WashingtonExec Critical Talent Members Pick Top Innovate Tools for Human Capital Profession

Sean Joo, Salient Federal Solutions

Sean Joo, Salient Federal Solutions

In the spirit of collaboration the WashingtonExec Strategic Human Capital Council hosted a breakfast roundtable earlier this year focusing on key human capital management programs and services that aid professionals to work more efficiently.

Three critical talent representatives presented brief demonstrations of innovative and cost-effective human capital technology useful within their organizations for the roundtable.

The Council is led by Co-Chairpersons Eleni Antoniou, VP of Human Capital of FCi Federal and Kay Curling, SVP and Chief HR Officer of Salient Federal Solutions (Salient).

Each participating government contracting company sponsors a human resource executive and nominates one critical talent individual for this WashingtonExec Council. This one-of-a-kind group allows the VP of HR the opportunity to help develop the next generation of HR leadership while building their own networks.

The presenters were Sean Joo of Salient Federal Solutions, Allison Mechalske of Noblis and Nancy Prehn of FCi Federal.

“The greatest value of creating and maintaining connections with your external peers is the ability to share best practices and lessons learned.  The session on innovative tools generated great ideas that we will certainly look to see how we can incorporate in our organization to improve our communications and manage our projects,” said Allison Mechalske, Senior Human Resources Manager at Noblis.

Joo presented on how to partner more effectively with Enrollment Advisors as a small to mid-size organization.  As a growing company, with over 1, 100 employees located in different offices across the U.S. and abroad, Joo and the Salient team needed to fill the communication gap for the open enrollment and new hire enrollment process. Enrollment Advisors, a single source service company specialized in enhancing effective employee education, enrollment, and benefits administration, was able to provide customized educational videos, interactive educator services, total compensation statements, communications for special initiatives, a benefits administration platform and a dependent eligibility audit. Ultimately, with the outside help, Salient’s human capital department achieved its original goal of shifting Salient employees from Premium Medical Plans to the new Value Medical Plan option and to increase participation of employee HSA contributions.

Prehn presented on the cloud-based Project management tool BaseCamp. The free project, according to Prehn, is very user-friendly and provides simple project needs such as chat rooms for specific projects, assignment due dates, organized correspondence and is able to present comprehensive information without becoming cumbersome. However, because BaseCamp is an unsecure solution, nothing propriety or sensitive can be placed on the platform. Therefore, BaseCamp mostly only be used for internal organizational assessments, as suggested during the roundtable discussion.


Allison Mechalske, Noblis

“It was very refreshing to receive information from peers in the industry regarding exciting and innovative technological and management solutions in Human Resources.  I found the various solutions, such as the Agile Project Management for HR presented by Allison Mechalske as something I could implement and utilize in my day-to-day activities,” said Joo.

Mechalske presented on maximizing Agile Project Management for Human Resources. Although at the time Noblis was still in the piloting stages of implementing the methodology, Mechalske said that it was already a great resource for achieving priority management, eliminating to-do lists, sharing story boards and increasing insights into employee work load and accomplishments.

“Agile project management is not just for software development anymore.  The ability to create high performing teams, focused on meeting client needs, with rapid deployment and the agility to respond to shifting priorities and requirements is increasingly important as our environments become more complex and our resources more limited.  Drawing from the concepts of agile and scrum project management allows us to do that and is transforming how we manage our teams.  The greatest benefits we are seeing include increased productivity, accountability and sense of accomplishment, decreased response time, and improved tracking and visibility.  The benefits are so great we are working on expanding the use of these techniques throughout our HR Division and other functional areas,” Mechalske told WashingtonExec.

Louis Montgomery and Irv Towson, Managing Directors at the boutique retained executive search firm Reffett Associates, Alan Berson, Executive Coach and Author of Leadership Conversations: Challenging High Potential Mangers to Become Great Leaders, David Kriegman, Author of Zero to a Billion: 61 Rules Entrepreneurs Need to Know to Grow a Government Contracting Business, Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University’s (GMU) Center for Regional Analysis and Dr. Ginny Bianco-Mathis of Marymount University are all previous keynote speakers for the group. The Council also hosted a C-Suite panel with Jodi Johnson, CEO of Titania Solutions Group, Anne Donohue, Senior Vice President & General Counsel at SRA International and Mark Serway, CFO of Govplace.



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