Why financial wellbeing is important in the workplace

Improving employee wellbeing is one of the top priorities of HR leaders today. But what many people don’t realise is that 1.2 million households are currently suffering from financial stress. Therefore financial wellbeing is actually what sits at the centre of holistic wellness and has the potential to drive the most significant impact on working Australians. In this post, we’ll explain how to improve financial wellbeing in your workplace. 

Financial wellbeing initiatives to bring into the workplace

Thankfully, there are many financial wellbeing initiatives that you can introduce to your employees. We share some of the most impactful ones below, along with an explanation of how they’ll improve the financial wellness levels of your workforce. 

Novated car leasing

A novated lease allows employees to finance a new or used car by having their employer make payments out of their salary package with pre-tax deductions. With this arrangement, your employee is paying down a certain amount for a specified period of time. At the end of the lease period, they can choose to take out a new lease with a different car, extend the existing lease, or buy the car by paying the residual amount.  

How this supports financial wellbeing:

One of the benefits of a novated lease is the tax break. Since the payments are coming out of your employee’s pre-tax income, your employee’s taxable income will be significantly reduced. Plus, your employees won’t have to worry about things like the goods and services tax (GST), which means they’ll have much more disposable income to use for their other needs. 

Flexible pay 

Flexible pay gives employees the ability to choose when they get paid – instead of following the organisation’s payroll schedule. For example, instead of receiving a paycheck every two weeks, an employee can choose to cash out on a weekly basis or even in real time. The whole purpose of this system is to allow employees to choose a compensation schedule that works for their specific needs and lifestyle. 

How this supports financial wellbeing: 

As you might imagine, flexible pay can ease a lot of financial anxiety for employees. Instead of worrying about whether they’ll receive a paycheck in time to pay rent or cover a credit card bill, flexible pay allows them to access the money whenever they need it. 


Superannuation is money that’s set aside by your employer for your retirement – on top of your salary and wages. Employers are required by Australian law to make superannuation contributions for most of their employees and typically pay a minimum of 9.5% of ordinary time earnings.

How this supports financial wellbeing: 

Superannuation is one of the best financial benefits for employees because it guarantees that they’ll have funds to use in retirement. Workers can also decide to make additional contributions to their own account or might be eligible to receive contributions from the Australian government, which can further increase the amount of retirement savings they accumulate.

Investment vehicles

There are many investment vehicle options that you can introduce to your employees – from managed funds to share schemes with your own company. Regardless of which ones you make available to your workforce, the most important part is educating them so they can decide which option is best for them. This can be done through training or financial literacy workshops.  

How this supports financial wellbeing: 

Helping employees find ways to invest and grow their money over time will help them in the long run – whether it’s when they retire or run into an emergency where they might need additional funds to dip into. 

Lost super consolidation

It’s possible for employees to lose track of some of their super. This typically happens when they change their job or address. As an employer, you can provide the resources to help workers find their lost super, consolidate it with the rest of their contributions, and identify which account they want their future contributions to go to. 

How this supports financial wellbeing: 

Employees can save money by consolidating their super into one account. Having multiple accounts can accumulate fees, not to mention that having multiple sources of contributions can be difficult to manage. 

Life insurance

The purpose of life insurance is to offer protection to employees and their loved ones in case of an unexpected life event. There are different life insurance products they can choose from that protect them from different types of events – whether that’s a death, a terminal illness diagnosis, or a bad accident. 

How this supports financial wellbeing: 

This is a wonderful initiative for employers to introduce because it gives workers peace of mind when it comes to unexpected life events. The last thing an employee wants to worry about after a car accident or diagnosis is to have to worry about finances, and life insurance is a great safeguard against that. 

There are many effective initiatives that can increase your employees’ levels of financial wellness and – as a result – their overall wellbeing. Simply start with a few of the ideas that stood out to you in this post and go from there. 

If you have any employees who are in need of support, be sure to check out Wellness@Work, a free hub designed to support HR and Australian workers by giving them access to free content.

If you’re looking for an additional HR software to support your business, Flare offers a free onboarding software with employee management and benefits. To learn more, please request a demo.

Six women on what ‘breaking the bias’ means to them

This International Women’s Day is bringing awareness to bias (conscious and unconscious) in the workplace, and what holds women back from achieving equal rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of gender.

At Flare, we recognise that diversity is an amazing thing, and that it benefits not only the workplace but society at large, and so we celebrate it. We’ve asked six women at Flare to share with us their views on breaking the bias, why it is important, what it means to them, how they’d go about it and where they see other women leading the way.

The theme of IWD 2022 is #BreakTheBias. What does this mean to you?

Katie: To me, it means that we all have the same consequences for our actions and the same rewards for our efforts. It would mean getting to a place where gender and skin colour have the same effect on our careers as eye colour.

Jessica: To #BreakTheBias, I believe, means to never stop questioning; to be on a constant journey of learning and undoing structures that might disadvantage women. It means to advocate for the material change in policies to account for the intersectional nature of the human (and women’s) experience. In daily life, it’s calling out language and behaviours in a safe and constructive way and being conscious of how all the information and media you’re consuming impacts the way you see your reality. This is where I hope we can strive to be. Collaboration and a holistic approach to addressing deeply ingrained biases will be key to our success.

Neda: To me, it’s as simple as breaking gender bias. With so much unconscious bias, even with the best intent, we form them, unaware of the impact they have on individuals. To me, it is understanding we have those unconscious biases and slowly breaking them down and creating greater awareness. That extends culturally as well.

Lauren: To me, ‘Break the Bias’ is the continued advocacy to challenge structural and institutional biases that impact women’s financial security.

We have seen examples of ‘breaking the bias’ with proposals to remove the superannuation income threshold test from 1 July 2022. This proposal removes some of the structural inequalities which exist in women’s access to superannuation, enabling low-income, part-time and casual workers (often disproportionality overrepresented by women), to earn employer guaranteed superannuation contributions.

The structural and institutional biases which exist in financial services, perpetuate women’s financial insecurity. Breaking these biases means educating ourselves and continuing the dialogue on income and retirement inequality, identifying and talking about the legislative gaps that let women down, and empowering other women to share knowledge and increase their levels of financial literacy which is key to attaining a level of financial security.

What would it mean to you to have a gender equal world?

Liz: A world where a person’s gender doesn’t determine the freedoms they experience, their opportunities, their degree of safety and their ability to exercise their basic human rights.

Sam: Feminism often gets a bad rap, even from women but Gloria Steinem once said, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” If all men (and women) can proudly call themselves feminists our work is done.

Sarah: To me, a gender equal world is walking into a room and being seen and heard for who you are, for the ideas you offer, automatically given the same respect you give. A world where every room is safe for everyone, of any gender, to freely collaborate in, hold space in, be heard in.

Lauren: The continued existence of violence against women (physical, financial, social, political or otherwise) is incompatible with the concept of a gender equal world.

To me, a gender equal world is one free from violence, from our daily interactions through to our highest institutions. A gender equal world also recognises minority women from all corners of the globe, whose voices are rarely represented in mainstream discourse, and whose lived experiences of gendered violence are significant and vastly different to our own.

Neda: To me equality means accepting all out differences, but not using those differences based on gender! More fluid. No quotas, but also no unconscious bias and not feeling displaced that suddenly we must do the right thing, or say/not say something… It just is.
More conversation, more sharing, more learning.
Not striving to be perfect and censor conversation, but an understanding that we’re equal just as we are different.

What do you believe to be the most effective ways to break biases in the workplace?

Liz: It starts with recognising bias and helping others learn to recognise it. Bias is often unconscious. We can be prejudiced without knowing it. At Flare we have worked to educate our team on unconscious bias. And we actively examine our processes and decisions to understand where bias may arise. Diversity is also crucial to breaking biases in the workplace. You can’t just hire for diversity, you have to build an environment that celebrates it. One of our leadership principles at Flare is “we create safe spaces”. As leaders it is our job to build an environment where every person can bring their authentic self and it feels safe to take on challenges and grow.

Katie: Women are doing everything they can to break biases in the workplace, so the next step is to get all the men involved. Things like being the one to take notes, planning the work holiday party, holding space for us to be heard in meetings, sharing their data and advocating for equal pay, promoting women, being the one to stay home with a sick kid, and calling out bad behaviour by their colleagues will make the workplace a more equitable place for everyone.

Sam: Empowered women empower women! Break the bias in the workplace by spending time with and drawing inspiration from the great women in our lives – colleagues, peers, mums, aunts, daughters, girlfriends. The women that have your back. Call out bad behaviour and support one another. But more importantly, talk about and celebrate equality with the men in our lives too. As much as this world needs to raise stronger women, we need to raise enlightened men.

Neda: Whenever I have been vulnerable or have witnessed someone’s vulnerability, it has been met with compassion and a newfound understanding. I think creating space where we can all be vulnerable, evokes stories and that brings on understanding. It creates further awareness, and all sorts of stigmas are broken down, not just the gender ones.

What are women in your life doing to break the bias?

Katie: They’re unapologetically running for office, fundraising, advocating for women of colour and LGBTQ women, starting companies, getting promotions, investing, educating, parenting, and perhaps most importantly, prioritising themselves by creating space for rest, self-care, and things that bring them joy, so they can keep doing this work for as long as it takes.

Sarah: They are no longer simply ‘pleasing’ others because it’s the ‘safe’ or ‘nice’ thing to do. They are no longer following the rules women are prescribed to, just because it’s what “good girls” do. They are shaking up the status quo. They are pulling up to tables with their own seats and making sure their voice is heard. They are earning more than ever, shattering glass ceilings, paving the way for women of the future. There are more powerful women across roles and industries than ever before because we are capable. We are skilled. We are not just lucky.

Neda: They have found a way to play to their strengths, instead of trying to fit into a gender perception mould of what it means to be successful. They have found their uniqueness and share their learnings, openly. I have also found that those with a greater sense of awareness, especially in positions of power or authority, use their voice for the greater of all, not just some.

This International’s women’s day, we encourage open discussion about bias and how it impacts you at work and home. Our hope is that through awareness, we can identify bias and evolve to appreciate, value and celebrate our differences #breakthebias

What is active listening, and why should you use it at work?

Active listening is the process of fully engaging with someone during a conversation by paying careful attention, asking thoughtful questions, and taking the time to understand what’s being said. This is easier said than done, as active listening requires an immense amount of focus. But investing in this skill is well worth the effort, as you’ll see in our post. 

Why active listening is an essential workplace skill

You may be wondering: Don’t we practice active listening every day? Not necessarily. It’s important to recognise that there’s a huge difference between hearing and listening. The former is a passive process, while the latter is active. We’ll illustrate the difference with an example. 

Let’s say you’re having a conversation with a colleague about an urgent project. When you’re speaking, it’s clear they’re not paying attention – they’re constantly glancing at their phone and not making eye contact. Your teammate also frequently interjects with their own thoughts without acknowledging yours. While this colleague may hear what you say, it’s clear they’re not actively listening. 

Now let’s say you’re having the same conversation with a different team member. This person gives you verbal cues to make it clear they’re engaged with you. They also give you the space to speak and follow up with thoughtful questions to make sure they understand what you’re saying. This is active listening in action.

Seeing these two examples side-by-side, it’s clear why active listening is an essential skill for the workplace. By practicing active listening, you can: 

  • Form better relationships. When you take the time to listen to your colleagues, you strengthen your relationship with them. Having a solid foundation like this makes it easier to collaborate, communicate, and work through problems.
  • Position yourself as a leader. Being a good leader and being a good listener go hand-in-hand. When you can demonstrate that you possess active listening skills, people are more likely to respect you and turn to you for guidance. 
  • Improve your problem-solving abilities. In every role, you’re going to encounter obstacles. How well you overcome these hurdles has a lot to do with your ability to understand the problem – and this can only be accomplished by actively listening to the inputs of your team members. 

5 recommendations to practice active listening

Now that you understand the importance of active listening in the workplace, let’s discuss tactics to incorporate them into your day-to-day role. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations. 

1. Approach the conversation with an open mind

When you enter a conversation with a rigid mindset, it’s unlikely to be productive. You’ll be so focused on getting your own point across that it’ll be difficult to pay attention to what the other person says. Instead, try to approach every discussion with an open mind and be prepared to change your mind. This will make the process of active listening much more manageable. 

2. Use verbal cues

Paying attention to verbal cues is critical to active listening. For instance, you may notice that your colleague frowns when talking about a decision made by the leadership team. This is an excellent opportunity to ask a follow-up question to see what’s bothering them and better understand their situation. 

Similarly, you want to provide verbal cues as well. Nodding, smiling, and making eye contact are all great ways to show your conversation partner that you’re engaged with what they’re saying. This type of body language also makes whoever you’re speaking with feel more comfortable, increasing the chances that they’ll be transparent with you.

3. Ask clarifying questions

A great way to strengthen your active listening skills is to ask thoughtful follow-up questions. By doing so, you’re signalling to the other person that you’re interested in the conversation and are eager to hear the speaker’s message. These clarifying questions also present a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the discussion. 

4. Be present

We’ve all had the experience of being part of a conversation where we excitedly wait for the perfect moment to interject with an opinion or fun fact. While this is totally normal, it can take away from the experience of active listening. When you’re busy planning what you’re going to say, you’re likely not paying attention to the other person and won’t absorb the information they’re sharing. 

5. Paraphrase

Another great technique for active listening is to paraphrase what the other person is saying. This gives you an opportunity to confirm that you’ve fully understood the message your colleague is trying to convey. If you’re not sure how to do this, try using a phrase like “what I’m hearing from our conversation is that…” And follow up with “am I understanding you correctly?” to give the other person an opportunity to make clarifications. 

Active listening is a valuable skill that can be used both in and out of the workplace. With enough practice, you’ll start to experience the benefits, from forming stronger relationships to improving your problem-solving skills. Use our recommendations to practice, strengthen, and fine-tune your active listening skills.

What is unconscious bias, and why does it matter in the workplace?

Most people say they would never judge a person by how they look, their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or age. But according to social psychologists at the University of Washington and Yale, 90-95% of people judge people unconsciously. This is known as unconscious bias.

What is unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias are thoughts or feelings we’re not directly aware of, that influence our judgement. They are the attitudes and stereotypes that affect our views, our actions, and our decision-making ability, which we’ve unconsciously created from our own background and experiences. It happens automatically, and is triggered by our brain making quick judgements and opinions of people and situations.

Why do we have unconscious bias?

Everyone has biases, whether we’re aware of them or not. It’s a fundamental aspect of being human. Scientists believe that these quick judgements and decisions can help us navigate the world without being overwhelmed, because the unconscious mind can process more information than our conscious minds. However, the downside of this is that prejudice occurs during important decisions such as recruitment, healthcare and criminal justice which can disadvantage people.

Why does unconscious bias matter in the workplace?

When unconscious bias is present in the workplace it can drive negative impact in the following ways:

  • talented people are left out of your workforce, or not allowed equal opportunity for development and career progression
  • diverse voices aren’t heard in meetings and decisions can be impaired
  • culture is not genuinely demonstrating inclusive workplace principles
  • employees are not able to fully contribute to your organisation
  • creativity and productivity of your team or organisation may be compromised.

Common types of bias at work

Introductions and first impressions

Foundations for first impressions come from our own experiences and sense of the world — what’s familiar to us. Our reactions to someone we don’t know may be positive, negative, or neutral depending on what’s visible or audible about them; depending on their race, perceived sexual orientation, accent or a number of other characteristics.

First impressions are powerful. We need to be aware of the impact that has on the assessment you have when you first meet them.

Stereotypes and performance bias

Performance bias occurs when people who are part of dominant groups, such as being white or male, are judged by their expected potential, while those who are part of less dominant groups such as people of colour or women are judged by their proven accomplishments.

Heidi vs Howard: Gender bias in success and likeability

In 2003 Frank Flinn, a Columbia Business School Professor and NYU Cameron Anderson ran an experiment to test perceptions of men and women in the workplace.

They started with a Harvard Business School case study about a real-life entrepreneur named Heidi Rosin. The case described how Heidi became a venture capitalist using her outgoing personality, and vast personal and professional network, that included many of the most powerful business leaders in the technology sector.

They gave the case study to two classes of students. One class read Heidi’s story and the other class read the same story but with one difference, they changed the name from Heidi to Howard. Then, they polled the students.

Students rated Heidi and Howard as equally competent, which made sense because their accomplishments were identical. Yet while students respected Heidi and Howard, Howard came across a more “appealing colleague” Heidi, on the other hand was seen as “selfish” and not the type of person you want to hire or work for.

The same data, with a single difference: Gender, created vastly different impressions. This experiment supports what research already has clearly shown which is that success and likeability are positively correlated for men, and negatively correlated for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less. 

Women are expected to be nurturing and care-taking, while men are expected to be assertive and action-oriented. Having to produce results and be liked makes it harder for women to get hired and promoted, negotiate on their own behalf, and exhibit leadership.

What can you do in your team, or at work?

  1. Become mindful of your own unconscious bias and reflect on it.
  2. Take the Harvard Implicit Assessment Test to see what your unconscious biases are.
  3. Call out unconscious bias when you see it. If we can create an environment where we recognise bias, we can improve together.
  4. Standardise processes like hiring by building a grading criteria, asking the same questions to candidates and setting the same tests.
  5. During the hiring process, get managers to speak last. A manager’s perspective can influence a team’s input. See what more ideas can arise, if a manager listens and speaks last.

Celebrating women leaders at Flare on International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, the theme is #ChooseToChallenge. We are so fortunate to work with so many phenomenal women here at Flare, and we spoke with 4 of our female leaders about what this year’s theme means to them, and their best tips for living your best financial life and building inclusive workplaces.

Liz Crawford

Chief Technology Officer, Flare

Liz is an engineering, product, and data science leader with a background in artificial intelligence and entrepreneurship.

What does #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

To me, the theme is about being a force for positive change. Identifying opportunities and taking action against them, speaking up. There are ways each and every one of us can make a difference. As someone in a technology leadership role I have the opportunity to mentor women, to build a diverse and inclusive team and to influence others to do the same.

At Flare, we believe in empowering every Aussie to live their best financial life. How do you approach this in your own life?

There is so much that goes into this. I’m a big believer in hard work and honing your craft. This helps take care of your personal revenue line while you are younger via your ability to earn money for the work you do. For me, it’s not about maximising this revenue line, work is a large part of my life and it is important to me that I enjoy it and believe I’m contributing positively to the world.

The other side of this is savings, investment and spending. I have always spent less than I have earned which has allowed me to save and invest. Saving has required me to be frugal at times (I spent years doing a PhD on a fellowship), but it’s never meant not having necessities. I know that is a privilege. Everyone’s situation and preferences are different and at Flare we aim to help people in the ways that matter for them.

What advice do you have for businesses that are looking to build a more inclusive workplace?

Take the time to educate yourself. There is so much material out there you can learn from. Two specific tips on hiring. First, be aware of how your hiring criteria can skew your pool of eligible candidates. For example, if women engineers are less represented in a particular developer community, and you limit your search to that community you will likely end up with a worse gender ratio than companies with broader criteria. Second, if you want to hire a more diverse group, make a point of sourcing for it. Don’t just say, well we can’t do better because the candidate pool lacks diversity. If you care, make the effort. Same thing goes when organising a conference, recruiting a board, etc.

Brittany Wong

VP Marketing, Flare

Brittany is a marketing leader experienced in leading and building collaborative, high performance teams to drive market position, build demand and accelerate customer growth.

What does #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

This is all about taking a stand for gender equality, and equality for all — and doing something about it. From what I’ve learned, gender inequality is at the heart of many injustices and socio-economic issues in communities and the world. Though many of us care about equality, few of us take action to drive change. “Choose to challenge” is a call to action to do something about it. 

At Flare, we believe in empowering every Aussie to live their best financial life. How do you approach this in your own life?

In my early twenties, I lived my best ‘party’ life, studied, traveled and worked crazy hours to start my career. But behind the scenes of all of this, I was always working to pay off my upcoming credit card bill. This trend went on for years, and I thought nothing of it. As I earned more, I spent more. It wasn’t until I was 25 when a girlfriend (that went out as much as I did), bought a house on her own without any financial assistance. I was floored. How did she do this? Weren’t we all spending our hard earned money frivolously?  When I asked her how she did it, she told me that her mom, who raised her and her sister on her own,  had taught them to put 20% of their earnings away every pay cheque since she started working at 16. My girlfriend followed her mom’s advice (which was mandatory at the start) and told me she never noticed the difference when it came to living life.  This simple habit was the difference between me (who had absolutely no money to buy a house) and her (who was a homeowner at age 25). 

I’ve learned that simple financial habits can go a long way. All you need to do is get started with one or two savings habits, then you can start investing and multiplying your wealth. 

When I was young, technology didn’t exist to support or educate people on financial habits, but today, it does. Anyone can empower themself to live their best financial life with the right habits, education and tools; and that’s why I’m proud of what we’re building at Flare. 

What advice do you have for businesses that are looking to build a more inclusive workplace?

Start somewhere. If you don’t believe building an inclusive workplace is important, then you can’t make progress towards it. 

My advice is to start small and build up from there. Find a passionate group of people who care about inclusivity,  identify a Project Sponsor (or senior executive) to support and raise awareness of the initiative,  and drive progress through action and programs that can be felt and experienced by employees. 

Janine Fry

Head of Customer Experience, Flare

Janine is a customer experience leader who has extensive experience in technology businesses.

What does #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

For me it’s challenging the perception of women in the workplace, and more specifically in leadership. We should not need to mirror and mimic the behaviours which made our male counterparts successful. Successful leadership can be reflected in some of those non-traditional ‘success’ qualities such as kindness, empathy and tenacity; where you don’t need to have the loudest voice to be heard.

At Flare, we believe in empowering every Aussie to live their best financial life. How do you approach this in your own life?

Before becoming a teacher, my Dad was an actuary and created a home where we were able to have difficult conversations about money, where the art of deciding between wants and needs were regularly practiced and where instant gratification was not common. Dad had a saying ‘people first, then money, then things’ (I later discovered it was ripped from Suze Orman)! For us, it meant – comprehensive insurance for my folks (life, income, health), good schools for my sister and I, followed by savings, then needs, then wants. It’s an approach I continue to practice, and an approach which overtime has enabled me to focus on long term financial wellness. The key takeaway here is acknowledging that finance is a deeply-emotional topic for many folks and having conversations early with kids is vital.

My sister and I were raised to be fiercely independent and wildly curious, which I’m forever grateful for, as it has shaped my view on learning. Educating myself on the things I don’t understand to enable informed, balanced financial decisions has been a game-changer for me. 

What advice do you have for businesses that are looking to build a more inclusive workplace?

We all have our biases which have been developed and shaped by our experiences. For me, personally it’s acknowledging they exist and continuing to work to educate myself on that which I don’t understand. Assuming the best in everyone and giving myself time to deeply understand the experience of others. 

Appreciate the fundamental reality of human nature. That we all like to be given an opportunity to be treated as individuals in an environment where our individual needs are considered and catered for. When that is done in a genuine and heartfelt way, diversity and inclusion organically starts to happen.

Emily Butler

Head of Consumer Marketing, Flare

Emily is a strategic marketing and brand leader with 18+ years of global experience in digital, entertainment, e-commerce and startups.

What does #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

For me this is all about speaking up when something doesn’t seem right, and elevating women’s stories at a time when their voices are more important than ever. There are plenty of traditional values being dismantled and challenged every day in Australia and around the world, but there’s always more work to do. I started my marketing career in media 20 years ago, when gender bias and casual sexism was just another day in the office. I honestly didn’t even know it was a thing, the behaviour was so normalised. Seeing my female mentors challenge what it means to be a working woman and parent today has been a big inspiration to me, and I’m always learning and acknowledging that I have a responsibility to lift other women up. 

At Flare, we believe in empowering every Aussie to live their best financial life. How do you approach this in your own life?

Women in Australia retire with 40% less in superannuation than men, as we’re more likely to be out of the workforce to have children or provide care for family members. Combined with the gender pay gap, this can significantly impact women in retirement. Additionally, up to 16% of Australian women will experience financial abuse in their lives, which essentially renders women powerless in relationships as their access to money is restricted by their partner. 

Developing a healthy, independent relationship with my money, and understanding how much I need to retire comfortably has been a big game changer for me. I had 5 superannuation accounts before I left Australia for New York back in 2011 — consolidating them via 5 different paper forms went very firmly into the too-hard basket as I packed up my life for the move. After I arrived in the city, I knew I had to get my act together and start adulting. I learned how to build my credit rating so I could rent an apartment. My now husband and I started saving — I am extremely fortunate to have a partner who shares every aspect of running our family 50/50. I opened a 401k retirement account as my employer made co-contributions — there is no compulsory superannuation system over there. I’m so grateful my boss at the time suggested I do this, as by the time I relocated back to Australia, my 401k was on par with what I had in those 5 superannuation accounts. 

I’m really proud of our vision at Flare because we’re meeting Aussies where they’re at, and giving them the tools they need regardless of how far along they are in their financial journey. It’s never too late to start building healthy habits. And consolidating your super is extremely easy these days, especially if your super fund prioritises the digital member experience.

What advice do you have for businesses that are looking to build a more inclusive workplace?

It’s important to acknowledge our biases, unconscious or otherwise, and give underrepresented groups a voice. My advice to leaders and hiring managers is to check your privilege at the door, and don’t assume you know the challenges everyone faces on a daily basis. Speak to your teams. Understand how they feel, and be proactive in addressing any concerns they have. Having an open mind when it comes to hiring a woman who might be returning to the workforce is hugely important — I’ve seen how hard women have to work to feel in control of their careers. In New York, I went back to work when my first child was only 4 months old. I expressed milk for my baby in a bathroom, twice a day, for 6 months. This was very “normal,” and while going back was my choice, plenty of women do not have this luxury. They simply can’t afford not to work, or they’re concerned about the impact an extended break might have on their career. 

Balancing work and family is hard — I really had no concept of this before I had children! I’m grateful to work at Flare alongside so many other parents, including our founders, Dan and James. They are both incredibly supportive and understanding when it comes to being a working mum and raising a family — and this should not be a rarity. Being human and empathising with each other is the key to a happy, inclusive workforce.

How to write a job description to get high-quality applicants

Filling your talent pipeline with high-quality candidates isn’t easy – especially in such a crowded job market. In fact, research finds that it takes Australian companies an average of 68 days and $5,000 to fill a vacant position.

But there are ways to make your company stand out from the crowd. One way is by crafting a top-notch job description. In this post, we’ll explain how to write a job description that attracts great candidates to your company. 

How to write a job description that attracts high-quality applicants

While it’s easy to slap together a job description and blast it across multiple job sites, attracting high-quality applicants requires a more thoughtful approach. Here are five of our best recommendations when it comes to writing a quality job description. 

1. Conduct a job analysis

A job analysis is a process of collecting information about the specific role you’re hiring for. The purpose of conducting a job analysis is to ensure you’re representing the skills, knowledge, and background needed for the role as accurately as possible for applicants. While there are many ways to gather this data, here are a few ways to start:

  • Look at the job descriptions of competitors hiring for similar roles
  • Interview or observe employees who are in the same or similar role at your organisation
  • Review sites like Glassdoor to get a sense of the required skills, responsibilities, and salary of the role

2. Collect input from other employees

Another way to ensure your job description is as thorough as possible is to consult the employees within your own organisation. If you’re hiring for a Marketing Coordinator, for example, you may want to speak with other members on the marketing team – especially the manager that will be overseeing the new hire. 

If you want to take this strategy a step further, have conversations with people from other teams who are likely to work closely with the new hire. So if your Marketing Coordinator is going to work alongside your sales team, interview a few of your Account Executives to understand their expectations and perspectives.

After you put the initial draft of the job description together, you may want to have these same people review it to ensure you’ve captured all their feedback accurately. 

3. Provide all the key information up-front

Now that you have all this information collected, how do you write the official job description? The most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s better to share more details, rather than less. To help you format and prioritise all of your information, below are the basic sections you should include in the job description:

  • A description of the job and job title
  • A summary of the location, role responsibilities, and preferred qualifications
  • An overview of the company culture and benefits
  • The expected salary range
  • The company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement
  • Any additional information about potential travel requirements, work hours, etc.

The more information you provide up-front, the more likely it is that the applicant will be a good match for your organisation. When you don’t share key information, such as the salary range, you may end up wasting everyone’s time when it turns out that the compensation doesn’t align with the applicant’s expectations. 

4. Review the job description for biases

Before hitting ‘publish’ on your job description, have a third party review your job description for any biases or non-inclusive language. It’s easy to let minor mistakes slip through without realising or intending to, which is why it’s helpful to have fresh eyes on your work! 

Whoever reviews your job description should look for things like non-gender neutral pronouns or gender-coded words, internal jargon that might alienate applicants, or any other signs of implicit bias. 

5. Identify the right channels to post your job description

Finally, you want to make sure you’re publishing your job description on high-quality job sites. While it might seem like the best strategy is to spam as many of them as possible, this will only end up wasting your valuable time and money. 

Instead, we encourage HR teams to take a more targeted approach and select job sites that are known for attracting high-quality candidates. Below are a few of the websites, which are a mix of local and global, that we recommend starting with: 

A thoughtful and well-written job description is the first step to bringing more high-quality candidates into your talent pipeline. Use our recommendations to get started on the right foot. Flare HR also provides free onboarding software that can help you onboard new employees and give them the best first days and the best onboarding experience. To learn more, please request a demo.

How to manage five different generations in the workplace

Companies are currently at a unique crossroads: for the first time ever, we’re seeing five generations represented in the workforce. While this certainly presents new challenges in the workplace, we also view this as an exciting opportunity to create a cohesive and collaborative multi-generational culture. We’ll explain how in this blog post.  

An overview of the five generations in the workplace 

Before we dive into our best practices, let’s get familiar with the generations that are currently represented in the workforce. We share a few key points to know about each group below. Keep in mind that these are general observations to help us understand every generation’s big-picture goals, motivations, and needs – and not necessarily an accurate representation of every individual within the demographic.

Generation Z

Employees in this generation, also more casually referred to as Gen-Z, were born between 1995 and 2012 and make up around 5% of the global workforce. Below are a few additional characteristics of this group: 

  • Are digital natives, but they still tend to prefer face-to-face communication
  • Care deeply about doing meaningful work 
  • Are invested in social issues, such as sustainability, diversity, and climate change
  • Has an entrepreneurial spirit and prefers independent work 


Millennials, also referred to as Generation Y, are comprised of people born between 1980 and 1994. This group currently makes up around 35% of the workforce. Here are a few other things to know about Millennials in the workplace:  

  • Are very comfortable with technology and prefer to use it at work 
  • Prefer collaboration and team-oriented companies
  • Place a lot of importance on recognition, mentorship, and feedback
  • Want to be challenged to grow and aren’t afraid to question authority

Generation X

People from this generation were born between 1965 and 1979 and are also more casually referred to as Gen-X. They currently make up around 33% of the workforce. Below are additional things to know about this generation of workers: 

  • Prioritise work-life balance
  • Value resourcefulness and problem-solving  
  • Weren’t raised with technology but are still adept at using it
  • Thrive in leadership positions and hold over 50% of them

Baby Boomers

This generation is defined by people who were born between 1946 and 1964 and represents around 25% of the workforce. Here are a few other things you should know about Baby Boomers in the workplace: 

  • Motivated by prestige, promotions, and professional accomplishments
  • Value independence and self-reliance 
  • Enjoy competition and thrive in challenging work environments
  • Tend to be goal-driven and disciplined 

Silent generation

Employees in the Silent Generation, who are also commonly referred to as Traditionalists, were born between 1928 and 1945. They make up around 2% of the workplace. Below are a few additional characteristics of this group: 

  • Loyal to their employees and respect authority
  • Value stability, security, and consistency
  • Hardworking and strong-willed

3 best practices for cross-generational collaboration

1. View differences as strengths, not setbacks

While it’s important to recognize differences between both individuals and groups, these dissimilarities don’t have to be viewed as a setback. Just as HR teams embrace racial and gender diversity, age diversity is something to be welcomed as well. Unfortunately, age isn’t considered among 92% of companies that actually do have diversity hiring strategies in place. 

This ultimately impacts your business outcomes. A study found that being a part of a mixed-aged workplace group increased motivation for both older and younger colleagues and increased their intent to stay with the organization. Research also clearly demonstrates that age diversity can improve organizational performance. So whether you’re hosting a company-wide brainstorm or recruiting for new hires, don’t be afraid to cast your net wide. 

2. Avoid making general assumptions

It’s easy for people to wave their hands and dismiss Millennials as being “entitled” or criticise the Silent Generation for being “old fashioned.” But these are harmful assumptions that can get in the way of employees forming meaningful relationships with each other. There’s an opportunity for HR teams to step in and steer people away from making these general assumptions. 

For example, consider hosting training sessions on the harmful effects of ageism and other similar biases. Or host a group where employees can come together and have an open conversation about the challenges of working in a multi-generational workplace. This is a great way to normalise the topic of ageism instead of tiptoeing around the topic. 

3. Encourage cross-generational engagement

It’s easy for employees of similar ages to split up into their own social groups. But you don’t want people getting left out of conversations or bonding time because of this natural tendency to gravitate toward people who look like us. As the HR team, you can encourage employees to connect with others who aren’t necessarily their peers in age.

Consider setting up randomised Donut dates to pair people together. Or host team-oriented activities – like a virtual scavenger hunt or group talent show – and assign people to groups that they likely wouldn’t choose for themselves. While it may take some time, these opportunities will eventually lead to meaningful cross-generational relationships being formed at your organisation.  

Managing five generations in the workplace can seem daunting at first. But there are actually tons of benefits to having such a diverse range of ages, perspectives, and experiences represented at your company. Use our best practices to create a culture that embraces multi-generational differences.

To learn how Flare HR’s free onboarding software and employee benefits can strengthen your company culture, request a demo.

5 practices to build a strong workplace culture from the Best Places to Work winners

Every year, a research institute called Great Place to Work Australia compiles a list of organisations that are considered to have the most desirable company cultures. This ranking is based on surveys of nearly 40,000 Australian employees, as well as an evaluation of the employers’ policies and procedures.

According to the research institute, a great place to work can be defined as one “where you trust the people you work with, have pride in what you do, and enjoy the people you work with.” But what exactly does this mean? We took a closer look at what these top-notch companies are doing to keep their employees happy and identified four best practices that you can put into action with your own workforce. 

5 Best practices to build a strong workplace culture 

Drawing inspiration from the 2020 Best Places To Work list, we’ve pulled out some of the best practices that these companies use to strengthen their workplace culture.

1. Take a purpose-driven approach to business  

Purpose-driven organisations have clearly identified their reasons for existing – beyond just their profits, products, and services. And this purpose is infused into every aspect of their business, from the employee experience to the business strategy. These are the types of companies that people increasingly want to work for – especially Millennials, with 84% of this demographic believing that making a difference is more important than professional recognition.

This is a lesson that Interactive embodies well, and is the first step on Interactive’s five pillar wellbeing strategy, which is likely why it’s ranked first in this year’s Best Places To Work list. Director of People and Culture at InteractiveMerylee Crockett shares the other pillars on her list:

  1. Start with purpose – A commitment to keeping your why at the core of every decision you make.
  2. Safety – A commitment to keeping each other safe and investing in the physical and psychological wellbeing of our people.
  3. Connection – A commitment to a connected and collaborative workplace.
  4. Health – A commitment to nurturing your physical, mental and financial health.
  5. Resilience – A commitment to learn from any adversity thrown your way. 

At Interactive, building a resilient culture requires an integrated approach across all five pillars to succeed. Leaning on these pillars has allowed the workforce to stay resilient together by coping with adversity, continuing to build and adapt, and learning from their experiences.

2. Make your leaders accessible to employees 

Employees want to hear from their leadership team regularly – especially during times like today when circumstances are constantly changing. In fact, this type of engagement is so important that 91% of employees say communication issues can drag executives down.

That’s likely why IT service provider Insentra, which has featured on the Best Places To Work list for five years running, is focused on opening up communication channels between its executive team and the rest of the organisation – especially after going fully remote during COVID-19. Insentra’s co-founder and CEO, Ronnie Altit, explains that he’s been making a more conscious effort to engage in conversations with employees across all levels – even if that’s just sending them a quick message to say hello.

He’s also trying to make himself as accessible by hosting weekly team calls that provide employees with an opportunity to ask questions, engage in conversations, or simply provide an update on how things are going across the rest of the organisation.

3. Care personally 

One of the most common themes we identified on Australia’s 2020 Best Places To Work list is the importance of caring personally. In response to the global pandemic, employers have stepped up to provide their teams with the resources and support they need to stay healthy, productive, and optimistic during these challenging times. 

For example, Terlya Hunt the People Experience Manager at SafetyCulture went above and beyond to keep their employee as happy and healthy as possible during the pandemic. The company launched a new EAP to help employees build mental fitness, provided education on how to hold space for vulnerable conversations, and set weekly themes for Mental Health Month in October to cover all aspects of wellness – such as  finances and nutrition. 

4. Listen to what your employees have to say

Companies with strong cultures always listen to what their employees have to say. Many times, HR teams and company leaders make assumptions about what their workforce wants – and it’s not always aligned with reality. To prevent this from happening, use tools like pulse checks and surveys to collect feedback from your employees. 

These types of listening strategies are a huge part of what sets the best companies apart from the rest. SAP Australia, which is on the 2020 list for Best Places To Work, released a remote ‘pulse check’ this year so that their employees could regularly share how they’re feeling and what management could do to support them. Similarly, Insentra has been continuously surveying its workforce to identify any communication gaps.

5. Build a culture of resilience 

Lucy Horne, a researcher from New Zealand, defines resilience as a trait that allows people to adapt to and learn from adversity. During the pandemic, HR analysts like Josh Bersin have been stressing the importance of building resilient organisations, cultures, and people. Not only does this allow companies to survive tough times, but it’s also integral to the wellbeing of employees.

Lucy Lithgow the General Manager of People and Culture at BPAY set up a various initiatives across her organisation to give her staff more autonomy and trust because this is something she believes is key in driving a resilient culture. During this time, BPAY went from a good employee engagement rate to a 92% engagement rate this year. Some of the initiatives Lucy implemented includes: removing the requirement for employees produce a medical certificate if need the day off, removing the company dress code and finally allowing all employees to be given access to the recognition budget so that they can now recognise and reward a colleague or a peer for going above and beyond. These things have really helped BPAY foster a resilient culture.

There’s so much we can learn from these inspiring companies and their HR teams – especially today, when workplace culture is more critical than ever before. Take these learnings from the organisations featured on the  Best Places To Work list and put them into practice today. To learn how Flare HR’s free onboarding software and employee benefits can strengthen your company culture, request a demo.

5 ways to tell if someone is the right fit for the job

Hiring new talent is a critical step in growing a business. But, as all HR leaders are aware, it’s not easy to do. Research shows that it takes an average of 68 days and $5,000 to fill a vacant position in Australia. Given the amount of investment required for every candidate, you want to make sure that you’re hiring the right person.

While there’s no way to guarantee you’ll pick the perfect candidate every time, there are steps you can take to ensure your chances are much higher. In this article, we’ll explore five ways to determine whether or not someone is the right fit for the job.

5 ways to determine if a candidate is the right fit for the job 

At Flare, we have a thorough recruitment process to ensure the candidates we hire are the right fit for the role, the team, and the company. We share some of our most successful strategies below. 

1. Start with the right job description 

Even before you speak to a candidate, there’s a way to filter for individuals who are the right fit for your company. Your job description presents one of the best opportunities to share exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate, and what they can expect if they decide to join your team. Specifically, your job description should include: 

  • Your company values, mission, and an overview of the culture
  • Your diversity statement
  • Your employee benefits offering
  • A list of preferred skills for the role (both negotiable and non-negotiable)
  • An overview of the responsibilities of the position

It’s important to write a job description that’s personalised specifically to what you’re looking for instead of copying and pasting a template. While it’s a bit more work, it’ll save your hiring managers a ton of time and energy down the road. 

2. Understand their motivations 

When engaging with a candidate, take the time to understand their motivations. In other words, why are they interested in this role? What drives them to be successful at their job? These types of questions can help you understand what that person needs to be successful at your company and whether that aligns with what you’re realistically able to provide. 

For example, let’s say a candidate has historically worked at large corporations with competitive cultures. They prefer to work alone and are motivated by the idea of climbing the career ladder as quickly as possible. Your company, on the other hand, is built on a culture of collaboration and wellbeing and doesn’t offer as many opportunities for quick promotions. This may indicate that the candidate isn’t the best fit for your organisation.

3. Learn about their experience and way of thinking 

Of course, you also want to make sure candidates are going to produce high-quality work in their roles. This is especially true for more technical positions, such as engineers or IT specialists. One way you can get a better sense of their scope of knowledge is to administer a technical challenge – like a coding test. 

This type of assessment helps remove bias from the hiring decision and allows the team to observe how candidates approach the challenge. Do they perform well under pressure? Do they approach problems creatively? Do they ask for clarification when they don’t understand something? This test can also give candidates a solid understanding of the types of challenges they can expect to face in the role.

4. Look for cultural alignment 

Even though a candidate might look perfect on paper, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be a good match in person. That’s why it’s important to assess their personality, values, and general attitude to see if it aligns with your company culture. Otherwise, you risk hiring someone who will butt heads with the other employees. 

One important note: without the proper bias training, hiring managers may not be able to distinguish between actual cultural fit and their own personal preferences. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure to educate your team about the various biases that can emerge during interviews and how to mitigate them during the process. 

5. Explore mutual fit

Don’t forget that interviewing is a two-way street. The last thing you want is to hire an awesome candidate who isn’t that excited about the work you’re doing. So use the interviewing process as a time to explore mutual fit. There are a few ways to accomplish this. 

First, encourage candidates to ask as many questions as they want – and be honest when you answer them. Also, ask them if there’s anyone at the company that they want to speak to but haven’t had an opportunity to during the hiring process. For instance, maybe someone interviewing for a Product Marketing Manager role wants to chat with your Head of Engineering because their job will require them to work closely with that individual. Give candidates the chance to interact with as many people as possible so they can feel confident when accepting an offer from your company.

Want to make sure your new hires are set up for success? Flare offers a free onboarding software that can help you onboard new employees and give them the best onboarding experience and first days at your organisation. To learn more, please request a demo.

Hiring new talent is a critical step in growing a business. But, as all HR leaders are aware, it’s not easy to do. Research shows that it takes an average of 68 days and $5,000 to fill a vacant position in Australia. Given the amount of investment required for every candidate, you want to make sure that you’re hiring […]