Professional & Organizational Development

Employee development and coaching


Each quarter, POD offers dozens of classes to help staff and leaders succeed. This Guide to Workplace Competencies (PDF) may point you to pertinent classes for your employees.

The following regularly offered POD courses focus on various aspects of developing employees and achieving exceptional performance from your staff members:

Professional coaching

Coaching is a unique one-on-one relationship designed to help individuals overcome challenges, realize their potential, and maximize success. Coaching may be appropriate for promising or established employees who have lost motivation, need help improving their time management or communication skills, or are struggling with interpersonal relationships at work.

Coaches provide confidential, individual guidance. They help people by acting as a resource and sounding board but also by providing unbiased feedback and asking questions that spark discussions, provoke thought, and inspire self-reflection.

Managers or departments paying for coaching for an employee may work with a consultant to set the initial coaching objectives or delineate the challenges as they see them, but they will only receive limited information about the coaching engagement. Further information will be shared by the employee at their discretion.

  • To explore hiring a coach for yourself or an employee, contact the consultation services coordinator at 206-616-8461 or They will work to understand your needs and help you identify a suitable coach.
  • Find out more about leadership coaching through POD.

Resources and Tips

Successful employee development starts at the beginning. See the Onboarding Toolkit (PDF) for key checklists and resources.

Use the Training Action Plan (PDF) to recommend training for your employees and align it with specific goals. You can also use this step-by-step Career Planning Resource (PDF) with employees to encourage career planning and development.

It may be helpful to remember to focus on developing the person, not just improving job performance. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Have regular discussions with staff members about their career goals and how to achieve them. Regular conversations are a simple and convenient way to not only encourage career development but show your interest in the people you manage.
    • POD’s Employee Experience Toolkit provides practical steps, straightforward pointers, and conversation guides to help managers build rapport and deepen relationships.
  • Evaluate employee performance annually. Provide positive feedback, suggestions for improvement, and opportunities for growth.
  • Recognize that job descriptions change based on the talents people bring to their jobs and projects. Update and adjust job descriptions as responsibilities change and new opportunities arise.
  • Reward good work by monitoring employee progress and reclassifying positions to reflect changes in levels of responsibility.