Swinburne Online named 'best employer'

CELEBRATING SUCCESS: Academic Director Sue Kokonis, General Manager for IT and Student Operations Matt Parker, General Manager ofr Human Resources Shanyn Payne, CEO Denice Pitt, CEO and Director of Strategy Kay Lipson.

CELEBRATING SUCCESS: Academic Director Sue Kokonis, General Manager for IT and Student Operations Matt Parker, General Manager ofr Human Resources Shanyn Payne, CEO Denice Pitt, CEO and Director of Strategy Kay Lipson.

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Swinburne Online has been named one of Aon Hewitt’s best employers, after less than three years in operation.

The annual Aon Hewitt Best Employers study has been running since 2001 and is a leading research and accreditation program into the people practices of high performing organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

Swinburne Online CEO Denice Pitt said creating an organisational structure and environment that engaged employees had produced a high quality experience for students.

“We have developed a professional working culture based on the premise that inspired people motivated by goals are essential to the success of an organisation,” Ms Pitt said.

“There is no aspect of the company, and no person working within the team, who is not passionate about our students and their success. This drives everything we do every day, and I am very proud of what we have achieved in less than three years.”

Established in 2011, Swinburne Online delivers online education to more than 5000 Australians. Ms Pitt said the organisation’s success was largely attributed to its highly engaged workforce that was student-centric, people-focussed and agile. Online teachers, known as eLearning Advisers (eLAs), are a large part of the workforce. Their role is based solely online, which has forged new and innovative ways to manage remote staff. In a recent study, 99 per cent of students said eLAs exceeded their expectations.

Ms Pitt said the result was exceptional by industry standards, reflecting the organisation’s employee engagement levels.

“We have developed more than a workplace for our people. Swinburne Online is a place for all employees to excel and be active contributors to the overall organisational goals. This is evident through student feedback and how much we have been able to achieve in such a short period.”

The 2014 Aon Hewitt research provides insights on data from 120 organisations and more than 70,000 employees with 16 of the surveyed companies accredited as Aon Hewitt Best Employers.

“True engagement really means that every employee, at every level not only knows that their work has a critical impact, but also exactly how they contribute to the strategy and ultimate success of the business,” said Stephen Hickey, a partner at Aon Hewitt and Employee Engagement Lead.

Other businesses awarded included National Transport Insurance, DHL Express (New Zealand) Limited, FedEx Express (New Zealand), Fiat Chrysler, Hilti (Australia) Pty Ltd, Peoplebank Australia Limited and Starlight Children's Foundation.

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* This article has been written by a Fairfax Media journalist as part of a commercial agreement between Fairfax Media and Swinburne Online.

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