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There is a Difference Between Learning and Training. Here’s Why it Matters

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We call my team the Learning Department here at ShoreTel.  Some have dared call us the “training team.”  They have been swiftly corrected by me and/or one of our learning professionals.  The difference between the two terms is important to us. It drives the way we do our jobs.

Getting vs. Doing

If you look at it from the learner’s perspective, training is something the learner is given.  Someone “gets” trained.   This happens when management decides a skill needs to be gained or improved, and a trainer puts together a curriculum for the learner.  Learning happens when the training actually creates action on the part of the learner.  The learner can now do something new or better.

Learning is the Result of Good Training

Although training is an important part of what we do, success cannot be measured by the number of training sessions offered, the number of people trained or the hours spent in classes.  That would be a bit like judging a basketball game based on the number of attempts each team made at the basket.  Attempts are important, but they don’t count until you hear the swoosh.

Heather Bennett - ShoreTel VP of Learning
Heather shares her thoughts on building a culture of learning.

Therefore, we call ourselves the Learning Department.  It reminds us every day to be driven by results and the success of our learners.  Our training needs to be designed in way that encourages, demands, and inspires action: practice, projects.  Action reinforces learning and drives competency and ideally, passion for the subject.

We celebrate learning with our Battle of the Bands program.  How does your company recognize, reward and celebrate learning?