Center for Naval Analyses

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Center for Naval Analyses Reviews

Updated May 19, 2014

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2.4 13 reviews

13 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    Excellent place of work that affords plenty of flexibility for employees.

    Administrator (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsExcellent 401K, unlimited sick leave, friendly environment.

    ConsHectic work schedule at the end of every month.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Just Say No

    Research Analyst (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsIntelligent, 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!

    ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementStart 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Operations (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    sinking ship

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

    ConsTerrible 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 Senior ManagementShow 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Just Don't Do It.

    Project Manager (Current Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsCNA 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.

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Racist Management and Outdated Practices

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIf you're on the FFRDC side, you should be ok.

    ConsThis company recently had layoffs, and they were handled in an extremely unprofessional manner- employees were escorted off the property like they were criminals. The domestic teams in particular will not be successful in this fiscal environment-- there is not enough work to go around, and instead of acknowledging that, management allows team members to be thrown under the bus, made to feel incompetent, and tries to hire cheaper employees, therefore lowering the overall analytic quality and impacting the ability to get more work. Finally, don't waste your time applying here if you are a person of color. You're not wanted.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOverbloated salaries and lack of subject matter experts will lead to the downfall of the non-defense teams.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great for the right person

    Research Analyst (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsCNA offers some near-unique opportunities, if you're willing and able to take advantage of them. The operationally-oriented work in the FFRDC is interesting and can have major impact. My field tour was the best three years of my career to date. On the other hand, if you go into it like it's going to be just another government consulting job, and make no effort to seek out the more interesting work or the field/exercise experience, then I can see it being less rewarding.

    The people are generally smart and pleasant to work with, though with a tilt toward the introverted side.

    ConsAttempts to diversify into non-defense work and turn the organization into another RAND have diluted the character of CNA. A tilt in the FFRDC studies program toward less data-driven projects, in keeping with the desires of the average three- and four-star, makes CNA's contributions less unique and fails to take advantage of the capabilities of the types of analysts they hire (at least in the operations and technology-oriented divisions). (This may have improved since I left, though I doubt it.)

    Like many other companies, HR seemed to actively look for things to change/screw up.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWait until Bob leaves, and then start publicly acting like you serve the Navy and Marine Corps again. Push Navy leadership toward projects that are more than average consulting work.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Good benefits, bad culture

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood people, good benefits. Good work/life balance in general, but extra work is not rewarded.

    ConsLess than nimble management, especially on certain teams. When sequestration hit, analysts were almost exclusively let go even though directors haven't been bringing in new business.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible company

    Research Analyst (Former Employee)

    Prosflexibility in working, 40 hour work weeks, great retirement matching

    ConsThe work is boring, and doesn't change as another reviewer has stated. Employees who have been there for over ten years are bored out of their skulls. No one can leave because once you get sucked in here for a career, you're left with no marketable skills. Managers are not innovative, people are very closed minded with respect to growing new work. Also, with defense markets constricting, and the fact that this company had recent layoffs (which probably could have been avoided), I am not confident about the future of this company.

    Advice to Senior Managementquit letting your indirects drift up and fire the incompetent dead wood at the top.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    A learning experience

    Senior Advisor (Former Employee) Alexandria, VA

    ProsInteresting work opportunities, very smart people to work with

    Conshave taken government bureaucracy, and perfected it.

    Advice to Senior Managementthink outside of the box

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