In the Training Industry there is a great debate on who is "responsible for employee development". This debate seems rather simple at its core, but requires a fundamental understanding of the difference between two key concepts; employee training and employee development.
Simply stated, employee training is the responsibility of the organization. Employee training should incorporate the skills that are going to help employees do their job as it relates to achieving organizational goals. In other words, training should be provided (and required) so employees are able to meet the basic competencies for the job. Likewise, employee training offerings should mirror strategic goals of the organization. By offering programs and learning opportunities that mirror the strategic goals of the organization, we can be sure that employees are receiving the training they need to drive business results. Whether or not an employee takes ownership to learn and then apply the new skill/behavior is dependent on several factors, but the most important factor is the willingness of the employee to apply what they learned back on the job.
Employee development is a shared responsibility of management and the individual employee. The responsibility of management is to provide the right resources and an environment that supports the growth and development needs of the individual employee. It requires an understanding of what skills an employee needs to develop to take the next steps in his/her career, the person's future goals and a desire by the manager to take an interest in developing employees. From the employee perspective, it is important to understand that some key learning opportunities lie outside formal training in a classroom and to take advantage of learning that may not seem "traditional." Some examples include job rotations, job swaps, mentorship, committee participation, etc.
Organizations that understand the true value of employee development also recognize the value of continuously educating their employee base to ensure they are prepared for today and the future. These "learning organizations" are the ones that will be better positioned to adapt to the rapidly changing demands of the work environment. Incorporating professional development within the overall corporate strategy can also be seen as a key for engagement and recruiting.
For employee training to be successful, management should:
For employee development to be successful, the individual employee should:
By: Andy Schuster