Great Place to Work® has named the City of Rancho Cordova as one of the best 25 small workplaces in the United States on its annual Best Small & Medium Workplaces list that is published in the October 29th FORTUNE magazine. Rancho Cordova is the first ever local government agency to appear on the list that recognizes companies that have exceptional workplace cultures. Now in its ninth year, the competition was divided into two categories, Small (50-250 employees) and Medium (251-999 employees).

The City of Rancho Cordova competed with hundreds of companies in the contest and finished 12th in the list of 25 outstanding small workplaces.  The selection process included an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about company programs and practices. Great Place to Work® then evaluated each application based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.

“Our work culture is built on solid work relationships that allow staff to collaborate, innovate, and enjoy the work they do,” said Rancho Cordova City Manager Ted Gaebler.  “We mine the minds of all employees through an ‘Office of New Ideas,’ encourage employees to develop to their full potential by taking on new challenges, and inspire leadership at all levels through matrix teams.” 

“The Best Small & Medium Workplace list grows more competitive every year and this list represents the best of the best,” said Susan Lucas-Conwell, Global Chief Executive Officer of Great Place to Work® that created the list. “While each company is unique, what they have in common are strong cultures that support positive workplaces.”

Organizations who make the list share many characteristics and benefits, including better financial performance, less employee turnover, higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, more innovative and creative thinking, higher productivity, and enhanced public perception.

Great Place to Work® has found that employees believe they work for great organizations when they consistently trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be named on the top 50 list of Great Places to Work,” said Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander.  “We thank all our City and contract staff for their contributions to the Rancho Cordova community.  We’re proud of the talent, passion, and commitment we see in our employees because their efforts are making a visible difference in Rancho Cordova.”

In 2011, City staff volunteered and participated in more than 40 different community events and fundraising efforts. “We find that volunteering in the community fosters team building and replenishes staff with greater sense of purpose and meaning in their jobs,” said the City’s Human Resources Manager, Stacey Peterson.

A cornerstone for the City’s success are the principles outlined 20 years ago in City Manager Ted Gaebler’s groundbreaking book, “Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector.”

“It might be counterintuitive to traditional thinking, but it produces results and along the way creates a supportive and inspirational working environment,” said Gaebler.  “Beyond being a role model for other local government organizations, the City entrepreneurial spirit allows businesses to have a distinctly productive and collaborative working relationship amongst our staff.”

One of California’s newest cities, Rancho Cordova incorporated in 2003 and has integrated 63 City employees with approximately 100 contract staff through collaborative partnerships.  Located 13 miles east of the state’s capital, Rancho Cordova’s ongoing success and visible results are a direct result of the positive work culture.  The City Council and employees are proud that prudent management and efficient government have achieved a year-end budget surplus for the ninth year in a row.  A community that once was the target of regional neglect prior to incorporation has emerged to be a center of enviable civic pride, enthusiasm, and collaborative community problem solving.  The community offers ethnic diversity for national and international businesses and more than 17 higher education institutions that supply a highly professional work force.

“We strive to help maximize the experience for City staff and support opportunities that allow them to thrive.  It is my sincere hope that more local government leaders will focus on creating a positive, inspiring experience that will energize public employees to lead the way to great change in our industry,” said Gaebler.