Educating, Training and Skills: The Difference Between Knowing How to Think and Making Improvements

Posted by on Jan 16, 2022 in Education, Skills, Training | 0 comments

Often we think of education and training interchangeably and this is a big mistake.  Education focuses on broadening an individual’s knowledge base and expanding thinking processes.  It helps employees understand concepts and accept increased job responsibilities, and prepares them for future jobs and leadership roles.  In other words, education helps individuals learn how to think.

Training is considered a subset of education that focuses on increasing proficiency in a skill.  It refers to skill-based instruction and addresses the specific skills employees need to perform a job or task.  Examples of training would include learning how to apply lean and Six Sigma tools, implementing customer service principles, running a new piece of equipment, or facilitating a team.  Training can take place in either a formal or informal setting, such as a classroom, or coaching teams individually on their specific projects.  Training is appropriate when skills are lacking and produces measurable performance outcomes, whereas education does not.

A training need exists when a performance gap exists between what people know or are able to do and what they should know or be able to do to perform their work competently.  These needs are typically identified during the strategic business planning process, where leaders identify the goals the organization needs to achieve.

When skills training is required, it is important to have a training plan.  Training plans provide the road map for meeting training requirements.  Without a plan, organizational training requirements may go unnoticed and maybe poorly addressed, or not addressed at all.  All training plans should provide a way to ensure the training and education build the organization’s capabilities as well as enable employees to make a positive contribution to the organization’s success.

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