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Workforce Development Toolkit - Talent development

Talent development

WSDOT strives to provide a culture of learning. We understand that talent development and training helps employees grow and improve their skills and knowledge to better perform and advance in their roles. As top talent becomes more competitive, employee training and development are more important than ever to increase employee loyalty, engagement, and retention.

We recognize that our employees have unique skill sets, career objectives and career paths. There is no set recipe for professional development. We encourage supervisors to collaborate with our employees to document strategies, specifically utilizing available tools such as the Learning Management System, Skill Soft and Performance Management System to support our staff's growth and development.

Resources to Work Productively During COVID-19

WSDOT Workforce Development has online resources available to ensure our workforce has access to learning opportunities, and tools to work productively during this unprecedented time of teleworking during COVID-19.

Below is information on how to access learning remotely (via personal and work devices), tips on teleworking, and ways to stay resilient. We will continue to expand the list, so be sure to check out the website frequently!

Professional development Workplace safety Technical training Telework resources and wellbeing Workplace Culture and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

WA-State Learning Center

The Washington State Learning Center is WSDOT's web-based training software, offered to all WSDOT employees, that tracks, records and facilitates individual employee development. It enables the agency to capture, create, manage, and share knowledge to accelerate critical training processes and drive organizational performance. You can access the system from the MyTools dashboard. Be sure to also check out our toolkits in the Library to help you get familiar with the system:

WSDOT Learning Center Toolkits:

If you have questions or concerns regarding this system, please submit a Help Desk Ticket or email the Training Development Unit.

Mandatory Training

All new employees are required to complete the list of training belowon the right with 30-60 days of being assigned the classes. Refresher courses are required for IT Security annually, and Ethics and Sexual Harassment every three years.

All new supervisors are required to take the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Leading Others class within the first year. This is a 3 day class (2 days, a month break, and a final day) provided by DES. The fee is $500 total for the 3 days. The dates below are this course are offered. If you or one of your staff is interested in attending this, please log a Help Ticket and select LMS-DES Class Registration. Fill out the form with charge codes, etc.

Additionally, if you are interested in other developmental training offered by DES, contact the Training and Development at to get registered. To find out what courses are available at DES refer to the following website:

All trainings are available online in the Learning Management System. Your LMS Administrators are responsible for signing you up for these classes. It could take up to two weeks after your start date to be registered for the classes belowon the right. If you have questions please send a Help Ticket or contact Training and Development at

Training / Days Due

  • IT security / 30 days
  • Ethical standards / 30 days
  • Sexual harassment / 30 days
  • Disability awareness / 60 days
  • Violence in the workplace / 60 days
  • Discrimination in the workplace / 60 days
  • Diversity / 60 days

Leadership development

Part of what makes a career here at WSDOT so rewarding is our shared drive to continuously improve our organization and ourselves. WSDOT's new 5-track leadership development program. It is part of the WSDOT Learn Skillsoft program. This exciting opportunity allows all WSDOT employees - regardless of level or position - to develop leadership qualities to improve internal communication, cooperation and workflow while empowering an individual's professional development.

Learn Forward

Each journey begins with the new Leading Self learning track. This 4-phase self-guided program is designed to increase self-awareness and give you valuable skills to foster teamwork and collaboration, build relationships and communicate more effectively.

Over the coming year, four additional learning tracks will be added, including Leading Others, Leading Teams, Leading Organizations and Executive Onboarding. We hope everyone will be inspired by opportunities to expand individual and combined knowledge, helping WSDOT continuously grow and remain effective in its service to the public.

Learn Forward with Leading Self and WSDOT's full leadership training program at WSDOT Learn .

Other supervisory skills/leadership training

The agency also offers the following supervisory skills/leadership training outside of SkillSoft. If you're interested in any of the trainings below please contact Training and Development at 360-705-7060.

Below is an overview of each training:


Speed of Trust Foundations
This workshop focuses on the understanding and developing of the foundations of trust. In a work setting of low team trust, people's unseen agendas or motivations generate suspicion and ultimately hinder getting things done. Guarded communication, speculation, and disengagement slow productivity and fuel frustration. But when individuals trust each other - and are trusted by others - communication improves and productivity accelerates as attention is redirected toward team objectives.


Leading at the Speed of Trust
Leading at the Speed of Trust is a highly interactive workshop that engages leaders at all levels in the real work of identifying and closing the trust gaps that exist in your organization. Doing business at the "speed of trust" dramatically lowers costs, speeds up results, and increases profits and influence.


California Psychological Inventory - CPI 260
The CPI 260 personality assessment provides a distinctive view of people applying for or incumbent in leadership positions in organizations. Using a sophisticated technique to extract detailed insights about someone's personality, it is able to summarize and explain how other people would see that person, and how others would judge their leadership style. In this way, it provides a unique view of leadership ability and potential that cannot be accessed by most other personality assessments.


Four Lenses
There are as many different ideas and theories about human interaction as there are people. The Four Lenses is one approach. It is one of the most valuable things a person can ever learn to look with understanding into the heart of another. This training is specifically designed for that purpose. This training has strengthened marriages, opened the lines of communication between children and parents, reduced personal misunderstandings, and generally helped individuals communicate with others in a way that fosters mutual understanding and acceptance. Used properly, the principles you will discover in this workshop will empower you to improve aspects of every personal relationship in your life.


Leading Others
Leading Others is required for all new supervisors. This course fulfills Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 357-34-055 that requires new supervisors to attend management training within their first six months of assignment. You will learn tips, tools and techniques that you can use immediately. The Leading Others course focuses on the mindset, interpersonal skills, and technical knowledge it takes to successfully lead others in the public sector. Leading Others combines self-reflection, e-Learning, classroom instruction, cohort and small group work, and experiential learning. In this course we will explore how to motivate staff, manage risk, and develop effective teams to meet your organization's objectives. A person will learn to communicate better, manage conflict, and help those he/she supervises to navigate change effectively.


The Lean Office offers a variety of consultant services, including process mapping, SWOT analyses, fundamentals mapping, structured brainstorming, strategy sessions, facilitated meetings, and full scale process improvement projects. To learn more about Lean and what our staff has to say about our services check out our video.

The Lean Office offers three classes (below) on a regular basis through LMS. Additional custom classes are available by request.


Introduction to Lean
This course is to introduce WSDOT staff to the concepts of Lean for government organizations. Participants are provided an overview of the history of Lean, along with some of the primary Lean concepts and tools that WSDOT will use throughout the agency. Included are understanding Lean and Lean culture, key Lean concepts, an overview of Lean process improvement projects, and smaller “everyday ideas” for process improvements. Visual management and daily Lean practices are an integral part of developing a Lean culture at WSDOT, and will be covered in more detail. This course will prepare participants to participate in Lean projects within their work areas as they arise, and, more importantly, participants will learn tools and techniques that they can use to improve their own work right away.


DMAIC: An Introduction to Structured Process Improvement
Learn the basics of structured process improvement with DMAIC. This staple of Six Sigma strategy is used by organizations around the world to make their processes more efficient and predictable. The strategy is based on the acronym: Define the problem, Measure the current performance, Analyze the situation, Improve the process, Control the gains. This course introduces the method and uses WSDOT examples and exercises to show how it can be used in your day-to-day job.


Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
Lean Six Sigma is a business and data-driven, disciplined approach to reducing waste and minimizing defects in any type of process. Lean Six Sigma focuses on reduction of waste, increased profitability, and customer satisfaction. It is a method of integrated management used by organizations to more effectively and efficiently meet the needs of their customers and other interested parties. WSDOT uses Lean and Six Sigma tools for everything from cross-divisional projects to daily tasks. This two week certification includes 6 full days of class and a DMAIC project, led by the student, to be completed within one year of taking the class.

For more information, contact the Lean Office at


WSDOT Learn, powered through Skillsoft, is a system that provides e-learning opportunities and online training that can be used at a desk or any mobile device, either at work or home, all free of charge.

With an extensive collection of online books (over 35,000 titles), courses and resources, this web-based system gives employees access to training and learning 24/7. Create a learning plan to guide yourself through career development, certifications or other learning opportunities including our new Learn Forward development program.

Download the mobile app for easy access to courses, reading and audio books on the go.

Take a look at what WSDOT Learn has to offer!

Tuition reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement is for employees who successfully complete training conducted outside of work hours directly related to their current job or department career ladder. Reimbursement is limited to tuition. The cost of books, supplies, parking and other expenses are not reimbursable. Employees may be reimbursed up to $4,000 per fiscal year. Chapter 14 Training of the Human Resources Desk Manual has more information about Tuition reimbursement. A summary is provided below.


  • An employee shall be in permanent or permanent project status at time of payment. The HR Director or designee for employees participating in the WSDOT Apprenticeship program may waive this requirement.
  • An employee may not receive reimbursement funds that exceed the total tuition for any course.


  • Employees must satisfactorily complete the course in order to receive Tuition reimbursement. The definition of a satisfactory completion is a "C" or better. For non-graded courses, the employee must receive a certificate of completion, a passing grade in a pass/fail course, or credit for the course. A course eligible for reimbursement will obtain a grade.
  • Reimbursement is limited to courses that directly relate to the employee's current job or career development within the agency. Degree requirements that do not meet this criterion do not qualify for reimbursement.

Alvina Mao - Workforce Development Manager, 360-705-7059

An accredited college, university, vocational school, or technical college is eligible for reimbursement. The Staff Development Branch may approve courses offered by other professional training organizations.


Professional certification & licensing refresher courses

Refresher courses are intended to prepare employees for Department of Licensing administered professional licensing and certification examinations. Examples include Engineer in Training, Professional Engineer, Licensed Landscape Architect and Licensed Land Surveyor.

For Tuition reimbursement, employees must follow the Tuition reimbursement application process outlined above. The employee must take the licensing examination the first time offered after completion of a refresher course in order to qualify for Tuition reimbursement. Evidence that this has been accomplished must accompany the request for reimbursement.

Tax information

Learn more about Tuition reimbursement tax implications under "Other Tax Related Items" located near the bottom of the Taxable Fringe Benefits document provided by Accounting Services.

Performance management

Performance management is not simply a once-a-year evaluation. Good performance management is a continuous, positive collaboration between you and your employees all year round.

Most employees want to be successful contributors. They want to know what is expected of them and how they can most effectively achieve those expectations.

As a supervisor it is your job to:

  • Clearly communicate expectations
  • Provide employees with the tools, training, and information they need to succeed
  • Offer regular, timely, and constructive feedback
  • Be reasonable and fair when evaluating performance
  • Recognize successes and achievements
  • Address performance issues in a proactive and timely manner in order to resolve them before they become significant

Good performance management does not just help the employee. It can make your job a lot easier and help you build a high-functioning, productive team.

Other benefits of effective performance management include:

  • Motivated and engaged employees
  • Increased retention of good employees
  • Reduced costs related to recruiting and training new employees
  • Less time dealing with corrective action issues
  • Positive departmental reputation as a great place to work

New Employees

During an employee's first week on the job, set the individual up for success in this new role by:

  • Reviewing the job description and performance expectations with the employee
  • Explaining how the employee's work contributes to the agency and division goals
  • Designing a plan to help the employee acquire all necessary competencies
  • Explaining how and when you will provide performance feedback

Planning for the Upcoming Year

Now that you have evaluated and discussed the just-completed performance review period, it is time to look forward to the next year.

Designing an employee's goals should be a joint effort between you and the employee. Allow the employees a voice in their own performance management. Encourage them to advocate for their own professional growth.


Set Goals
Set goals with the employee – not for the employee. Employees who help set their own goals are more motivated to achieve them.


Document the employee's goals, including any needed training and professional development. Once completed, be sure the employee has a copy. Both you and the employee will want to refer to the document throughout the coming months.


Support Throughout the Year
A lot can happen in a year – for better or worse – so proactively supporting your employee in their goals can make all the difference in their work performance.


Stay connected
Meet with your employee regularly throughout the year, formally or informally, so that you can provide timely feedback about the employee's performance. These meetings can also be a great time to discuss any additional support or training the employee may need to accomplish their goals.


Encourage two-way dialogue with your staff. A clearly communicated open-door policy is good. Actively initiating conversations with your staff is even better.


Address performance issues early
Do not let performance issues linger. Addressing them immediately is the best way to prevent challenges from snowballing into problems, then into formal corrective action. Focus on being an effective coach so that you spend less time – or maybe no time at all – as a disciplinarian.


Revise goals
If an individual's goals change, be sure to document the changes and give the employee a copy of the revised goals. Throughout the year, keep notes on your employees' achievements and performance. This information will come in handy when it is time again for annual performance reviews.


At any time, you can boost employee engagement by recognizing the good work of your staff. Award recognition individually or collectively, formally or informally, publicly or privately. Recognition is most effective when it takes place on a regular basis and in a variety of different ways. It is also important that recognition activities be aligned with the culture of your unit or department.

Consultant Training Resources (for non-WSDOT employees)

WSDOT offers the following training for co-located consultants (non-WSDOT employees) working in WSDOT facilities. The agency strives to create and maintain a welcoming, inclusive, professional and safe workplace. All co-located consultants are encouraged to complete the following courses to become familiar with agency practices and standards.

NOTE: if course achievement needs to be tracked, please screen shot completion and save.

COVID-19 Training