How GovCon is responding to COVID-19: Kevin Wideman of Koniag Government Services

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As the world closely monitors and tracks the spread and impact of the novel corona virus, business leaders are making decisions on how to mitigate risk and ensure everyone’s safety and health. In the government contractor community, executives adopt procedures and policies to protect employees, customers and partners while continuing to provide government agencies with the essential services, solutions and support they need.

In this series, WashingtonExec will spotlight these leaders and how they are tackling this crisis, with the goal of sharing industry best practices and shedding light on the impact of the virus on the nation.

Kevin Wideman, CEO, Koniag Government Services

Kevin Wideman, Koniag Government Services

Kevin Wideman is CEO of Koniag Government Services, where he draws on 30 years of experience in strategic planning, IT, program management and development, and systems engineering to manage a portfolio of several companies under the Koniag Government Services umbrella.

And Koniag, an Alaska Native company, provides enterprise solutions, professional services and operations management to federal agencies. So WashingtonExec asked Wideman how the government services branch is adapting during the COVID-19 crisis.

What innovative workplace policies/practices has your company adopted to minimize the impact of COVID-19?

At KGS, the health and well-being of our employees is our top priority and we are actively following the most accurate and up-to-date precautionary measures and information regarding COVID-19, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. .

We have moved to remote working where possible and are working with our customers to establish remote working environments for our teams. To ensure unified messaging and maximum communication impact, we have established a KGS Pandemic Response Plan that synchronizes the leadership team so that employees get the information they need; and ensures that we leverage all available resources to ensure business continuity for all of our customers. With many of our staff now working remotely, good communication during this time is essential.

We have also provided guidance to our leaders to ensure that our employees benefit from all the protections offered to them by the new legislative laws. Finally, we are enhancing our leave borrowing and leave donation programs.

What has your company done to maintain employee morale internally?

We continued our performance management programs moving forward with our merit increases. This can be somewhat risky as the true economic impacts have yet to be determined, however, we are committed to continuing to invest in our people.

We are also continuing our plans to improve our parental and military leave policies as well as our 401(K) plan. On the fun side, we have set up virtual/Skype workouts called GetFit, which are held at the end of the business day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I lead most of the classes and as most public gyms are closed, our main focus is to help our employees manage stress, in these unprecedented times, by training well.

We are also moving forward with our company-wide Innovation Spike program, a fun and friendly competition (with rewards and cash prizes) for our employees to come up with innovative ideas that help support our customers or our company. Opportunities for innovation can come from the crisis and it’s a great way to give people the chance to be creative and collaborate even from social distance, as well as stay connected with the business while working from home. .

How has the policy for travel or attending large conferences changed?

We have suspended all travel for the immediate future. Most, if not all, of the conferences we could have attended have been postponed. We are attending the remaining conferences and webinars virtually as we all adjust to the new normal. We have also postponed large KGS gatherings, such as our PM training and leadership programs until everyone can safely attend.

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