Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA) has been named a 2018 Top Workplace by the Times Union and was awarded first place in the small employer category. In addition to this incredible honor, PRA won the Doer Award, given to a company where the majority of employees agree with the statement “At this company, we do things efficiently and well.”

The Top Workplace Awards are conducted each year by the Times Union. Employees nominate their firms, and, if selected, staff complete a survey to share their thoughts on their workplace. Survey questions measure employee sentiment on statements ranging from “I believe this company is headed in the right direction” to “This company enables me to work at my full potential.” Completed surveys are ranked by business size to determine the Top Workplaces in three categories: small (35-100 employees), medium (100-299 employees), and large (300 or more employees).

It is an incredible privilege to be named the Top Small Employer for the second time. In 2013, the last time PRA competed in the Top Workplace Awards, we were also selected as the #1 Small Business. Over this time, much has changed for PRA—our work has expanded in size and scope and our team has grown—but we remain a place where employees feel as valued and invested in their work today as they did 5 years ago.

PRA staff work incredibly hard and do impactful work providing research, technical assistance, and training to create positive social change for people who are disadvantaged. But we balance that with a great work environment. Our passion for workplace wellness and employee appreciation is at the core of our values: doing good work \\ at a fun place \\ with a hardworking bunch \\ to make an impact. Staff at PRA are provided a rich benefits package, including an annual Day of Reflection, wellness reimbursements, flexible schedules, student loan repayment assistance, and expanded New Parent Leave. We have an active social committee, which provides our staff with fun ways to connect with one another—our most recent events this week included serving breakfast at Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, hosting a staff lunch, organizing breakfast with the President, and taking a late-day trip to Pottery Place.

Staff luncheons and other fun perks are meaningless if the office environment is not supportive and the work of employees is not valued. We strive to be a place where employees’ voices are heard and their ideas are supported—to complement our committees on Cultural Competence, Wellness, and Communications, we have recently created new affinity groups within PRA to inform our efforts around research, Veterans, technology, and travel. We work hard to make sure our employees are able to reach their full potential through annual professional development opportunities to advance their learning. We demonstrate why the work we do matters through seminars to discuss the impacts of our work and extensive volunteer opportunities to serve our populations of focus.

PRA is a special place—a Top Workplace—because of the hard work and character of its employees. We are grateful for their work in making PRA #1!