Expand your skills and knowledge
Do you like bouncing ideas off others and learning from shared insights? Discover our trainings delivered in a classroom setting. They focus on topics that are key to our King County culture and service delivery.
Before you go
Jot down the reasons you want to attend. What do you hope to gain? Express these reasons in a goal form with a growth mindset. For example:
Talk with your supervisor about the training. Discuss what you hope to learn and what they hope you’ll get out of it.
During the training
Research shows that when our emotions are involved in an event, we have a stronger memory of it. This effect results from both positive and negative feelings, but too much negativity can interfere with learning and creativity.
The most helpful emotional state when trying to learn is slightly positive. What can you do to contribute to a slightly positive training environment? When you feel negativity creeping in, take notice and see if you can adjust.
Try to stay focused. Arrive early to settle in or, if you’re attending online, find a spot where you won’t be interrupted. Avoid side conversations. If you notice your mind drifting, what can you do? Stretch. Ask a question. Eat and drink. Make sure to put away any technological distractions. Take breaks when they’re offered.
Take ownership of your learning before, during, and after a training. Think of real-life situations to which you can apply the concept you’re learning. Connect the new ideas to ones you already know.
After the training
Identify an opportunity to share what you learned. It could be with a co-worker, with a friend or family member, or your supervisor. Some supervisors invite employees to report back to the group at the next staff meeting. Be sure to call attention to those aha moments!
Pull out those goals you created in step 1. Review them and make the connections between what you wanted to learn and what you did learn. What helps? What gaps remain? How might you fill those?
Plan a few ways to use and expand your learning.
- How can you apply what you learned on the job in the next 3-6 weeks?
- Was there a book recommendation that interested you?
- Maybe there’s a discussion group or online chat about the topic.
- You may find follow-up trainings either in person or online.
- Did you meet a new friend or group of friends that you’d like to continue learning with? It’s a great excuse for a monthly coffee. Check in with each other to hear how they’re incorporating the learning into their work.
- Is there someone you can connect with to job shadow? Is there someone you might ask to mentor you?
Learning something new is exciting and engaging, and attending a training is a great way to expand your knowledge base and get the ball rolling. With goal setting beforehand and some analysis and planning afterward, you can maximize your investment and solidify your growth by turning learning events into learning experiences and learning experiences into long-term skills and knowledge acquisition.
It is our privilege and our passion to offer learning and development opportunities to King County Employees and to connect you with other opportunities throughout the county. Following are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Does my calendar automatically update when I add or cancel a registration?
Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to update employees' calendars. You are responsible for managing your own calendar. For your convenience, there is an Outlook item sent with your event confirmation email that you can use to add the date to your calendar. However, if you cancel your registration, attend on a different day, or otherwise modify your registration, you personally need to update your calendar.
How do I cancel my class registration?
Please send an email requesting your cancellation to KCTraining@KingCounty.gov. Include your name, the name of the class, and the date of the class. Remember to do this more than five days before the training to avoid your department being billed the cancellation fee.
Late Cancellation/No-Show Fee
Why do free trainings have a fee for late cancellations and no shows?
Employee learning and development is a key driver and an important priority for King County. We're privileged to be able to provide many opportunities at no charge to employees' departments. That said, capacity is always an issue with demand far exceeding supply.
As we look to make the best use of resources and stretch our dollars wisely, we encountered a statistic that demanded our attention. During offerings for the 2015 calendar year, we were experiencing late cancellations and no-show rates as high as 50% and frequently between 20% and 30%. Ironically these 1/3 to ½ empty rooms were for classes that often had significant waitlists of employees wanting to attend. This struck us as a waste of time and money and as a disrespectful practice for all involved. We also noted that for fee-based classes where employees' departments were charged, that the attendance rates were far better.
As a result, we instituted the late-cancellation/no-show fee in March of 2016. This way we are still able to offer many free opportunities county wide, honoring our commitment to employee learning and development, while encouraging a cultural move of respect for others and our commitments. We're happy to report that as of December 2017, our late cancellations and no-show rates were down to an average of 7%. Many thanks to you all for helping us operate more efficiently!
I am sick. Will my department be charged if I miss class?
It is best to check what the policy was that you agreed to when registering. The actual arrangement will vary based upon who is offering the training. For central human resources offerings that are taught by internal instructors, no cancellation fee will be charged if your PeopleSoft record shows an absence for the day of training. If, however, it is a training offered through a community college for which you paid an upfront fee, we will not be able to obtain a refund. In either case, you always are welcome to send a substitute.
My office is going to be short-staffed, so I can't attend a training for which I’m registered. Will my department be charged a fee?
We appreciate and respect your department's need to continue delivering excellent services to our community. If you are registered for a training but need to cover for a co-worker that is out on sick or bereavement leave, you have a couple of options. The first, preferred option is to find a substitute to attend in your place. The person is welcome to come to the training and sign in with their name and PeopleSoft number, making sure to indicate which employee they are substituting for.
If you cannot find a substitute, please send an email to KCtraining@KingCounty.gov to let us know of the situation. Let us know what class you are missing as well as the name and email of the person that is out. This is a one-for-one trade; i.e. only one employee may miss a registered training to cover for any one employee that is out on recorded sick or bereavement leave. This arrangement is unavailable for trainings offered through the community college. While a late fee will not be applied, the original class fee cannot be refunded.
A substitute from my department will be attending in my place. What is the procedure for making the substitution?
The person is welcome to come to the training and sign in with their name and PeopleSoft number, making sure to indicate which employee they are substituting for. We also are happy to accept emails with this substitution information: name and PeopleSoft number of the employee attending, name of the employee for whom they are substituting.
What trainings have the late cancellation/no-show fee?
Any training using the late cancellation/no-show fee will clearly indicate this during the registration process. Other departments for whom we also share trainings frequently have their own policies. This information also will be communicated when you register for the training.
Do I need my manager’s approval to attend training?
If you want to attend training during working hours, you need your manager’s approval. It’s also a great opportunity to touch base about what you hope to learn from the training and how you might be able to incorporate new knowledge into your work and build practice and confidence around the tools.
If I add myself to a waitlist and then register for a later offering of the same training, am I automatically unregistered for the later class if I get in off the waitlist for the earlier class?
No. You need to cancel your later registration.
Huh? Okay, here's an example. You're passionate about taking Difficult Conversations. When you go online to register, the May offering is full, so you add your name to the waitlist. You see that the October offering has space available. You register for a spot (a smart move!). Turns out, in late April a spot opens up for the May offering, and you take it. You go to the class and love it. You still need to remember to cancel your registration for October. You can be really on top of things and do it right when you book or attend the May session. If you're not quite that organized, you will get a reminder about the October offering 14 days before it takes place. Don't ignore that notice. Follow the link provided to cancel your registration for the class or email us at KCTraining@KingCounty.gov and let us know you need to cancel. This must happen at least five days before the class. This is a critical step. It allows us to invite someone from the waitlist to attend in your stead (a very nice thing as they're chomping at the bit to learn all that great information), and it keeps your department from being charged a late cancellation/no-show fee. Make sense now?
I signed up on the waitlist. What is the process for being added to the class?
If a spot for a full class opens up, the next person on the waitlist receives an email from us via EventBrite letting them know a ticket is available. That link remains active for 24 hours, and the recipient can use it to register for the class. If no one registers in that time frame, the next person on the list is invited.
It's always a good idea to sign up for the waitlist of a class in which you are interested. We do have people drop out—especially between 5 and 14 days prior to the training—and use the waitlist to fill the class. If you don't receive an email link, it means that your turn on the waitlist has not arrived. If you receive a link from us but aren't able to register within the 24 hours, you may email us at KCTraining@KingCounty.gov to see if you might still be able to register.