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American College of Rheumatology Honored with Sixth Consecutive Top Atlanta Workplace Designation

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) has recognized the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) as one of the city’s top workplaces for the sixth consecutive year. Only 87 small businesses and 175 organizations total received the recognition, and the ACR ranked 28th in the small business category. The Top Workplaces designation is based solely on employee feedback in an anonymous, third-party survey that measures a company’s culture in 15 different areas.

ACR Executive Vice President, Steve Echard, credits the accomplishment to the organization’s focus on engagement, collaboration and inclusion over the past two years. The organization has introduced employee-led task forces to tackle various organizational improvements, cross-departmental team chats to facilitate collaboration, new tools for real-time employee feedback, and monthly communications highlighting the variety of cultures and observances represented by ACR staff, among other efforts. Echard also continues to lead weekly all-staff meetings established in 2020 to share pertinent organizational updates and highlight staff accomplishments.

“I’m most proud that many of the changes we’ve implemented were birthed from ideas our staff had on how to make the ACR a better place to work,” said Echard. “From the moment I accepted this role in 2019, my primary goal has been to help the ACR modernize, engage and grow as an organization. This requires an inside-out approach that starts with our employees. The way your company treats employees influences how employees treat those around them, and this can inspire them to do great work or place your organization at risk.”

The impact of this commitment was evident in the scores ACR received in its survey results. More than 71 percent of employees reported feeling engaged with the organization in 2021 compared to a national average of 63 percent in research conducted by Top Workplaces partner Energage. Employees also used words like inclusive, forward-thinking, flexible, collaborative, and encouraging to describe the culture at the ACR.

In addition to an inclusive and forward-thinking culture, ACR employees continued to report feeling their work has value and positively impacts the rheumatology community. The ACR also provides a competitive benefits package to support employees’ overall health and wellbeing that includes employer-paid health, dental coverage, long and short-term disability insurance, a defined employer contribution retirement plan, vision coverage plans, and a flexible work schedule. 

Jocelyn Givens
jgivens@rheumatology.org
404-929-4810

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Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves over 7,700 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

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