No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Who is responsible for staff development?


Reading the postings on TrainingZONE I get the impression that members have very different views as to who owns the responsibility for ensuring that staff receive appropriate development to perform their roles.

I would very much like to hear the views and opinions of members.

I can't help thinking that this question must have been raised before but I can't find anything in the archives.
John Freshney

14 Responses

  1. An appraiser with the appraisee, then organised centrally in the
    Staff development should be part of an appraisal system, and training/development requirements of each employee should be focussed on the business objectives of the company.

    If all requirements are linked to the Training organiser/Manager, then this gives a picture across a company and can be provided inhouse or externally.

  2. Training Dept should be working in close consultation with Line
    I think the overall company strategy should be controlled centrally within the Training Department. However, trainig needs do need to be identified in close consultation with line managers and they should take responsibility for their staff’s individual development (after receiving training on appropriate skills such as coaching

  3. Depends on size of company
    To a degree is depends on the size of your company and your retail area. Small companies might not have a separate training department and so training is generally performed by supervisors or line managers. This does mean there may not be any central training records.
    The disadvantage of a central training department is that they are then expected to be the master of all trades. A compromise would be for training department to do the general training and specialised training to be performed by knowledgeable experts.

  4. let the individual take control
    Individuals should be empowered to take responsibility for their own development.

    The Organisation, and specifically its Training function, have the responsibility to provide the mechanisms that the individual needs so that they can develop.

    Sure, others have roles to play in supporting the process, but let the individual control their own destiny. They’ll thank you for it in the long run!!

  5. HR, Team Leader & Individual
    In short, we split the responsibility between the individual, team leader and HR.

    We expect our associates to have an active investment and interest in their own development – this is one of our 8 competencies which they review their performance against annually.

    However, team leaders are trained by the HR team on how to analyse needs, put together a busienss case, discuss learning styles and different learning options to suit the individual and situation, coach, mentor, and evaluate the change in behaviour as a result of the intervention.

    The HR team are called upon to provide specialist advice and to encourage the team leaders and individuals to own their development.


  6. Development Competency
    Different ways can be used to develop employees in the company, but as Investors in People Standards suggest, each manager and supervisor is responsible to develop his own staff and each individual is responsible to teach what he knows to others this will lead to create a development competency in the company’s cultuer and lead to have an ongoing learning organization

  7. A partnership between the individual and their line manager
    The responsibility for staff development is a partnership between the individual and his/her line manager. The role of HRD is to ensure that line managers are maintaining a staff development programme,ensuring that funding is available and giving advice and support on such matters as the availability of external training courses.

  8. Everyone – except HR
    First, every single person must be responsible for their own development. We should not sit passively and expect others to train us.

    Second, every single person must be responsible for the development of others. Development is most effective as a collaborative and dynamic undertaking. We build on people’s strengths, assist them with those things they may have difficulty with.

    Having established a culture in which we all have this responsibility, the third issue is to get line managers to act. Not to organise the training department to deliver training, but to explore all possibilities. I have identified about twenty activities that line managers can engage in to develop staff – appraisals, feedback, coaching, delegation, team events. Training is only one of many options.

    Finally, how do you discover development needs or training needs? Get the team in a room, they define their purpose and then you ask them how they reckon they are going to do it. Thus, business planning and individual contributions are aligned, and both are owned by the people.

  9. Responsibility for developing staff
    My views are that it is the line manager’s responsibility to identify development needs, aided by the wishes of the individual, the organization’s needs, feedback from those with whom the individual interacts, and with the advice, where necessary, of the training/development manager. The responsibility always remains with the line manager, but a problem arises when the line manager does not come up to that responsibility, for a wide range of real reasons, and excuses. It is easy then for the training function then to step in, with good intent, and take matters out of the manager’s hands. While this produces a short-term benefit, it can easily lead to the training function taking over the burden, and making it even easier for the line manager to drop out of the process. Usual effects of this are for:
    – individuals to be put onto unsuitable, or unnecessary programmes
    – failure of the individuals to be briefed on the aims of the programme beforehand, or to get folow-up afterwards
    – ineffective application of the learning
    – development needs being confined to some form of formal training, and other development routes being underused.
    I am sure that many Development and Training managers recognize this, and do their best to involve line managers, but this is difficult unless the Senior Management compel line managers to take their responsibilities to their staff seriously.
    Similar issues are raised when managers slide their responsibilities for personnel management onto the Personnel Function, generally leading to the function becoming the ‘Dyno-Rod People’, there to deal with the mess when the management drain is blocked.

  10. Line managers are, but they need to be given the tools and skill
    Some training is best offered centrally by a Training dept, or a roving training team if a large geographic area is covered. introduction of new software; Train the Trainer courses (to equip those who are training ‘in the field’ on how people learn etc); core skills such as listening, interviewing, meetings, team-building etc. Development is a more personal issue which is best carried out by fully trained line managers who know the staff concerned and are appraising them.

    The problem of centralised training is that it can become remote if there are lots of satellites in the company. Central trainers must therefore focus on keeping the training relevant to the organisation and its goals. It is always worth the effort of finding training examples that relate to the company’s business, or even discussing actual issues facing the company at the time.

  11. Everyone
    Staff development needs to start with clear commitment from senior management through a training and development strategy. Otherwise you will get random training for the sake of training or no training and development at all. Only through a dialogue between managers and staff (at all levels) can you establish the development needs and target the right kind of training at the right time for the right people. Everybody needs to take an active part in this process. Staff development should be approached as a positive investment rather than an expense or necessary evil.

  12. It all depends on what you want?
    If you want to make a difference, if you want to empower employees, if you want to achieve sustainable improvements in performance… then it has to be the individual!

    The organisation is responsible for establishing and maintaing the employee management systems (training is just one aspect of this) Managers are responsible for managing and one aspect of this is supporting and faciliting employee development through effective performance management processes (and this dosen’t just mean the ‘dreaded’ annual review, which by the way if used in isolation has a 50-50 chance of decreasing performance)

  13. Whose career is it anyway?
    Each person must take responsibilty for his/her own development. In my experience you can’t afford to sit around waiting for someone else to come along and develop you.
    But organisations which value their staff and want to keep them will support people’s development – through line managers and the HRD function.
    Jane Smith

  14. Is this the right question?
    You may have views on where responsibility for training SHOULD lie, but the reality is often very different. If you look at attitudes towards training in the voluntary sector, for example, you will find that organisations are pretty much split 50:50 training is led from the training dept vs training is requested by managers. The question whe should be asking is – why?


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!