If you work in the defense industry, you’ve probably heard of CSRA. Their work providing IT solutions and professional services for federal agencies across government—serving the warfighter and the veterans who served us, supporting our nation’s infrastructure, training and education, cybersecurity, and more—is focused on the promise of technology to change the world through next-generation thinking and meaningful results.
With a heavy emphasis on cyber and technology, CSRA is also focused on research and innovation. And that plays out in everything from what it looks for in its talent to how it puts those professionals to work.
“We don’t feel like a traditional government contractor,” said Cheryl Garrison, Vice President, Talent Management at CSRA. “Here at headquarters we have an open office environment. We enjoy being together and sharing ideas. It’s a very cool place to work.”
The company prides itself on being able to ‘Think Next Now.’ Even its corporate blog emphasizes the idea. Its corporate blog is called ‘Thinking Next’ and leaders weigh in on everything from blockchain technology to DevOps and Navy networks. When it comes to thinking up the next big innovation in technology and government contracting, there is one key element CSRA credits: its people.
“Our product is our people,” said Nick Trzcinski, Vice President, Navy-Marine Corps Business Area. “Keeping them energized, keeping them excited, keeping them engaged, and bringing that talent and that energy to our customer – that’s the thing I do every day. It’s the most important thing I do every day.”
HOW DOES CSRA KEEP ITS TALENT ENERGIZED?
“There are solutions and services that we need to provide day in and day out to our customers, so a part of that is the people that we have, the teamwork that’s necessary, the collaboration,” said Joyce Jenkins-Harden, Business Operations Director, Joint and Air Force Business Area. “Because then what happens is the best of what we have to offer.”
How do you foster a high level of energy, engagement and innovation? Flexibility and work-life balance are important aspects of making employees feel engaged, says CSRA.
“One of the things that we pride ourselves on and we’ve actually received awards for is our flexible work environment,” said Garrison. “It really matters to us that employees feel a real balance between their work and their family lives.”
Communities of Interest exist at CSRA to help employees connect outside of their normal, everyday work tasks. Employees get together to share ideas and grow their skills.
“This is a great way for employees to engage with their colleagues professionally as well as personally,” said Garrison. “It’s the power of the team.”
It’s not easy to maintain a high level of employee engagement. By focusing on building strong teams and not just individual team members, CSRA builds the confidence its employees have in one another—and the trust its customers have in the solutions it provides.
“We spend a lot of time making sure that the teams we’re bringing to bear are the absolute best that they can be,” said Trzcinski. “And our customers see that, and they deserve that.”