Nov 1, 2020
Odin is honored to be named one of 2020’s Best Places to Work in the medium-sized company category by the Sacramento Business Journal! Winners were selected based on employee responses to a series of employee engagement questions in six categories, including teamwork, trust, compensation, and benefits. We want to thank our fantastic team for creating a remarkable place to work.
To view the full article, continue reading below or visit https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2020/10/19/best-places-to-work-medium-companies.html
We’re introducing you to our 2020 Best Places to Work. To pick this year’s honorees, the Business Journal teamed with Quantum Workplace, a technology company in Omaha, Nebraska, to conduct the Best Places to Work survey. Employees of nominated companies were asked to answer a series of questions that measure employee engagement in six categories, including teamwork, trust, compensation and benefits.
Companies were ranked and finalists were chosen in each size category based on employee responses. A minimum number of employees must participate for a company to be considered a finalist.
Here are the honorees in the medium-company category, for businesses with 50 to 149 employees.
First place: DesCor Builders
A locally based, full-service general contractor and construction management firm specializing in over 15 different market sectors.
Top local executive: Brad Des Jardin, president and CEO
Number of local employees: 85
Headquarters: Rancho Cordova
Do you anticipate making any long-term changes to your workplace as a result of the pandemic? The changes we anticipate becoming new long-term changes are: job site protocols for safe work environments, flexible work schedules for those having to deal with vulnerable or immunocompromised family members, and a more systematic and intentional infection control process to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees.
What is the most impactful asset or perk you offer employees? Cultural enhancement activities to promote a family atmosphere such as DesCor date nights, epic Christmas parties, summer family picnics, paintball, fishing trips, milestone employee anniversary parties and bonuses, tuition reimbursement, 401k and 529 college savings pan matches, and flexible hours to best accommodate people’s family needs.
Second place: Trifecta Nutrition
An organic meal delivery service
Top local executive: Greg Connolly, CEO
Number of local employees: 67
How has Covid-19 impacted your workplace? Flexibility. We created a more flexible environment. Our biggest concern is the safety of our employees, so we empowered them to work with their teams and managers to create schedules that are most supportive of their individual health concerns.
What’s the most important quality you look for in a potential new employee? Growth Mindset. We strive to hire passionate people who seek to continuously improve themselves and are never done learning. We believe the best leaders try to absorb as much information as possible to make themselves and others around them more successful.
Third place: LPAS Architecture + Design
An architectural, landscape and interior design firm
Top local executive: Brady Smith, president
Number of local employees: 53
Headquarters location: Sacramento
How has Covid-19 impacted your workplace? Covid-19 has had very little impact on us. We were able to get 60 employees working remotely quickly and seamlessly. We implemented a number of online collaboration tools and increased our communication so that monthly staff meetings were now weekly.
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Not focusing enough time, money and efforts in cultivating your company culture. It’s THE most important thing for a successful company.
An independent investment financial advisory firm that specializes in retirement planning.
Number of local employees: 105
Do you anticipate making any long-term changes to your workplace as a result of the pandemic? Our pivot to working from home has proven that we can be as productive as we were while working in the office, so we anticipate having 50% of our associates working a portion of their week from home once things return to “normal.”
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Not trusting their associates. You must have faith in the people who work for you. Once you train them and do your due diligence, you should trust that they will achieve their goals. If you do, they will accomplish their goals with a sense of ownership and pride.
Alston Construction Co. Inc.
The company offers general contracting, construction management and design-build services.
Top local executive: Gary Ralls, regional operations manager
Number of local employees: 53
How has Covid-19 impacted your workplace? Employees have been not only permitted, but ENCOURAGED to work remotely as their position allows. While remote, we have utilized technology (Zoom, Go To Meetings, conference calls) to ensure communication and collaboration remains high.
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Not having a pulse on your employees. Making sure that each manager is checking in with there team and making sure that they have everything they need to succeed and be successful.
Boutin Jones Inc.
Sacramento-based full-service law firm.
Top local executive: Kent Silvester, managing shareholder
Number of local employees: 81
How has Covid-19 impacted your workplace? In efforts to comply with local and state mandates, the majority of our team is working from home and utilizing our remote access tools.
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Opposing necessary change, especially during a pandemic. There are times where we have to change our processes and procedures to better serve our employees and our clients.
Environmental Science Associates
A 100% employee-owned environmental consulting firm that plans, designs, permits, mitigates and restores for projects.
Top local executive: Brian D. Boxer, senior vice president, Northern California regional director
Number of local employees: 90
Headquarters: San Francisco
Do you anticipate making any long-term changes to your workplace as a result of the pandemic? It is our expectation that over time, many of the lessons learned during the pandemic will inform our future workplace plans, including increased work-from-home and use of technology-based communication tools, all guided by the desire to better support our employee-owners and meet the needs of our clients.
What is the most impactful asset or perk you offer employees? As a 100% employee-owned firm, everyone at ESA is an employee-owner. Each employee benefits from the company’s success through our Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Our collaborative culture promotes mutual ownership of the company’s successes and responsibility to ensure the company meets our clients’ needs and operates smoothly.
Five Star Bank
Community business bank serving the capital region’s business owners and community leaders
Top local executive: James Beckwith, president and CEO
Number of local employees: 140
How has Covid-19 impacted your workplace? Covid-19 certainly impacted our working environments. Yet it was our team’s swift execution of the Paycheck Protection Program to help customers endure that brought our team together in a very meaningful way. Everyone pivoted to work on this program and we funded over 1,100 PPP loans totaling over $250 million.
What’s the most important quality you look for in a potential new employee? Our employees thrive in a high-accountability environment. There is no “hiding” at Five Star Bank as every individual is a critical part of our mission to serve our customers and community. We hire those who thrive in an environment that is interconnected, collaborative and laser focused on the same goals.
George Hills Co. Inc.
Provides liability and property claims administration, litigation management and JPA management to the public sector.
Top local executive: John Chaquica, CEO
Number of local employees: 57
Headquarters: Rancho Cordova
Do you anticipate making any long-term changes to your workplace as a result of the pandemic? George Hills has had the opportunity to consider a few potential changes to business operations. As we have transitioned to working remotely, adjusting travel policies, technology solutions and communications methods, we will be considering long term practices that will be beneficial to employees and business operations post-pandemic.
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Some of the biggest mistakes an owner or manager can make would be not having open and constant communication with employees, not ensuring managers are listening and gathering feedback for employees to grow and for management to improve, and not implementing new strategies to drive employee engagement.
Provides building solutions to its customers including program management, construction management and general contracting services.
Top local executive: Wendy Cohen, president
Number of local employees: 135
Do you anticipate making any long-term changes to your workplace as a result of the pandemic? We will likely have people who continue to work from home because we have proven that we are productive and can maintain the strong collaboration we have with our clients and each other.
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Not listening. For the past year, we have worked hard to listen, empathize and pivot to address the changing needs of our clients while addressing the vastly different employee reactions to the pandemic, not to mention issues around diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s a skill we continue to build.
Odin Construction Solutions
An environmental remediation and geotechnical construction company headquartered in Northern California.
Top local executive: Louay Owaidat, president and CEO
Number of local employees:134
Do you anticipate making any long-term changes to your workplace as a result of the pandemic? The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of communication and accessibility. We have found new programs and systems that allow us to operate even more efficiently than before, all while providing the flexibility our team needs. These programs and systems will stay with us once the pandemic protocols have been retired.
What’s the most important quality you look for in a potential new employee? At Odin, we don’t believe that there is a singular important quality in a potential candidate that makes them stand apart from others. Rather, it is the combination of not just their skills, knowledge, and experience but their willingness, ability and desire to continue to build upon their work foundation.
A provider of web-based client relationship management, compliant texting, paperless office and email archiving solutions in the financial industry.
Top local executive: Brian McLaughlin, CEO
Number of local employees: 83
What is the most impactful asset or perk you offer employees? Full-time employee medical benefits; 100% premium covered medical, dental, and vision.
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Not maintaining open communication with employees. At Redtail we have an open-door policy, online communications using Slack and management does 1-on-1s with team members.
Wallace-Kuhl & Associates
A geotechnical engineering, environmental and materials testing consulting firm
Top local executive: Andrew S. Wallace, chief financial Officer/chief operating officer
Number of local employees: 101
Headquarters: West Sacramento
What is the most impactful asset or perk you offer employees? Principals/department managers respect all input from every staff member and immediately acknowledge the employee’s effort and contribution. They also look for every opportunity to provide extra benefits to our staff, such as: free work clothing; free pizza lunches; free River Cats tickets; and annual bonus pay for EVERY EMPLOYEE.
What’s the most important quality you look for in a potential new employee? A GREAT attitude! Someone who WANTS to enjoy their work, their co-workers, and has an attitude to be part of a winning team.
A general contractor specializing in life sciences, advanced technology, corporate office, civic, health care, and education markets.
Number of local employees: 50
How have you maintained employee morale during the pandemic? Reminding XLers that we are still a community is crucial. Daily huddles, “Coffee chats” with upper management, work-life balance tips, a support fund for field staff who were not able to work, support for working families, hand written notes, and gift cards are what we have done to maintain morale.
What is the biggest mistake a business owner or manager can make? Being vulnerable and supportive is essential to creating a desirable work environment where people want to contribute. It encourages collaboration, trust, and team-bonding. If, as a leader, you can’t be vulnerable and open-minded, and understand your role to let them do their best work, your company cannot thrive.
“2020 Best Places to Work: Honorees in the medium-company category.” Sacramento Business Journal, 19 October 2020, https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2020/10/19/best-places-to-work-medium-companies.html. 21 October 2020.