As many in Winning Workplaces’ network know, the small and midsize organizations we have honored since 2003 for their outstanding work environments and people practices (and how they have contributed to better bottom-line results) used these assets to achieve great things at the time we honored them.

But you may be wondering: how has this foundation further contributed to their growth and achievements? This is a particularly important question for companies that we honored for their Best Bosses or Top Small Company Workplaces more distantly as opposed to recently.

Read below what some of our winners from 2004 through 2007 have done since we honored them. The feedback we gathered show they continue to see many benefits, ranging from stable and growing workforces to customer retention and marketplace growth, from their unique workplace cultures and emphasis on treating their workers fairly and with respect:

Company: Berner International Corp.
Location: New Castle, Pennsylvania
Award: Best Boss – Georgia Berner, President and CEO
Year Honored: 2004

Throughout the Great Recession, Berner International avoided employee layoffs and continued their full benefits package to employees. They improved cost of goods, sustained their high-quality, cross-trained employees, improved supply chain continuity, launched several new products and increased their market share by partnering with catalog vendors. Other developments include:

  • Berner has become a recognized advocate for health, energy conservation, social programs and philanthropy in Pennsylvania and nationally.
  • Recently, she was awarded the contract for a Fresh Air Ventilation with Energy Recovery System on the new Phipps Conservatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh. This building project is the first energy neutral building of its kind slated to receive all three “green” certifications: the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, and SITES Certification.

Company: iRobot Corporation
Location: Bedford, Massachusetts
Award: Best Boss – Colin Angle, CEO
Year Honored: 2005

Since Angle won our award, iRobot’s visibility has increased and their products have become ubiquitous consumer appliances. Pop culture crystallized the company in both a popular Saturday Night Live sketch, and through a role as an MIT professor Angle portrayed in the major motion picture 21 in 2008. Other developments:

  • Employee growth from 160 to 470, according to the company database site Manta.
  • Revenue growth of over 230 percent.
  • Its military-use PackBots have been used to determine when humans can reenter the reactor room at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was crippled by a record-level earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Company: 1-800-GOT-JUNK? 
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Award: Best Boss – Brian Scudamore, CEO
Year Honored: 2005

In the past two years Got-Junk’s brand awareness has increased 10 percent in the U.S. and 9 percent in Canada, where they are headquartered. Additionally, the company has implemented the Net Promoter Score (NPS) loyalty system to gauge customer satisfaction. They began with a system-wide score of 72, which was already considered world-class, and are close to hitting their 2011 goal of 84. Other developments:

  • Their focus on environmental sustainability has sharpened. Got-Junk now engages a third party every other year to audit how much the company diverts from landfills. In addition, they now track in-house where all of the junk goes.
  • Since opening in their third country in 2005, they are now nearly sold out in Australia, and the majority of their franchise partners in that country are profitable.
  • Over the past few years the company has appeared as a “character” on the hit A&E reality TV series, Hoarders.

Company: Rackspace Hosting
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Award: Best Boss – Graham Weston, Chairman
Year Honored: 2006

In 2008, Rackspace moved into the former Windsor Park Mall, an abandoned mall in a declining area of San Antonio. It became the company’s mission to not just recycle the building, but also help boost the community through socially responsible activities. In addition to sponsoring mentoring programs and technology events, each August the firm adopts one of the seven schools in its district, which it collectively calls the “Magnificent Seven.” Other developments:

  • Employee growth from 1,000 to almost 3,500.
  • Revenue growth of 65 percent.
  • IPO in August 2008 (NYSE: RAX); expanded to Hong Kong in September 2008.

Company: Gentle Giant Moving Company
Location: Somerville, Massachusetts
Award: Top Small Workplace
Year Honored: 2007

In 2010, Gentle Giant celebrated its 30th year of operation, and has continued pursuing national growth opportunities, currently operating out of 18 offices in 9 states. Having dedicated employees open the regional offices has been a key ingredient in their success, as all of these offices have contributed to the financial success of the company. Other developments:

  • Restructured sales team and invested in phone and computer technology that enable team members to respond to high-volume lead sources efficiently and effectively.
  • Continued support of the Gentle Giant Rowing Club to fuel the company’s passion for rowing and youth development. Also participating in community activities including the youth reading program Everybody Wins!
  • After partnering with Kathy Irving at Hammond Real Estate, Gentle Giant filled and delivered two tractor trailers of medical supplies and relief materials to victims of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.