The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on healthcare workers, and Healius is no exception. Rising COVID-19 case numbers heaped pressure onto employees, many of whom found themselves overworked, fatigued, and overstretched.
“Burnout went through the roof,” recalls Garth Quinn, Manager, People Experience at Healius. “The number of people contacting our Employee Assistance Program increased dramatically over the past few years.”
Coupled with this, as the Great Resignation began playing out across Australia, Healius became concerned about the state of employee wellbeing, and whether this could result in employees heading for the door.
Employees at Healius enjoy a wide range of Flare benefits that support their financial, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Car savings, made easy
The option to take out a novated lease through Flare has had particularly good uptake. As a cost-effective solution for a significant life expense, novated leasing allows employees to purchase a car and pay for its running expenses using their pre-tax income, through regular payroll deductions to the financier. Paying these expenses in this way reduces taxable income.
“It’s a really unique offering in the market that enables people to save on a major life purchase,” says Garth.
Since 2021, Healius employees have saved approximately a quarter of a million dollars through Flare’s novated car leasing benefit. It’s also a convenient, simple and stress-free way of purchasing a car.
Alexandra Myers, a Veterinarian Pathologist at Healius, recently immigrated from the United States and was in the market to purchase a new car. With a busy life and a new job, Alexandra felt overwhelmed by the idea of car shopping. In the past, car shopping had been an unpleasant experience where she had visited multiple dealerships, compared lists of options, and haggled on prices.
“The novated lease option seemed really appealing to me since a) I realised I could use pre-tax dollars towards payments and b) someone would be guiding me through the whole process,” says Alexandra.
“Our experience with Flare was much less stressful than our previous car buying experience. I told the Flare folks what kind of car we were looking for, and they found the car, got us quotes, and handled the financing and salary packaging aspects. Basically, they took care of everything,” shares Alexandra.
In the past, novated leasing was rarely a perk extended to the average employee but was typically offered to higher-income earners exclusively, or to professionals who needed a car to fulfil the requirements of their job.
“We thought that leasing carried a huge operational burden,” says Garth. “Through Flare, we’ve been able to provide this benefit to our people with minimal hassle or stress.”
“The whole novated lease process was simpler and more convenient than the traditional car buying experience, and the Flare folks basically held my hand through the whole thing. They got me the car I wanted delivered to my door, and I can use pre-tax dollars to pay for it which reduces my taxable income.” – Alexandra Myers, Veterinarian Pathologist, Healius
Wellness and retail savings show care
Turnover has also been kept at bay by supporting employees’ physical and mental wellbeing through a turbulent few years. This has been helped by Healius employees having access to Flare’s competitive suite of perks, discounts and wellness resources from leading Australian retailers and service providers. In the period 16 March – 13 April this year, each Healius employee using Flare benefits saved an average of $32.
Through the Flare app, employees have used benefits such as healthcare subsidies and vouchers at leading Australian retailers for everyday purchases, and Garth anticipates the use of health benefits will only increase.
“We’re unlikely to emerge from the pandemic anytime soon, so employee wellbeing is still a major concern,” he says. “Offering these benefits signals to our people that we are here for them, through thick and thin. It’s one of the key things helping us keep the best talent at Healius.”
Empower employees to choose their super
With access to Flare’s superannuation platform, employees can view their super options easily and quickly. Importantly, it can help people make a well-informed choice when selecting their fund.
“We’ve found Flare’s benefits platform has made a huge difference to the financial wellbeing of our people. So many people have said it’s easy to make more informed choices about their superannuation because the platform presents super in a simple and accessible way”, says Garth.
Garth says this is particularly beneficial given many employees at Healius are casual or part-time collectors or couriers. “If we can make it easier for them and help them to be confident that their choice of super fund is delivering the best results for them, then that’s a great thing,” says Garth.
“It’s about helping to empower our people to set themselves up for success in retirement.”
Outcomes: Employee retention
The pressures brought on by the pandemic could have sent employees to the door, but Healius went above and beyond to support its people – and has reaped the rewards as a result.
Garth says that giving Healius employees access to Flare’s platform not only benefited its workforce; it also helped the company by boosting retention and attracting new staff. The retention rate for employees at Healius with a Flare lease is 98 per cent.
“If someone has a novated lease with a company, and a competitor doesn’t offer this, they might be inclined to stay,” says Garth. “It might also retain an employee for a couple more years because they want to get through their novated lease cycle.”
The benefits platform also keeps employees engaged and connected with the business. “It fosters a sense of belonging,” Garth says. “We can’t necessarily engage people in the ways we used to before COVID-19. If our employees aren’t in the office, we need to engage them virtually. Providing these benefits is about giving them something remotely to show we care that will add value to them.”