CNA Corporation Reviews

Updated April 20, 2015
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2.4
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Robert J. Murray
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Employee Reviews

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  1. CISO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - CISO in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - CISO in Houston, TX

    I have been working at CNA Corporation

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, People Oriented.

    Cons

    Travel, for most of the work is for customers not local.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Formerly Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst
    Former Employee - Research Analyst

    I worked at CNA Corporation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Intelligent and dedicated coworkers, meaningful work, chance to make an impact

    Cons

    Senior management incompetence, loss of mission focus, erosion of benefits, sense the company was collapsing

    Advice to Management

    Retire

  3. Helpful (3)

    Unhappy Work Environment, Uninteresting Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CNA Corporation full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The retirement match is excellent and you get a secret clearance - which sets you up well to work somewhere else. Flexible work arrangements - you can set your own schedule. Location next to the metro and a brand new building. Opportunity to learn about all things Navy.

    Cons

    Top heavy leadership that cannot think flexibly. Widespread distrust of leadership. Employees doubt that the leadership provide value even though they make a generous salary. Rates are high meaning it's really expensive to contract with CNA, meaning business has fallen and it doesn't pick up.

    Anyone who isn't able to charge to a client 100% and rides on the overhead is sized up as potential dead-weight. This puts a lot of pressure to charge to projects even though there isn't a lot of project work to go around.

    The work is mostly tedious and unsatisfying. There is no social culture or culture of anything except layoffs, reduction in benefits, distrusted leadership, and unsatisfied employees. Nearly everyone I worked with was actively looking for other opportunities outside the company.

    Advice to Management

    I don't know where to start. There are really so many issues with leadership. I have no idea how to fix them.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Been at CNA over 10 years, and the company culture is changing.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Researcher
    Current Employee - Researcher

    I have been working at CNA Corporation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The field program, which allows analysts to work on-site with a military command, is an outstanding opportunity to learn about military operations. The work life balance is good.

    Cons

    Management does not care about personal growth of employees.Many good people have left. Given CNA's history and potential, we should do great work, not good enough work.

  6. Helpful (3)

    Enjoyable work, but terrible leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CNA Corporation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Superb 401k program, reasonable health insurance, fun work, high salaries, good coworkers. The work is high quality and you feel like you're contributing and making a difference.

    Cons

    Management is insane and completely clueless and seems hell-bent on running the company into the ground. Our rates are through the roof, and I'm embarrassed to tell clients what I cost them. The support staff have a "tail wagging the dog" attitude and provide, with a few rare exceptions, no support to the analytical staff--you know, the folks that are the reason the company exists. You can hardly do anything without loads of paperwork and administrative overhead, and you'll be doing it, not one of the support staff. Benefits are getting seriously hammered. We used to have a very liberal sick leave policy. That's gone--you get two days of sick leave per year. We used to have the standard 10 holidays, now it's down to 8. Health insurance costs keep going up drastically each year.

    Advice to Management

    Fire half the VPs. Most of those positions are unnecessary, and certainly don't need to be VP level. Next fire half the support staff. Look, in the past 20 years, the contracts and HR people have more than doubled, and, oddly enough, so has the workload on the analysts to do the jobs others should be doing. So there's twice as many support staff doing half the work they used to. Next fire the bottom 10 percent of analysts--whomever is charging too much indirect. I don't care if they're god's gift to some niche subject area, if they're not pulling their weight dump them. There. Now the company's back on track, and you can give us back holidays and sick leave. You're welcome. And cap the salary of any employee at $225k/year. That includes the CEO.

  7. Helpful (7)

    Not a good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CNA Corporation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great retirement plan and the benefits are ok.

    Cons

    Managers don't care about employees

    Advice to Management

    Good people are leaving everyday.

  8. Helpful (2)

    Just Say No

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at CNA Corporation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Intelligent, thoughtful, dedicated analysts -- plus, CNA's benefits are excellent. A coworker likened them to crack cocaine, saying one taste and you're hooked. Save yourself the pain -- just say no!

    Cons

    The worst managers and "leaders" I've ever experienced. CNA highlights the downside of promoting analysts to managers -- it's a totally different skill set.

    There's a complete lack of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking as evidenced by CNA's bureaucratic stranglehold over its employees. While those at the top give lip service to change, CNA managers are frozen in time. Most who succeed at CNA do so on the basis of politicking, not contributing.

    Two RIFs in one year left morale in the toilet. What is a RIF but a management choice to value A over B? In this case, A = high salaries, new building, lots of overhead, and quite a bit of superfluous expenses. I count myself lucky to have survived the RIFs and gotten out alive.

    Advice to Management

    Start over -- you need fresh ideas, new ways of thinking, creative problem-solving, and lots of business development to survive in the current era of government contracting. You're no longer unique or competitive, you're too expensive, and you diluted your core mission with the ill-fated IPR ventures. Get serious about listening to your "junior" people and implementing change.

  9. Helpful (4)

    To Be Avoided..., At All Costs!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Operations in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at CNA Corporation full-time (more than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Benefits, e.g., medical, dental, 401k. These however are far outweighed by the sheer stupidity that is on constant display.

    Cons

    "Everything Else".. horrible (mis)management; racism, favoritism, and all other 'isms' you can think of would aptly apply. This company has been forged by nepatism run amok. A bunch of inbred swine!

    Advice to Management

    Retire, before you can do further damage. This company is sinking like an albatross with an anchor around its neck.

  10. Helpful (4)

    sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at CNA Corporation full-time (more than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good people among the analysts and other staff.
    Excellent salary and benefits.

    Cons

    Terrible culture, unethical business practices, no value on creativity, you will lose technical skills within one year of working there, few managers that care about professional growth of employees, lack of vision.

    The Institute for Public Research cares only about dollars, not about the products or about helping government agencies.

    Non-performance is not addressed. Employees who do not contribute are left to bill overhead for months at a time while the strong performers must take on the role of multiple people. During my tenure, the only way that CNA got rid of poor performers was through numerous "RIFs".
    If you have a strong work ethic you will be frustrated by what is accepted at CNA. One of the Pros is that the benefits are excellent, but they are abused by many. Unlimited sick leave means that some people are 'sick' nearly every Monday or Friday. Those people without project work often take the most sick leave. Nothing is said by management.

    Promotions are given in order to create a look of diversity (mostly in promoting women that should not be in management positions).

    Advice to Management

    Show respect to the hard workers. Do not be afraid to teach younger workers or those with entry level skills, and actively support more advanced workers to gain new skills. If people do not perform after being given opportunities (and the proper supports) to improve, terminate them. Stop rewarding mediocrity.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Just Don't Do It.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Project Manager in Alexandria, VA
    Current Contractor - Project Manager in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at CNA Corporation as a contractor (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    CNA has a decent office space (though in the middle of nowhere), and pleasant-enough coworkers. The work itself isn't too difficult at all, which is nice.

    Cons

    My experience working with CNA has been a disaster from the second month in, when they fired my direct boss. The leadership is difficult to communicate with, and extremely hesitant to change their ways, even if they have good reason to. When I tried to suggest new/better ways of doing things (PPT presentations, social media, general outreach), I was immediately shot down without any discussion, and then they turn and blame me for sub-par content.

    The majority of the people who are management abhor creativity and are completely out of touch with the real world (perhaps that is why their offices are so far away from everything). My new boss is sexist and verbally abusive, and out of a team that started out with eight people, six have either quit or been fired in the last nine months.

    There are better research jobs in this area, and I would not recommend working here.

    Advice to Management

    Please hold your contract managers accountable, especially with how they interact with sub-contractors. It's embarrassing to see how they treat subs.

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