Vice President of Human Resources and Communications, General Dynamics Information Technology
Tammy Kness joined General Dynamics Information Technology in 2003 and oversees matters related to people management and development, talent acquisition, benefits, compensation, global mobility, diversity and inclusion, corporate giving, employee engagement and internal communications.
And she hails GDIT for its people-first strategy.
“We value our employees for their commitment to our customers’ missions and to making GDIT a great place to work,” Kness said. “We want them to have the best employee experience, to achieve their career goals and enjoy the camaraderie of teammates.”
One of GDIT’s strategic priorities is its “People First” imperative. This encompasses efforts focused on attracting, engaging and connecting with its people – and ultimately, plays a key role in shaping company culture.
Supporting employees in finding their next career opportunity at GDIT is paramount, Kness said.
“By successfully working with our leadership and people across the company, our Internal Mobility team is helping employees find their next career opportunity right here at GDIT,” she said. “Everywhere I go, I tell our employees that I want their next career move to be within GDIT. It is hard to describe the level of excitement and buzz this has produced, and we are looking forward to building on this momentum.”
And according to Kness, some of GDIT’s most meaningful achievements in the past year are those with a positive impact on the employee experience.
For example, well in advance of rolling out a new Total Rewards Program for 2020, Kness and her team brought together employees from across the business to drive the planning effort. They launched an extensive all employee survey to understand what matters most to them. Leadership has also been active in listening tours across GDIT.
“This feedback provides valuable information to build meaningful programs,” Kness said.
A few other notable HR achievements include introducing a new learning platform to help employees learn and grow their skills, helping employees stay connected through the Employee Resource Groups (which include a speaker series and volunteer events) and expanding the GDIT Cares program to support employees’ desire to volunteer and contribute to organizations in the community.
GDIT has also strengthened its technical communities so employees can learn from its subject matter experts and engage with their cohorts who share similar interests. The company also has prioritized in-person events such as summer socials and employee town halls.
Additionally, GDIT established a Military Partnership Program to connect transitioning veteran (or military) hires with seasoned veteran peers to enhance professional growth, foster employee engagement and assist new military hires with assimilating into their new civilian role at GDIT. The company’s internship program was also named to WayUp’s Top 100 list for 2019.
“We are a people-focused business with over 30,000 everyday heroes delivering for our customers every day,” Kness said. “In my role, I have the privilege of working with this dedicated team of professionals. I am constantly amazed by their talent, innovative thinking, technical acumen and commitment to our customers.”
And as an HR leader, engaging and collaborating with the business and its people is a must.
“HR leaders need to understand, appreciate and align to the overall strategy and priorities of the business,” Kness said. “This understanding and alignment informs our people strategies and investments — and also ensures a highly valued impact to our business.”
Alignment to the business needs is important, but so is understanding and appreciating the company’s people. Kness believes a highly valued and effective HR team focuses on the needs of employees.
“We value the input of our employees and actively engage with them to gain a full scope of their experience,” she said.
Kness and her team do this by building communities at GDIT through leadership listening tours, social events, employee resource groups, town halls, technical communities of interest, social media campaigns and more.
“Our focus has been and will continue to be on building the right foundation that allows our employees to learn, grow and move across opportunities at GDIT,” Kness said.
GDIT is building programs that help ensure its employees are prepared for new technologies and changes in the marketplace, and will continue to expand its internal mobility programs, enhance its internship and co-op offerings, and prioritize certifications and required learning.
“We will continue to build on our momentum and enhance our presence as the leading technology provider for the federal government,” Kness said.