Developing the workforce takes time and effort matched with strong planning. Plans are crafted in a way that help strengthen the overall business model and ensure that qualified workers are available to fill needed skill sets. As the labor market continues to change and adjust it becomes even more important to ensure that training programs are effective in their expected outcomes. Taking the performance based or developmental based approach to training will determine the the results.
Performance based approaches seek short-term return on training dollars spent in an effort to spark greater applied skills. The strategy is effective for justifying budgets and calculating returns. It is also beneficial for finding immediate actions that lead to improve performance in the short-run.
The only problem with the approach is that the skills are specific and limited in their ability to transfer to other activities. Learning the use of a new tool leads to greater specific performance but doesn't necessarily develop the overall personal and professional functioning of the person.
To develop the whole person and improve specific skill sets through broad learning training should be focused on creating awareness of the "big picture". These skills are core development and might include training in conflict management, critical thinking, and human motivation. They will apply across a broad range of different scenarios.
Sometimes it is best to develop training that is based on short and long-term performance results. Training in general human motivation could be included with specific techniques the manager can use right away to motivate their employees. They gain broad skills and specific actions all in the same training session.
Once the performance and developmental training sessions are enacted it is important to use metrics to determine general performance. Short-term metrics will study specific techniques while departmental or trend oriented data can measure general improvement of the entire entity. The choice of training program will determine the training philosophy of the organization.