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Training vs. Developing

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Training and developing…

We’ve all heard the words before; however, have you actually thought about their difference? What about the effect that they could have on the work environment? Most likely not. Many people think these two words can be interchanged but that is not the case. Constant training can make a team feel like they aren’t good enough and developing can make a team feel empowered. If you focus more on developing your staff rather than training them, it’ll be more of an enjoyable workplace.

What exactly is training or what does it mean to provide training? Good question! Training is when you are being taught a new skill or behavior. It focuses on learning something new rather than adding onto what you already know. This is why we have all gone through onboarding training when beginning a new job. We also continue the training in our personal lives as well. Whether it’s training yourself to eat healthier, get up earlier, or stick to a routine, unfortunately we are constantly going through our own training sessions.

The more times you have to reteach yourself something or be retaught an area of your job, it can quickly become exhausting. In order to excel in your occupation, it is necessary to go through the mandatory trainings, however, if every two weeks you’re told that you need more training, eventually you will feel like all your hard work isn’t enough. Picture this; you have been working at a job for a year and your supervisor or manager instructs you to go through trainings on a monthly basis. How would you feel? Personally, I would begin to feel exhausted and honestly unnoticed. I’m working as hard as I can but for some reason my supervisor feels that I need to relearn everything I learned, multiple times. This is where we could move out of training and focus on developing.

In order to see the difference, let’s understand what developing is. Developing is the ability to help strengthen the skills and behaviors a person or team already has. In order to help someone, or a group develop, it is necessary to understand what strengths they already have and where their weaknesses lie. As a supervisor or leader in your company, if you want to see constant progress, focus on enhancing and strengthening the skills your team already has. It will help your staff feel more empowered and they’ll enjoy learning more. If we look back at the image you pictured while looking at training, use the same imagery however picture that your boss focuses on developing your skills rather than reteaching them to you. How would you feel then? I’d be happier when attending these sessions because I would feel that my supervisor is focused on my success and growth.

When forced to go to training, it can be easy to feel like just another number; however, if you’re asked to go to a session to develop your skills, it feels more like a compliment. There is always room to improve but make it known that developing is for the betterment of your team, the company, and the guests rather than just the company.

Yes, training is necessary; however, it is a "necessary evil." When it comes to follow up sessions, they should always be considered developing. Unless you are entirely retraining your staff, you should make the focus on strengthening skills and behaviors rather than reteaching staff everything they already know. Constantly mentioning the need of training will eventually be demoralizing and the team won’t have enough room to grow. In order to be a successful leader at your company, keep your focus on developing the team rather than training them.


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