowledgment of successes or areas for improvement. This feedback helps to enhance their comprehension and increase their confidence in the management of actual work scenarios.
4) Microlearning
Microlearning is another popular trend in corporate training and development. This approach involves breaking down training content into small, digestible pieces that employees can learn in short bursts, making it easier to fit into busy schedules and retain information.
5) Soft skills development
Finally, there has always been a demand for soft skills training, such as communication, emotional intelligence, and teamwork. These skills are seen as essential for success in the workplace and are therefore becoming a more prominent feature of employee training and development programs.
As for popular employee training and development software, there are many options available, including learning management systems (LMS), virtual training platforms, and gamification tools. Some of the most popular programs include Adobe Captivate Prime, Cornerstone OnDemand, Docebo, and CleverLMS, among others. These software tools can help organizations efficiently and effectively deliver training and development programs to their employees, regardless of their location or schedule.

Summing up

A modern employee should be professionally flexible in order to adapt to market demands, keep up with changes in the business and assist them in achieving their objectives. Being flexible means gaining new knowledge in your field and in other areas, immediately applying them in your work. The responsibility for the transfer of knowledge lies primarily with the company, since it is interested in the development of personnel.


You may also be interested in:

Put corporate training to work with CleverLMS