When Human Resources Business Partner Jennifer Grant, from legacy PAE, was looking for a project during her Green Belt class in November 2020, she knew she wanted to focus on retention. A little less than a year later, she developed an app with the help of the Performance Excellence team that helped track communications between managers and their employees under a major IDIQ contract.
The development and implementation of Grant’s Employee Engagement App drove her to win the 2022 National Security Solutions’ First Quarter Continuous Improvement competition. The Continuous Improvement competition recognizes NSS employees for their continuous improvement projects that either provide cost savings for the business or solve an issue through a quick win or DMAIC project.
“We developed an app where managers can enter their engagement feedback and meetings details, and then a summarized email is sent to both the manager and the employee,” Grant said. “Every time the manager logs back on, they get a little snapshot of all the meetings that they’ve had, and they can refer back to them before the next meeting.”
When Grant first looked at attrition rates in an employee’s first year of work, she realized that the cost and time associated with hiring a new employee was substantial and she knew that they could be improved. The common thread between Grant’s research, exit interviews and talking to both managers and employees was a need for additional communication.
Using technology to track managers actions, as well as incorporating new techniques could prove to be useful, Grant said. The app centralizes all the information that would normally be housed in multiple notebooks or sticky notes on someone’s desk into one easily accessible dashboard.
“I came up with a list of different engagement activities like one-on-one interviews, stay interviews and All-Hands meetings for the team to start incorporating into their regular routines,” Grant said.
“Working with our Performance Excellence team, we came up with an app where supervisors can track their employee engagements, and also provide a higher-level overview of the different engagement activities, to include, what types of meetings are happening and if it’s truly effecting retention.”
Since the September 2021 launch, there have been almost 300 recorded engagements. These engagements consist of All-Hands meetings, one-on-one meetings and stay interviews.
In addition to developing the app, Grant put together a guide to help conduct the various engagements that can be measured within the app by identifying certain topics that should be discussed and questions that could be asked. Whether a manager has been in their position for years or just started, the app has created a new way to track communication.
“What it really comes down to is in some way, helping open those doors of communication between an employee and their immediate supervisor and giving them an avenue to express some concerns or just talk about how things are going and how they can help,” Grant said. “It also gives the manager the opportunity to offer support and help for whatever hurdle they may be experiencing.”
In the future, Grant hopes to see this app expanding to other projects so more managers can use it. The project has improved employee-manager relations, higher employee fulfillment, better productivity, and a projected reduction in recruiting costs of more than $260,000 per year.
“Thank you to everyone who participated in this competition!” Vice President of NSS Performance Excellence Chip Bjork said. “I’m looking forward to the next competition to see how each program and functional team is innovating to exceed customer and business needs.”
In February 2022, Amentum completed its acquisition of PAE, a global leader in delivering innovative mission-critical solutions to the U.S. government and its allies on all seven continents.