Fort Belvoir, Va. –
DCAA awarded the Grechanik-Collins Professional Employee Award to Ms. Karen Orlando during a ceremony on September 13, 2022. Ms. Orlando is the Agency’s Onboarding Program Manager and has made impactful changes to the program to improve the new hire experience. She also managed the change from in-person onboarding to virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the face of the Agency for all new hires, Ms. Orlando affects each and every new employee. She is the point of contact for every onboarding session, the facilitator for the first week of sessions, and the go-to for every possible inquiry imaginable. She engages with about a fourth of the DCAA workforce to ensure new hires feel welcomed and have what they need for success. She personally coordinates with the new hire, their supervisor, logistics, information technology, finance, human resources, and travel. While she has a large task list, she makes it all look easy.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused in-person onboarding to be impossible, she quickly pivoted to developing virtual onboarding. The first group to virtual onboard were about to get on a plane for in-person onboarding when she acted quickly to develop a plan and communicate the changes with all those effected. She worked through a myriad of challenges and successfully onboard the group. When it was oblivious the pandemic would be long lasting, she took the initiative to formalize the virtual onboarding process. This same process remains in place 2 ½ years later.
Ms. Orlando receives many, many accolades from the new hires and their supervisors for the effort she puts into her work. Her program has now drawn the interest of the DoD Defense Chief Learning Officer Council, which is interested in emulating the program.
Ms. Orlando is a great asset to DCAA and has truly made a positive impact across our workforce.