In March, the ACR was recognized as one of Atlanta’s top workplaces for the second year in a row, an honor based exclusively on input from ACR employees. Atlanta’s Top Workplaces is an annual ranking compiled by the city’s daily newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.1 Top Workplaces is a national program held each year which provides employees the opportunity to celebrate their workplace culture by nominating their company for this highly regarded award.
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The ACR was one of 75 employers honored in the small company division, which ranks companies of 149 employees or fewer. The ACR was the only medical association selected in this category and ranked 37 out of 75 overall among the small companies in the metropolitan Atlanta area. More than 2,300 companies were nominated or requested to participated and a total of just 150 were selected across all categories. The ACR currently has 93 full-time employees and and is headquartered in the city’s picturesque Lenox Park neighborhood.
Participation required employees to respond to a set of statements using a seven-point Likert scale. They submitted anonymous opinions about working at the ACR, citing such positive factors as work–life balance and a mission-driven vision, as well as competitive professional benefits, compared with other Atlanta employers. Several employees later elaborated for The Rheumatologist on why the ACR is such a great place to work.
“At the ACR, we’re empowered to juggle life components, such as work, family, health, friends and spirit, with a degree of balance and not feel guilty when one may require a little more time,” says Ramona Hilliard, who is the ARHP senior specialist for educational products, the third ACR staff position she has held in 13 years. “We are able to work remotely during those times with confidence that our workload will [be] completed, and we do not have to deal with extra stresses some companies impose on their employees.”
Arthritis Care & Research manuscript editor Cassandra Palmer, who has been on staff for a little over three years, says the ACR “encourages work–life balance not just in theory, but in practice. It is a fantastic place to work!” She adds, “The ACR has a great culture; each individual is valued and is given the space to be who they are and [do] what they do best.”
Barb Aden credits her manager for providing the “tools and support we need to do our jobs well.” Ms. Aden, who has been a senior specialist, graphic designer for three and a half years, says, “We are never micromanaged and are always appreciated. [My manager] lends us the vision and direction and, sometimes, the push we need to really shine in our individual roles. She is truly invested in us, and we, in turn, feel invested in the ACR.”
Jane S. Diamond, MPH, managing editor of Arthritis & Rheumatology, says, “We’re all treated like grown-ups here [at the ACR]; that’s the culture. Staff are trusted and not micromanaged. When you’re treated like a grown-up, it motivates you to perform like a grown-up!”
ACR Executive Vice President Mark Andrejeski expresses his delight that the organization has been honored as a top Atlanta workplace for the second year in a row.
“It’s a testament to the supportive and enthusiastic environment that we foster,” he says. “I’m glad to know that our dedicated employees have such a high degree of satisfaction in their work and feel the ACR provides them with the resources to thrive.”
Susan Bernstein is a freelance medical journalist based in Atlanta.
- Staff. Here are all the winners from AJC’s 2018 Top Workplaces awards. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 2018 Mar 2.