There are great lessons to be learned from the business world’s best and brightest. Here’s a peek behind the curtain at some of the best companies to work for, what makes them so good and what you can learn from them.

Best for productivity: Fever-Tree

Who are they?
Fever-Tree are a premium drinks mixer company based in London.

What makes them great?

Back in 2014, Fever-Tree knocked the UK stock market’s socks off with its sheer hyper-productivity. In just 10 years, they went from zero to a £23m turnover. Fever-Tree co-founder, Charles Rolls, says that the company’s high productivity is down to outsourcing.

They maintain control of core operations (ingredient sourcing, marketing, finance etc.) and outsource the business functions they aren’t experts in. Charles told the Chartered Management Institute: “We knew what the product needed to taste like and what the brand message needed to be, so we stuck to that.”

What can we take away from it?

For smaller businesses, staying lean could help you cut to the chase a little faster. Making use of resources like automation, optimised workflow management systems and outsourced talent can lighten the workload and ensure you always have access to the talent you need to pull off the job in record time.

Best for culture: Adobe

Who are they?

Adobe is a multinational creativity and multimedia software company based in California.

What makes them great?

Adobe ranks 34th on Fortune’s list of Best Workplaces for Millennials, and for good reason. Employees have gone on record  as saying that they are encouraged to take ownership of their work, to take risks and to own their own development:

“I have always felt that Adobe’s culture emphasizes individual ownership and accountability—that we are all hired because we are competent, innovative, motivated employees, and our contributions to the business are appreciated, acknowledged, and rewarded.” 

What can we take away from it?

No one likes to be micromanaged. It’s bad for productivity, bad for morale and dampens individual creative spirit. When you invest time into building a positive workplace culture, employees are naturally more engaged and productive because they have a personal stake in the success of a project or task. This feeds back into a positive workplace which attracts more top-notch talent to your ranks.

Best for leadership: Volvo

Who are they?
Volvo is a Swedish luxury car company with headquarters located in Gothenburg.

What makes them great?

Volvo’s exceptional decision-making capabilities have bagged them a top spot on a list of 50 global companies with the best leadership team. The list uses research undertaken by international professional services network, Crowe, who have identified that the most successful leadership teams are innovative and bold—both of which Volvo scores highly for.

What can we take away from it?

Fearlessness and solid decision-making aren’t just the hallmark of a successful business, but also of a robust workforce. Research has shown that poor leadership wreaks havoc on employee retention. When qualified employees are already so hard to come by, driving them away through poor leadership is a bad move. Inspiration and decisive leadership are crucial in the formation of a good workplace.

Best for inspiration: BrightHR

Who are they?
BrightHR are an HR management software firm with head offices based in Manchester.

What makes them great?

BrightHR are of the opinion that you can’t have a truly ground-breaking product or service if you aren’t in an environment which feels inspirational.  For that reason, they’ve set up football nets, board games and have open collaborative workspaces rather than meeting rooms.

BrightHR employee, Paul Harris, told the Guardian: “If you want people to have ideas and be creative, you have to encourage them to be different. If you’re having fun and you’re relaxed and it’s easy to collaborate with your colleagues, it’s a much better environment.”

What can we take away from it?

New ideas and good working relationships often come easiest when employees feel happy and relaxed. A work environment impacts so heavily on wellbeing and productivity because it’s where we spend most of our time. By investing time and effort into making it feel fun and free, there are benefits to be gained.

Which of these companies do you think leads the best example? Are there any initiatives you would try? Leave a comment below!