Government Technology Insider recently spoke with Phil Rizzi, Chief Operating Officer at ARServices, about the importance of investing in employees, and how winning a large contract with DTRA will help drive employee growth and retention at ARServices.
Government Technology Insider (GTI): You have 35 years of experience in the government contracting space. How does winning the DTRA contract compare to other transformative growth opportunities that you’ve previously worked on?
Phil Rizzi (PR): I’ve been fortunate to win large contracts of this size at other places, but those were typically at larger organizations, so the relative impact was much less. This win is truly transformative in providing an incredible basis for our company to build on.
It’s been a unique challenge going through dramatic growth during this pandemic, with most of our new talent working virtually. We had to be very deliberate and purposeful with our acculturation of the project team, especially staff from the incumbent firm who wanted to come over to our company. We spent a lot of time thinking through the onboarding process and investing in technology to build improved collaborative spaces and expand our back-office support. We were able to quickly implement these initiatives to onboard over 100 new people in a few months.
With this recent growth, we are creating a strong financial and operational base that will enable us to make long-term investments in our people and talent systems and pursue a new business that will provide even more opportunities to our employees.
GTI: How has this recent growth changed what professional development looks like for staff at ARServices?
PR: We have a long-standing, demonstrated commitment to investing in our workforce and the DTRA contract has made us make even deeper investments in workforce development. We continually ask the question: “How can we offer more?”
One of the initiatives we’ve undertaken is to continuously look at the offerings in our learning management system and then communicate all of the available certification and training programs to our workforce and enable people to self-select programs. We want to do more self-service programs that are fast and easy. Instead of a traditional process of an employee going to a supervisor to discuss development goals and waiting for the supervisor to talk to HR about what is available and costs, we can point people to high-quality training immediately available to them. We love it when our workforce is excited about building their skillsets, certifications, and accomplishments. That’s value to us, as we sell ourselves as a provider of top talent.
GTI: Staff at ARServices take part in “days of service.” How is community engagement important to your mission as a federal contractor?
PR: Community engagement matters because it speaks to what you stand for as an organization. It matters to people making career decisions about which company they want to join and be affiliated with. It has been a longstanding policy of ARServices to partner with organizations to host community events as well as provide our employees with paid time off to engage in community service.
A primary differentiator for our workforce is motivation. Our workforce has a real passion for purposeful and mission-driven work. They want to be contributing to something larger than themselves; they want to be making important contributions at an organizational and even national level. And they want to see that their employer also is focused on making an impact beyond the bottom line by contributing to the success and welfare of our larger community. So these programs around community engagement and service resonate very well with our workforce, especially our staff who are military veterans, who are carrying these values from their days of serving the country in the armed forces.
To learn more about how ARServices has helped federal agencies with research and development, business transformation, and integrated logistics, click here.