Editor’s note: The winner of the Chief Officer Awards Public Company CHRO Award announced June 17 is Tammy Heller of Perspecta.
On June 17, WashingtonExec will be virtually celebrating the most impactful and innovative C-suite executives in government and industry. These chief officers work in technology, security, data, operations, finance, business and more, excelling on both sides of the government contracting sector. Our team of judges have chosen the finalists for the inaugural Chief Officer Awards, so before we announce the winners during the event, we wanted to get to know the finalists a bit better. This Q&A series highlights their careers, successes, proud professional moments and notable risks.
Dan Almasy is the chief human resources officer at Raytheon Intelligence & Space and a finalist in the Public Company HR Award category.
What has made you successful in your current role?
I believe there are a few key factors to being successful at any level within human resources. First and foremost is developing and nurturing the relationships within the different functions or departments in your business — from finance and legal to operations and delivery. HR often serves as the collaboration point, bringing together the different functions to build teams, drive innovation and solve issues.
Equally important is looking at the work through a business lens as well as an HR lens. You need to intrinsically understand what is best for your business. Having the business acumen to understand the challenges and objectives is key to delivering sound HR solutions that progress a company forward.
And finally, it’s about the team you surround yourself with — from your direct reports to the network you have within the business. They all play a factor in being successful.
I have been lucky enough to work with colleagues and in a company where I could employ those factors to add value to our HR organization — to grow HR’s influence, as well as my own career.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
On April 3, the Raytheon Co., where I’ve worked for 20 years, and United Technologies Corp. merged and launched Raytheon Technologies, creating one of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the world. We also simultaneously consolidated four Raytheon businesses to two: our newly formed Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Raytheon Intelligence & Space, for which I run HR. The HR team was instrumental in consolidating and working with leadership to establish the organizational design for this new 35,000+ employee strong company.
In addition to the intricacies of the merger and business launches, we were responding to a global pandemic. With our primary focus on ensuring the safety of our employees, we quickly adjusted our teleworking policies and ramped up remote IT connectivity to minimize the number of nonessential employees on site everyday — which then effectively helped minimize the risk to those employees who do have to be in our facilities in support of our clients’ missions.
To further protect those essential employees, our Supply team and Environment, Health and Safety teams have been extremely busy securing supplies to keep our facilities clean during the early shortages and rapidly implementing new processes for social distancing, temperature screening and face coverings for the safety of our employees. As the working environment quickly evolved, our HR team worked closely with our benefit providers and the business to make adjustments to support our employees.
And through all of that, we kept our eyes on our mission — delivering for our customers. I am proud to have been a part of that effort for Raytheon Intelligence & Space.
What are your primary focuses areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Following the merger, I am focused on four main areas — hiring; diversity and inclusion; culture; and the safety of our employees. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is growing and we have aggressive hiring targets for the year. I am proud of our talent acquisition team — they have adapted quickly to the global pandemic environment and they are employing new virtual recruiting practices.
We remain focused on diversity and inclusion, and nurturing an inclusive work environment. I look forward to our work with Paradigm for Parity and addressing the corporate leadership gender gap. This is especially true as we turn toward culture. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is consolidating two former Raytheon businesses while merging with UTC. In this case, it is not just one plus one equals two. We have a lot of work to do to create our own new culture.
And finally, the safety of our employees. I am co-chair of our Business Incident Response Team and ensuring our employees’ safety is paramount during the global pandemic and beyond as we return to a new normal.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
When I look back on my career, I would have to say I am most proud of my current role and this company. I lead a world-class team of HR professionals. We are building a new business. The work we do — whether it’s supporting bids and proposals, finding the right talent or benefits — is in support of some of the country’s highest national security programs.
Our work ensures we have a ready and motivated workforce that take pride in running programs that protect our country and our allies. That is a large motivator for me. Our work matters.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
It’s all about maintaining that work-life balance and, as a manager, creating an environment for my team to achieve that balance as well. Demonstrating to employees that it’s OK to have interests outside of your work is key to having employees who come to work every day energized and ready to tackle challenges.
For more than five years now, I have been coaching my children’s baseball and basketball teams. Personally, it is an important outlet and reminds me to focus on the important things in life. It also gives me the opportunity to give back to my community and feel connected and rejuvenated.