Being Innovative in HR: Kelsey Goodwin

By Terrence Nowlin

Human Resources Coordinator Kelsey Goodwin hit the ground running when she graduated college and began working at PAE full-time a little more than a year ago. She works hard to identify opportunities within her division to improve the employee experience and said her goal is to expand that companywide.

“What I do ranges a lot,” Goodwin said. “I run the orientation for National Security Solutions. I also have the opportunity to come up with solutions that would improve PAE as a whole.”

Goodwin is developing those solutions as part of a larger company emphasis on continuous improvement. After completing PAE’s Lean Six Sigma Continuous Improvement course, she’s revamping the employee orientation she coordinates as the final step in earning the title of PAE Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

“A lot of employees will have questions related to benefits or (time keeping) or certain policies,” she said. “Having quick references, they can go back to or step-by-steps for other processes will cut down the time it takes to duplicate emails. I’m hoping to remake our orientation in a way that it’s easier to retain information and to consolidate the resources (employees) get,” she said.

Her dedication to improving processes earned Goodwin the recognition of PAE Values Champion for the value “Be Innovative,” one of eight PAE values introduced recently by PAE CEO John Heller. 

“Kelsey has been instrumental in updating our orientation presentations to make them more engaging and interactive,” said Human Resources Manager Heather Carroll, Goodwin’s supervisor. “Being creative with her facilitation methods is the forefront of what Kelsey has focused on to increase information retention and help new hires walk away with valuable information they need.”

She’s made a lot of impact in a short period of time. 

“I was actually working here while attending JMU,” Goodwin said.

Before graduating, she spent Mondays in PAE’s Falls Church, Virginia, office and commuted about three hours to finish her week in class at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Goodwin was working on her degree in interdisciplinary studies with a math and science concentration, part of which has been put to good use recently. 

“I am using a lot of my math,” Goodwin said. “I do a lot of data consolidation, and I’m able to use my statistical background. Right now, we’re doing engagement surveys for a couple of our programs. We’re working on consolidating responses.”

Her role in HR has been a foray into corporate culture. Goodwin said she’s still learning, and PAE has taught her the value of companies investing in their employees. 

“I feel like I have the ability to grow at PAE whenever I need something more,” she said. “The fact that we’re taking the time to do these surveys and having these retention meetings with our president, it shows we really do care about our employees and we buy back in them.”