Training vs. Learning - What Is Your Company Doing?

You’re used to evaluating business results: analytics, post mortems, and management huddles where you’re cross examined about product, performance and profit.

Now imagine what would happen if you applied even a fraction of that dedicated reflection to understanding and developing the potential of employees – the people who drive your company’s success.

We’re not talking about annual performance appraisals or intermittent workshops. These isolated activities can’t feed self-awareness or growth the same way one graph can’t give a complete picture of your business.  For employees to really grow, you need to change the way you define and approach “training and development”.

Training Vs. Learning

“In a human resources environment, training often applies to the compliance-related annual requirements such as prohibited harassment, anti-discrimination, safety, etc,” says Tyler Koch of the Forbes Human Resources Council. The topics are pre-determined, and the program is usually structured around the formula of Instruction, Retention and Repetition.

“Learning, on the other hand, is focused on the process of passing information in such a way that the recipient engages a level of critical thinking and is equipped with the ability to apply certain aspects of the information to achieve an optimal result,” differentiates Koch. It emphasizes creative application rather than compliance and rote memory.

Knowing Vs. Understanding

Adult learning experts also say that typical HR programs may not lead to significant or measurable changes in behavior and productivity.

“One-and-done training doesn't produce results. The traditional classroom-style session may be an excellent means to deliver information to groups, but may not be the best way to educate groups,” says HRDive’s article on why traditional classroom training isn't enough for today's employee.

The most effective learning is concrete, constant, and collaborative. “Set up automatic releases of related content post-training and provide a space for knowledge sharing.” This is especially true for management training. “A short course in how to run a team isn’t enough to let all that knowledge truly sink in and help people form good management habits,” says Andre Lavoie, CEO of Clear Company in an article in Forbes.  Citing Grovo’s research on the management deficit, he said that 80% of managers revert to old behaviors in less than six months because they received no follow-up sessions or support.

“Maintain an ongoing leadership development program for all managers. Don’t just assume they understand and let them be. Provide real-time support for their behaviors and actions by checking in to make sure they are putting the information into action,” says Lavoie.

HR-Driven Vs. Employee-Driven

Ideally, your employees should be given tools so they can drive their own learning instead of waiting for the next workshop. This is especially true in today’s diverse work environment, where employees come from different backgrounds, skill sets and even generations.  HR can’t create a one-size-fits-all program, but it can create a platform and process where employees can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and then define their next steps.

“Grow puts leadership development into the hands of the employee,” says Rudi Ramin, Grow CEO. “It allows teams to self-assess, seek feedback, access resources, track progress, and connect with colleagues and mentors. Users can access it anytime and anywhere via desktop and the app.”

Grow shifts from the traditional concept of training to a transformative platform for learning. Instead of one-time programs, it enables an ongoing process. Instead of on-ground workshops, it allows on-the-go learning. And while it does help individual personal growth, it also promotes the growth of an entire team.

“Leadership development with Grow is embedded in the work,” stresses Ramin. “Our users have enthusiastically embraced this methodology because they learn and develop while they work. It doesn’t take them away from their daily deliverables and regular functions. They are also able to apply what they have learned right away.”


Grow sets teams up for success by letting their members own their development. We have online leadership development solutions for effective team performance. Try Grow for free today by signing up and clicking the link below.