What is Employee Training and Development?

By Miguel Pobre - Last Updated on July 3, 2020
Employee training and development guide

When running a company, the wheels that keep the business turning are the employees and their development. At any level, employees are given opportunities to learn fundamental skills to help them in their current role as well as develop new skills to help them extend their responsibilities. This can lead to higher compensation for their work, opportunities in leadership positions as well as creating an environment where they can evolve their skillset.

Companies use various training and development programs to help boost the performance of all employees. Those that are passionate about the work they are doing as well as the work of their company will be more invested when learning and developing their skills. These methods help develop employees to grow in their own individual roles while evolving their skills to expand their opportunities in the company.

It is important to implement these processes for any business in order to grow the company’s success. Every business has its own methods and it’s important to find the right one for the correct employees and teams.

What is Employee Training and Development?

The specifics involved with employee training relates to the process of giving employees the opportunity to grow and improve the company. This involves investing a lot of resources, time and energy. Training and developing are typically used interchangeably, however there are some key differences in the two regarding performance.

Training relates to the teaching of skills to employees to improve efficiency and speed to fulfill their responsibilities. These skills can start during the onboarding process where employees are first introduced to what is needed to be successful in their current roles.

Throughout their time in the company, employees gain access to other training programs to help improve their performance in their roles as well as skills needed to heighten their abilities to be eligible for new responsibilities. Training new skills helps employees become successful and ultimately help businesses reach their goals by creating a stronger and efficient team.

Development refers to improving skills that employees already obtained. To help make processes more efficient and streamlined, developmental programs are implemented to improve workflow. Developing skills can help employees grow into leadership roles as well as be stronger candidates for managerial roles. This is important for companies to create leaders and innovators in their business.

Why is Employee Training and Development Necessary?

Implementing employee training and developing into a company is necessary because it helps bring value to workers and businesses alike. These procedures help employees feel valuable in their roles in the company. Employees will be able to learn new skills and use these opportunities to advance their knowledge on skills they already possess. Companies will find investing in their employees worthwhile as they bring value to the company and its success.

(Also Read: What is Employee Engagement | The Beginners Guide)

Types of employee training and development

There are many different types of employee training, so it’s best to find the one that best suits appropriate teams and businesses.

  1. Orientation

    As the most common form of training, it’s the first program a new employee steps into once they are hired. This form of training is helpful to introduce employees to the company culture and position responsibilities. It is a time and place where there are no differences in leadership or managers to help welcome employees.

  1. Onboarding

    These training sessions are made with the intention of brushing up on skills needed for a job that the employee already has. They are also intended to teach any other basic skills that don’t require as much training and introduction, however, are necessary to perform successfully in their new role. This is a great time to introduce the goals broken down by department, in order to get a centralized idea of what an employee’s responsibilities are within the company.

  1. Technical Skill Training

    Whether these skills are polished or not, technical skills that can always be improved. In a world where technology and other skills in the workplace are always advancing, these sessions can be used to stay updated on the latest skills development. Any level of employee can participate in technical skill training’s, so leaders can learn alongside their colleagues.

  1. Soft Skill Development/Training

    These are team building training sessions that help co-workers interact organically together. They include team building activities, companywide events, and overall working together in a more efficient way. These interactions can lead to improving communication and presentation skills as well as learning more leadership and teamwork skills.

  1. Product/Service Training

    Certain companies have to create new products and services all the time. For this reason, new training needs to be developed for each one so that the company as a whole can be streamlined and speak universally about their new product or service. When the company speaks about their new product or service in the same voice, this helps the company stay aligned with their goals.

  1. Mandatory Training

    Any mandatory training can include health and safety measures or relate to sexual harassment prevention sessions. This type of training is created so that workers are prepared for the workplace and so they are compliant with company policies and laws. Sometimes these training events can occur in to streamline company understanding with certain directives.

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Training in Small Business

For any level of business, training is important. For small businesses, this can help create advancement within the workers that they have. This can develop them into future leaders and managers to help advance the company. When improving the efficiency of employees in a small workforce, this can help streamline the processes in the business. During this time of process advancement, the company can quickly grow and expand to a competitive business.

By effectively planning these training and development sessions, a business can effectively plan and strategize other parts of the business as well. When advancing a smaller workforce, the team becomes well-rounded and responsibilities tend to blend together. With a team that has advanced skills overall, this allows for company growth when bringing in new workers as well as having veterans who are experienced in leadership roles.

Common Training Methods for Employee Training and Development

  • For different companies, managers, and teams there are different methods that work better than others. This relies on the business to provide the most effective training for their workers. However, there are some common methods that tend to work with most teams and can be tweaked to fit them appropriately.
  • Lectures are an effective form of training and development for a larger group of employees. This helps save costs since there are usually less session and can accommodate more participants. When conducting lectures, a wide array of information can be relayed to larger groups.
  • However, with the lack of intimate connection, there’s usually less time and room to receive feedback. Large scale surveys can help counteract this; however, it can still be difficult depending on the size of the group and the information given. In larger sessions, there is potential for more distractions so lectures will need to be carefully created so information is understood in a timely and effective manner.
  • Smaller group sessions can be very effective for team development. These sessions are typically used to develop managers and leaders and therefore have less candidates involved. These are special methods that can range in size and length.
  • Companies need to be careful with their resources with this type of training as it isn’t always effective in terms of cost and overall development. However, room for feedback is increased and intimate interactions between trainers and trainees goes up in this method.
  • Training by device or media can  prove to be effective for certain teams. Whether it is computer-based training while completing tasks or watching training videos, this can help give employees the freedom of training at their own pace. However, without any time or direction, this can be an ineffective method of development due to costs of constantly updating these programs since they are streamlined for the entire company.

What are the benefits of employee training and development

  • There are many benefits to employee training and development. Alongside providing more opportunities for success within the company, there are many other reasons for companies to invest in these programs.
  • A huge benefit from employee advancement that has been touched on previously is an increase in productivity. As skills are learned and developed, productivity within teams and workers will naturally go up. As processes become easier, the overall organization of the company will go up alongside performance.
  • Raising morale is always a great way to retain employees since they gain new skills and advanced skills they already have. When offered chances of learning and innovating, employees feel comfortable working together as well as on their own. This can set them up for infinite opportunities down the road which helps their drive for outperforming themselves.
  • As a company, it is important to be formed and seen with the best employees. As valuable employees are created or recruited into their system, their reputation will skyrocket. As a company that offers extensive training and development, this will attract higher quality employees to challenge themselves, spark inspiration within their community and influence others to want to work for the company.

(Also Read: Top Examples of Employee Training and Development)

How to Create a High Impact Employee Training Plan

Talking about impactful employee training programs is one thing, however creating one is another challenge in itself. In order to develop effective procedures for training and development, it’s important to go through some steps.

Identifying skill gaps within a team is important to developing a program. A well rounded and masterful team will always perform better and be successful. Teams aren’t always well rounded and sometimes that are gaps that need to be filled. Training and development can help bring team members with a lack of experience up to pair with the rest of the team. This can also help advance those that are experts in their field in order to train them to be successful and motivational managers. To receive this information, teams will need to work on communicating where training needs are in order to not waste any resources or time.

Calculating business impact will also be important for these programs. If creating a training method just for the sake of creating one doesn’t provide a lot of economic impact in the company, it might not be worth the time. Being seen as an investment in employees, training and development plans must meet company’s needs and goals. By providing programs that are highly impactful for teams as well as the overall company, the business will be investing heavily into their employees and ultimately their success.

By layering training methods, companies can be effective and resourceful. Relating similar training methods and procedures together can help save resources and time by training either a larger group of people or a larger amount of material at once. This can help fill in skill gaps as well and create a sophisticated team that is ready for all tasks ahead.

Training and development tools 

There are many tools that can be effective for the development of skills for certain teams and it is important to find the one that best fits a company or team.

  1. Knowledge Base Tool

    This is incredibly helpful for spreading basic information about certain roles within teams all the way up to responsibilities company-wide. By giving workers a database to search answers to their questions on their own, companies empower employees to search for answers immediately and follow up immediately if there is something that isn’t included. This is a great tool this puts the power is in the hands of the worker to search for the answer.

  1. Learning Management Systems

    These tools will include content such as training videos, text and documents. While giving the power back into the employee hands, this also can help workers learn at their own pace. By providing this information to employees, this gives them the opportunity to learn on their own and stay up to date with anything on this tool.

Final Thoughts

By seeing employee training and development as an investment, companies should be more willing to advance their companies and invest in their workers. By providing workers with new opportunities, this can lead to new ideas sparked and may streamline new methods for efficiency. This will help a company overall become well rounded and ready for new advancement opportunities in the future.


Miguel Pobre | Miguel Pobre is a freelance content creator based in Portland, OR. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business Administration. Alongside writing, Miguel has a passion for photography and design. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


Miguel Pobre | Miguel Pobre is a freelance content creator based in Portland, OR. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jou...


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