This prestigious award was the result of OES achieving high levels of employee engagement – score of 88 per cent, over 20 points above industry standard – its authentic and effective leadership, strong employer brand and high performance culture.
OES has grown exponentially since it began operation in 2011 as a small start-up. Since entering the Aon Hewitt program in 2014, OES employee numbers have increased by an incredible 304 per cent all the while continuing to grow high levels of engagement.
A ‘people first’ culture
Executive Director of Human Resources, Shanyn Payne says maintaining highly engaged employees through rapid growth is about ensuring a ‘people first’ culture is at the core of the business strategy, which is communicated at every opportunity throughout all levels of the company.
“We know, beyond a doubt, that businesses with high engagement are more successful, and so we have always made it a priority within OES’s overall strategy,” Shanyn says.
“OES has grown quickly, therefore it’s been necessary to maintain a laser-eyed focus on the drivers that keep our people engaged. This means talking to our people, both informally and formally, on a regular basis, and putting in place initiatives employees’ value. This has included a structured mentoring program, making sure our leaders are authentic and inclusive and we hold a weekly All Staff meeting.”
The starting point to maintain success, Shanyn says, is implementing a targeted recruitment approach that focuses on recruiting diverse thinking styles as well as finding the right values fit.
“At OES, we believe that innovation and high performance can only come from a diverse and inclusive team. Our targeted recruitment approach has not only seen an 85 per cent success rate with new hires – it has also ensured our people have buy-in with new hires by incorporating a peer and direct report interview within the standard recruitment process,” Shanyn says.
“People want to work at a place where they are alongside smart, motivated and authentic individuals.”
“At OES, we believe that innovation and high performance can only come from a diverse and inclusive team”
A supportive environment
CEO, Denice Pitt, says an inclusive and coaching based approach to leadership is crucial to supporting and motivating employees.
“There is no point trying to get a diverse workforce if you don’t have an environment that supports it. Leadership at OES is aimed to coach and empower employees; there is an unwavering belief that the next big idea can come from anywhere,” Denice says.
“We’ve preserved elements of our start-up mentality even through large scale growth, so we continue to be agile and try new things. At OES, it’s essential that all of our employees are committed and passionate about contributing to a common purpose and vision for our students.”
Well above average
OES has consistently scored well above the industry engagement standard of 65 per cent over the past four years, even through rapid growth due to the company’s approach of putting people first.
“We are excited to celebrate our achievements by being named Best of the Best– it’s a very proud moment for everyone at OES.”