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Development is the objective of both training and learning. The difference between the two is that training refers to actual and virtual classroom-based activities, while learning is the process of absorption and assimilation by the learner. Both become meaningful only when they result in the development of skills, knowledge and attitude of the person for whom these are intended.
Both also improve the impact and performance of the employee if development needs have been correctly identified; the content creates experiences which are relevant to the learner’s immediate context; and if they provide sufficient challenge and relevant activities which allow the learner to put learning into practice.
Learning needs can be identified through own drives and potential; day-to-day observation of workplace behavior; errors and rejection rates; customer/peer feedback; and performance appraisal.
Because 70% of learning happens on the field, some of the ways ''teaching'' can be managed during field interactions are during team briefing and debriefing sessions; on-the-spot observation and coaching; participating in special assignments (e.g. campus initiatives, industry specific committees); attending conferences, workshops and seminars; and corporate social responsibility/community projects.
Sporadic investments in training and learning are counterproductive. It is better to start small yet consistent. Rather than planning elaborate events, small everyday events which are integrated into the workplace routine are more effective. As results become evident, both the learner and the business head become amenable to investing more time and effort. Also linking such initiatives to performance quality, rejection/error rates and customer needs ensures business buy-ins and measurable results.
• Firms must identify employee needs and train people accordingly
• Teaching can be done during conferences, seminars and others
• Training guaranteed to produce productive, efficient employees
Click on Training and learning and have a glimpse on why firms may view employee learning as an investment or a cost
Source: Geet Mala Jalota, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is an Independent HR Trainer and Consultant