In the current context, training organizations are struggling to prove their value. They also struggle to maintain ongoing programs with smaller budgets and reduced staff. One way to get ahead of this scrum is to know the difference between learning and training and development – and to understand the relevance of each in terms of your organization’s environment and the overall environment.
First, training managers need to understand the difference between learning and “training and development”. Learning, in general, is the absorption of basic knowledge about a particular subject, such as an industry. This knowledge will give an individual an understanding of the world around them and how the organization (and the individual) fit together. Training and development, on the other hand, involves teaching someone how to do something, such as a job, or teaching them the skills and attitudes that will directly impact job performance, such as operations, human resource policies, or management and leadership. Let’s look at a few examples of each before discussing their suitability.
Learning in many organizations is no longer a formal structure. For example, financial services workers may need to learn about the general things that keep their industry moving, such as the Federal Reserve, the banking system, and the world of investments. But what if these workers are line associates in a bank, processing items from branches, such as deposits and checks? Do they need the general understanding of the Fed and the investment banks to do their job properly? In general, we can probably say no. But some organizations want to provide this general knowledge to line workers so they understand how they fit in with the rest of the world. It can, in fact, help with retention when workers understand how they can progress and what opportunities are available.
Training and development is the usual formal structure. Financial advisors must complete mandatory training for licensing and certification. They must also undergo company-specific training on the computer system, customer management and customer management. Does the financial advisor have to go through a learning process on dealing with bank bills? Again, we can probably say no. If the counselor obtains the required licenses and can demonstrate that they understand how to serve their clients legally and ethically, then their training is effective.
But what is the relevance of each type of intervention in the current environment? It can be argued that it is now better to leave “learning” to work or self-discovery. Bank article processors may be interested in how the system works and can find, for themselves, the Federal Reserve’s website to explain the “how”. On the other hand, a financial adviser may already have an understanding of this system, and if not, may be required to inquire on an individual basis. With tight budgets and reduced workforces, organizations are forced to eliminate learning and stick to training and development, i.e. programs that can have a direct impact on performance. at work and the results of the organization. In this sense, training and development is much more relevant than learning.
But is the learning over? This is also a point where we can say no. A general and underlying knowledge of his industry or his place in this industry can only be useful. But can training organizations prove themselves with generalist training, while budgets are still under consideration? Probably not, if you have to take people away from their jobs for long periods of time or pay staff to deliver these programs. So how can you provide learning without losing value? One way is to manage online learning. There are costs involved in developing or buying courses, but the costs usually go down after that. And with online learning, participants don’t have to be away for long periods of time. You might also consider bringing in volunteers from the organization who are subject matter experts and asking them to provide lunches or half-hour programs at the end of the day. Using a volunteer is a great way to pass on learning without stressing a financial resource. You can also search online for resources for your industry or organization. As we discussed earlier, some regulatory and supervisory agencies such as the Federal Reserve offer great online information and even free courses for anyone who wants to take them.
We can certainly say that training and development is currently more relevant than learning. But we can also say that the apprenticeship is not over. Find creative and cost-effective ways to integrate learning into training and development and grow that knowledge base.