Meet a Rigilite: Alycia Rawls

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A lot has changed since Alycia started at Rigil as the 26th person to join the small, woman-owned company that didn’t have any official offices. She started part-time as a team of one, leading human resources for a company with a big goal: to make life better for every community and individual they worked with.

“It was invigorating to be part of such a big mission. While it was a lot to take on, I always felt supported by senior leadership to find balance as a strategic partner, parent, and, really just as a person,” she said.

She was also raising two children with her husband - a kindergartner and third grader - and was a completely remote employee for the DC-based company from her home base North Carolina.

Alycia said it was fairly unheard of to work fully remotely in 2011, at least in the HR world and especially at companies she’d worked at before. “But [Rigil President and CEO] Rakhi built a company rooted in trust for its people.”

Fast forward to the start of 2020: Rigil had grown into a mature company with a workforce of more than 100 and office locations in several states. The company had successfully released its new mobile learning platform, StrataGem, to the Federal Aviation Administration and was looking to onboard more customers. Alycia, among her many growing duties, was excited to lead Rigil’s recently expanded internship program and welcome spring interns for the first time. “Things were looking good,” she said.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “While 2020 was tough for so many, it really solidified and accelerated what, as a company, Rigil was doing right. It was as if everything before had been a dress rehearsal and it was time to live up to our core values,” she said.

Those core values - teamwork, entrepreneurship, agility, and morals - “allowed us to prove what we’ve always stood for. It was still a very difficult year, but we came out stronger than ever before,” she said.

Within four days Rigil went from a remote workforce of four percent to 94. Alycia’s team created training for hiring managers to work successfully in the new remote environment, and the company hired more than 15 new employees, or “Rigilites,” as they’re referred to.

“We were able to pivot very quickly, and I think that’s a testament to the fact we’ve always been an agile, innovative company. It’s amazing to see Rigilites shining. We’re showing appreciation for each other in ways we’ve never done before, helping each other out, and finding new ways to connect. That wouldn’t have been possible if Rigil didn’t put people first.”

Looking back on 2020 today, the company still met its goals, and accomplished more. “We even had a full class of virtual college interns in the spring, summer, and fall,” she says.

The most challenging year of Alycia’s career was also her most rewarding, culminating in her promotion to Rigil’s first-ever Chief People Officer where she plays a lead role overseeing the “Rigilites-first culture,” as she puts it. Her team focuses on developing exceptional talent, automating and streamlining the processes that foster growth in addition to managing benefits and compensation. Rigil’s Leadership Team refers to her team as the “backbone of the company.”

“As we evolve as a company and continue to grow, I see us really, the same in many ways as where we’ve started. If I had to pick one thing that hasn’t changed since I joined the company, it’s Rigil’s commitment to putting people first - always,” she says.

Best professional advice: Keep learning and improving yourself - the expert in anything was once a beginner.
Interested in exploring: Every state in the U.S. - I only have 14 left to go.
Rigil perk you couldn’t do without: Rigil’s Tuesday Trivias during lunchtime

Published March 12, 2021 © Rigil.