What is learning, training and development?

Learning, Training, and Development (LTD) is a structured approach to improving employee, volunteer, and/or board member skills, knowledge, and competencies resulting in better individual and organizational performance. It encompasses a variety of activities, including strategic planning, job analysis, workshops, courses, mentoring, coaching, on-the-job training, and self-directed learning.

  • Learning is focused on the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. It’s typically classroom-based (including virtual “classrooms) and may include lectures, readings, and interactive activities.
  • Training should produce immediate changes in job performance. It’s typically focused on specific job tasks or processes, such as using a new software program or following new safety procedures.
  • Development revolves around broadening or deepening knowledge that fits the future goals of the individual and/or organization. It focuses on long-term career goals and may include job rotation, career coaching, and professional development opportunities.

Investing in learning, training, and development can benefit your employees and organization through increased productivity, up-to-date skills, improved job performance, engagement and retention, and decreased safety-related accidents.

Deciding the type of training or development opportunities for your employees can depend on several factors, including the type and complexity of skills or knowledge needed, the budget available for training, timing, and the learning readiness of the employees.

Before embarking on the creation of your learning, training and development program, ask questions such as:

  • Will there be any changes in the way we do business?
  • What are the gaps - are they based on skills, knowledge or other factors impacting performance?
  • Who will these changes affect?
  • What will staff need to know to do their jobs well?
  • What is the most effective way that staff in our business learn?
  • What is the best way to get this training to staff?
  • Do we have any other training needs?
  • What types of training are available to meet these needs?
  • Which types are the most cost-effective?

Read more about building a learning, training and development strategy.

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