DesCor Awarded Best Places to Work 2018

We’re looking for people who see the world the way we do; people who are passionate, accountable, committed and excellent.

Sacramento Business Journal, October 12, 2018
A+ Employers Award / Best Places to Work
Medium Company Winner 2018: DesCor Builders

Robert Harding already knew DesCor Builders co-founder Brad Des Jardin when, years ago, the Rancho Cordova-based company started trying to recruit him. But Harding hesitated, he said, because everybody he talked to said it was the greatest company to work for. It sounded too good to be true. “I thought it was like a cult,” Harding said.

But after working at the 62-employee general contractor for seven months as its regional safety manager, Harding said the company’s family-centric culture and attitude won him over.

“I’m a completely different person for my family,” he said. When he first got to DesCor, Harding, looking to make a strong impression, worked 10- to 12-hour days until Des Jardin pulled him aside and said, “That’s not what impresses me, what impresses me is if you’re spending more time with your wife and family.”

With that kind of approach, it may be no surprise that DesCor Builders has shown up on the Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list for 13 years in a row.

Even though the builder has experienced rapid growth over the last year, increasing its workforce by 25 percent and boasting revenue of $110 million this fiscal year, owners Des Jardin and Neal Cordeiro were determined to preserve the company’s brand by emphasizing its unique culture.

Employee perks include monthly lunches to either celebrate company wins or to delve into technical seminars to help improve job skills. Other company events include paint ball outings, beer-making classes, barbecues and River Cats baseball games.

“We create reasons to have our people gather once a month,” Des Jardin said.

Company leaders also try to visit each construction site at least once a month, and sometimes more, to keep tabs on how each of DesCor’s 20 or so jobs is progressing and how the team is doing.

Employees receive annual performance reviews, but managers also do mid-year check-ins and ask workers how they hope to advance their careers, and what recommendations they have to improve the company’s performance.

Such employee feedback has resulted in upgrades to DesCor’s accounting/payroll, web site and document-control functions, among others.

“We’re relationship builders first,” Des Jardin said. “To project positive relationships with our customers we have to take care of our internal customers first, and our families. Our people’s families are our most important customers.”

A strong work-life balance is a crucial tool for attracting and retaining the best employees, Des Jardin said. “We’re looking for people who see the world the way we do; people who are passionate, accountable, committed and excellent.”

Toni Dwyer, the company’s assistant controller, said that as a mother of three, the freedom and flexibility the company offers is a big advantage, allowing her to drop her kids off at school and pick them up from soccer practice.

“I actually want to be here every day,” she said. “They allow me to put my family first, which is important to me. They trust that we’re here, doing our work. I can take my laptop and work remotely from where my kids need to be. I can be a mom and still work full time.”

DesCor Builders: General contractor providing construction management and comprehensive preconstruction and construction services.

Top local executives: Brad Des Jardin and Neal Cordeiro, founders

Local employees: 62

Headquarters: Rancho Cordova

What makes your company stand out from others: “We focus on culture first. We have created an environment that allows our people to succeed while letting them know that we care about them more for who they are than what they do.”

What does your company do to inspire employees and keep them engaged:“We have a clear vision, mission, purpose and goals and we continually communicate to our employees how their efforts contribute to the company’s success and how that success relates to them realizing their own personal goals.”

What qualities do you look for in potential employees: “People who are passionate about what they do, are accountable, committed and have a desire to be the best.”

How does your company define success: “The relationships that we build are greater than the buildings that we build. We create a raving fan and repeat client on each project, and our people return home to their families each day in better physical and emotional shape than when they left.”

What is your company’s toughest challenge and how do you overcome it: “We recognize as we continue to grow that our people, our culture and our brand are our biggest strengths. We have focused on emphasizing our culture by creating opportunities for our people to get together and remain connected, including monthly lunches, mid-year employee check-ins with our executives, fun activities (paint ball, Topgolf, River Cats games) and a leadership workshop, where everyone is encouraged to participate.”

Link to article: bizjournals.com/sacramento
Chris Rauber | Correspondent | Sacramento Business Journal
October 12, 2018