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5 Ways to Unlock Employee Engagement: Harnessing Strategic Benefits for HR Success

Employee engagement lays the foundation for a vibrant workplace culture. Engaged employees exhibit heightened productivity, creativity, and dedication to their company’s triumph. As HR practitioners, nurturing an atmosphere where your people feel appreciated, driven, and deeply connected to their tasks is paramount. When done right, employee benefits can be a powerful tool in our arsenal for achieving a highly engaged workforce. 

According to our data in the last Wave 2 of our National Employee Benefits Index which was released in July 2023, data showed that 1 in 4 employees considered leaving their employers.

In this article, we’ll explore the vital link between employee engagement and benefits and discuss how HR professionals can leverage benefits to enhance engagement within their organisations.


Understanding Employee Engagement:

Before delving into the role of benefits, it’s crucial to understand what employee engagement entails. All companies have their own definition of ‘employee engagement’ but this goes beyond mere job satisfaction. As per Culture Amp, it is a key metric that reflects an employee’s commitment an employee has towards their organisation and its goals. Engaged employees are passionate about their work, aligned with the company’s values, and willing to go the extra mile to contribute to its success.

Benefits and Employee Engagement:

Employee benefits play a pivotal role in shaping the employee experience and influencing engagement levels. While salary and compensation are essential, benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and work-life balance initiatives can significantly impact employee satisfaction and loyalty.

The link between benefits and engagement:

Offering comprehensive benefits packages not only demonstrates value and appreciation for employees’ well-being and needs but also enhances work-life balance through components like flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and paid time off. By facilitating a harmonious integration of professional responsibilities with personal obligations, these benefits foster happier, less stressed, and more engaged employees. Moreover, benefits such as tuition reimbursement, training programs, and opportunities for career advancement signify the organisation’s commitment to supporting professional growth, and motivating employees to excel in their roles by providing a clear path for development. Additionally, healthcare benefits, wellness initiatives, and employee assistance programs contribute significantly to improving employees’ physical and mental well-being, resulting in a more productive, resilient, and engaged workforce. Furthermore, benefits promoting inclusivity, diversity, and employee recognition play a pivotal role in fostering a positive company culture where employees feel valued, respected, and connected to their peers and the organisation’s mission.

Implementing Effective Benefits Strategies:

To unlock the maximum impact of benefits on enhancing employee engagement, HR professionals must embrace a strategic mindset and carefully assess the benefits that resonate with employees. Here are essential strategies to kickstart your journey:

Customise Benefits Packages: Understand the diverse needs and preferences of your workforce and tailor benefits packages accordingly. Offering a range of options allows employees to select benefits that align with their individual priorities and lifestyles.

Communicate Effectively: Ensure that employees are well informed about the benefits available to them and how to access them. Clear communication helps employees appreciate the value of their benefits and encourages utilisation.

Seek Feedback and Adapt: Regularly solicit feedback from employees to understand their evolving needs and preferences. Use this feedback to refine and enhance the benefits offerings to better align with employee expectations.

Promote Work-Life Balance: Encourage managers to support flexible work arrangements and promote a culture that values work-life balance. Lead by example by prioritizing your own well-being and modelling healthy work habits.

Measure Impact: Implement metrics to assess the effectiveness of your benefits programs in driving employee engagement. Monitor key indicators such as retention rates, employee satisfaction surveys, and participation in wellness programs to gauge the impact of benefits on engagement levels.

To learn more about how you can achieve strong levels of employee engagement in your organisation, schedule an obligation-free meeting now. 

Top team-building activities you can do to strengthen your company culture

Good team building exercises allow employees to get to know each other on a more personal level – learn about their strengths, personality and passion. As they say, a team that works well together is more productive and successful! Team building can also play an important role in building a successful company culture, however, finding the best ones that suit your organisation can be a challenging task. That’s why we put together these six team building ideas which you can use to strengthen your company culture and to improve employees engagement and productivity.

Continue reading “Top team-building activities you can do to strengthen your company culture”

10 free tools for remote working teams

With COVID-19 keeping everyone away from the office, the need for tools that accommodate remote teams continues to grow. Unfortunately, many companies are also having to keep their budgets small and can’t afford to invest in pricey software to meet their needs. Thankfully, there are several free tools out there that HR teams can use to make their jobs a bit easier. We share our top recommendations in this post. 

10 free tools for remote HR teams 

While there are many great options to choose from, we selected some of our favourite tools to make remote work easier for HR teams and employers. To help put them into action faster, we also shared ideas on how to use them for HR-related projects and initiatives below.

1. Asana

Asana is a task management platform that makes it easy to collaborate on projects with other team members. This is a great tool for remote work since it allows people to keep tasks organised, communicate with one another, and keep track of progress – all in one virtual workspace. Below are a few ways HR teams can use Asana:

  • Create a to-do list for new hires that they can check items off as they go
  • Manage ongoing projects with other members of the HR team
  • Document processes (i.e. for onboarding and offboarding) that managers and leaders can easily reference

2. Slack 

Communication is key – especially when it comes to remote work. Having a communication platform that can be used via desktop or mobile, such as Slack, makes the experience of working with decentralised teams much more seamless. Here are ideas on how HR teams can use Slack to their advantage: 

  • Create a Slack channel specifically for new hires
  • Regularly check in on employees to make sure everyone is feeling supported
  • Set up reminders for upcoming virtual webinars, events, or meetings

3. Flare HR 

At Flare, we offer multiple products that are free for companies to use – such as a remote onboarding software and an exclusive benefits and discount platform. These offerings can help streamline all your HR processes and provide a better overall experience for your employees. With Flare, you can: 

  • Add new employees quickly and integrate with your ATS  
  • Easily generate employment contracts and policy documents
  • Send new hires a link and have them enter information, sign contracts, upload certificates and more through a simple online interface
  • Give your workforce access to exclusive benefits and discounts with leading retailers like Woolworths, JB Hi-Fi, and Amazon

4. SurveyMonkey 

Surveys are an incredibly important tool for all HR teams to have at their disposal. If you don’t have the budget to afford a more comprehensive surveying platform, you can always use a free version of SurveyMonkey to create your own. Here are a few types of surveys you may want to consider distributing to your workforce: 

  • Employee engagement surveys
  • Pulse surveys
  • Onboarding and/or new hire surveys
  • Offboarding surveys
  • COVID-19-related surveys 

5. Donut 

When everyone is physically apart, it’s difficult to foster a sense of community. Donut is a great solution. This tool can help everyone – from people within your own team to other employees across the organisation – stay connected to one another by setting up virtual hangouts. Donut also integrates easily with Slack so you don’t have to download another platform to use it. There are lots of creative things you can do with this tool:   

  • Set up randomised “Donut dates” to encourage relationship building across teams
  • Assign new hires a buddy through Donut to help them ramp up and onboard faster
  • Create learning opportunities by connecting employees looking to learn new skills with experts inside your organisation using Donut 

6. Zoom 

Video calls are essential for remote work. This technology gives us that face-to-face time we need but otherwise wouldn’t be able to access outside the office. We love Zoom because it offers a free version that can host up to 100 participants and unlimited 1:1’s. They also offer an array of fun, virtual backgrounds to make meetings a bit more interesting. HR teams can use Zoom for multiple use cases, such as: 

  • Interviews with potential candidates 
  • Training sessions (such as a financial literacy workshop or DEI session) 
  • Company-wide meetings or celebrations 
  • Virtual events like happy hours or costume contests

7. Chimp or Champ 

Right now, employees are struggling with their wellbeing as a result of Covid-19. That means that it’s more important than ever to keep a finger on the pulse and check in with your workforce regularly. Chimp or Champ is a great tool that lets you send out an anonymous weekly employee happiness meter to see how everyone is doing. There are a few things you can do with the feedback you collect: 

  • Develop initiatives according to the happiness levels of employees
  • Create a monthly report to keep track of overall employee wellbeing (and make sure to share it with your leadership team so they’re aware too!) 

8. Dropbox

You likely work with lots of large documents in your job – such as contracts for new hires and legal documents for employees. Due to the file size, these documents are difficult to send through email. And we unfortunately don’t have the luxury of printing them out and handing directly to someone. In cases like this, Dropbox can be a huge help. It’s a platform where large files can be shared and downloaded. With this tool, you can: 

  • Create a shared folder for new hires that contains their contracts, forms, and other benefits information
  • Upload recordings of past trainings or webinars that all employees can easily access 

9. Loom 

One of the challenges with remote work is finding the right time to host meetings and events. Since everyone is working across different time zones and schedules, it’s challenging to find a time that’s convenient for everyone. Loom can help by letting you record presentations or announcements in advance. The tool then gives you a link so you can easily share the recording and let employees catch up when they have time. Here are a few other ways you can use Loom: 

  • Create videos that explain the onboarding and offboarding process
  • Pre-record training sessions so employees across all time zones can view it at their leisure
  • Have your CEO record messages or announcements to share with the organisation

10. Calendly

Being able to effectively schedule meetings is even more important in the remote world than it was in the office. Calendly is one of the best tools you can use to make the scheduling process a bit easier and more transparent. It integrates with popular calendar apps and shows people your availability so they can easily schedule a meeting or appointment with you. Some of the benefits of using Calendly includes:

  • Making scheduling easy for potential candidates who are interviewing
  • Simplifying the scheduling process across time zones
  • Reducing blockers to scheduling meetings for larger groups 

Using the right tools can make the remote working experience so much easier. Make sure to take advantage of the free ones we mentioned above to create a better work experience for yourself and a better HR experience for your employees. To learn more about Flare HR’s free onboarding software and employee benefits, request a demo.

A guide on how to onboard new employees remotely

As COVID-19 continues to keep employees remote, companies have to start thinking about how to adapt their HR processes accordingly. One of the most important experiences to consider is employee onboarding. The type of onboarding program you have in place has a significant impact on factors like new hire retention and productivity. In fact, a study found that a structured onboarding experience resulted in 69% of employees being more likely to stay with a company for three years and 50% greater new-hire productivity. 

While being remote does present some challenges to the onboarding process, we believe there are things you can do to make it just as strong as one that’s in person. Below, we outlined a five-step process to help you get your new hires onboarded remotely: 

1. Start with preboarding 

Many employers wait until the new hire’s first day to start the onboarding process. But there’s actually a step that comes before that called preboarding. The purpose of this step is to get your new hires up-to-speed before they start their new roles so they don’t feel overwhelmed on their first day. Preboarding activities have also been found to increase first-year retention by as much as 80 percent. These activities can include:

  • Filling out documents (employment contracts, super information, etc.)
  • Reviewing benefits options
  • Collecting personal information (employee’s favorite snack, personal hobbies, etc.)

To help companies manage this process remotely, Flare has a free digital onboarding software that lets you add new employees to your ATS, generate documents, and gives your new hires a seamless way to auto-sign contracts and share important information with the company. 

Related article: 10 Ideas to help you boost your employee engagement

2. Create a warm welcome experience 

Once you have all the preboarding logistics squared away, you can focus on creating a warm welcome experience for your new employee’s first day. Since your team won’t be able to take them out to a welcome lunch or greet them in person, it’s important to find other ways to make them feel excited about their new job. Below are a few ideas you can try:

  • Send a welcome card that’s been digitally signed by the CEO, their manager, and their new team members
  • Gift the new hire with a prepaid card to their neighbourhood cafe; They can grab a coffee and get to know their teammates through virtual hangout sessions
  • Host a virtual welcome party with the whole team
  • Ship a ‘welcome pack’ that contains the new employee’s favorite treats, movies, or board games

The last thing you want is for your new hire to feel isolated on their first day. These ideas will help your employees feel like they’re already part of the team and get them excited about their new company – even when they’re not physically at the office!

3. Establish a support system 

Any employee’s first day can feel a bit scary – especially when they’re remote and don’t have the luxury of asking the person sitting next to them a question or getting to know people over lunch. To make sure they feel supported from day one, it’s important to establish a system that they can turn to if they have questions, need help, or simply want to feel more integrated into the company. Here’s how:

  • Set your new employee up with a designated buddy. This is their go-to person if they have any questions, need someone to chat with over a virtual lunch, or simply want to learn more about the company 
  • Create a Slack channel for new hires. At Flare, we have one called #newbies that contains helpful resources and is a dedicated space where new employees can feel safe asking questions 
  • Encourage the new hire’s manager check in with them frequently during the first 30 days to make sure the transition is going smoothly 

Related article: 5 Ways to help your employees improve their financial wellbeing

4. Run induction sessions

In addition to helping your new hires feel socially integrated, you want to make sure they understand the various aspects of the business as well. This is where virtual induction sessions can be helpful. The purpose of these sessions is to meet with different leaders within the organisation – from the CEO to the Head of Engineering – so they can better understand how the business operates. 

Not only that, but induction sessions can help new employees put faces to names and develop a clearer view of how their specific role contributes to the broader mission of your company. This allows new hires to recognise that they’re a valuable part of the organisation and helps them find a sense of meaning in their work. 

5. Collect feedback 

Finally, remember that your onboarding process doesn’t end after 30 or 60 days. There are ways to continuously iterate on and improve your program – especially if your remote onboarding process is brand new. The best way to do this is to distribute an onboarding survey to new hires after they go through the experience. This provides an opportunity for them to share feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and how they felt coming out of the onboarding process – all valuable input that you can use to strengthen your existing program.

As you can see, a powerful employee onboarding experience can have a significant impact on your business. Thankfully, there are ways to make sure this process is effective, welcoming, and informative – even when doing so remotely. Follow our recommendations to make sure your onboarding process goes as smoothly as possible for your new remote employees.

To learn more about Flare’s free digital onboarding software, and how it can save you on time and paperwork, request a demo here.

Simple strategies to promote emotional wellbeing in your workplace

We live in an increasingly stressful world. Everything from rising costs to escalating pressures in the workplace are contributing to mental health issues in our employees. Given this, prioritising emotional wellbeing is more important than ever. But what exactly is preventing our workers from achieving emotional wellness, and what can we do to help? These are questions we’ll address in the rest of this post. 

Why is emotional wellbeing important? 

As of 2019, 50.6% of the Australian workforce had experienced a mental health condition, and two in five of those workers reported that their workplace either caused their condition or made it worse. These work-related mental health conditions cost approximately $543 million of workers compensation and $750 million in life insurance claims paid to Australians each year.

It’s clear that emotional wellbeing, or lack thereof, is a huge problem that infiltrates the workplace. There are a few reasons why it’s important for employers to address this problem head on: first, since one of the main sources of stress is from work, it’s every company’s responsibility to help alleviate some of that burden. Secondly, without addressing emotional wellbeing, we can’t expect our employees to perform their best at work. Mental health issues can affect everything from an employee’s satisfaction with their job to the bottom line. 

Related article: 5 Ways to help your employees improve their financial wellbeing

Barriers to emotional wellbeing 

It seems as though more and more employers are investing in emotional wellbeing programs each year. But if this is the case, why do mental health issues continue to be a problem among Australian workers? It may be that the programs aren’t explicitly addressing the most common barriers to emotional wellbeing, which include: 

  • Lack of education and training. A survey found the most common barrier to achieving an emotionally healthy workplace is lack of appropriate skills in managers. Therefore, investing in more training and education around mental health and wellbeing can help break down this particular barrier. 
  • Fear of stigma. Even though the conversation around emotional wellbeing is becoming more commonplace, that doesn’t mean the stigma around mental health issues doesn’t exist. In fact, research has found that mental health is the issue Australian workers feel most uncomfortable discussing with their managers.
  • Access to the wrong resources. Finally, it may also be the case that you’re not offering the resources that employees actually need to improve their emotional wellbeing. Unless your decisions were backed by feedback and data from your workforce, there’s a good chance that your employee wellness program isn’t aligned with people’s mental health priorities.  

In the next section, we’ll cover simple strategies that will help your organisation overcome these common barriers. 

Related article: 10 Ideas to help you boost your employee engagement

3 simple strategies to promote emotional wellbeing at your company

Your emotional wellbeing strategies don’t have to be complicated or break the bank. Start off with one or all three of these strategies to start taking steps in the right direction:

1. Make mental health trainings a requirement

Sometimes mental health can be tough or uncomfortable to talk about. That’s completely natural. But that’s why we encourage HR teams to invest in mental health training – not just for employees, but also for the managers and leaders at the company as well.

These educational opportunities can give everyone the practice they need to navigate conversations about emotional wellbeing, respond with more empathy to people who are struggling, and understand what next steps might look like. While you don’t want your managers to play the role of therapist for your employees, they should – at the very least – know how to handle those initial conversations and connect their direct reports to the right resources. 

2. Normalise conversations around emotional wellbeing

It’s unsurprising that Australian employees don’t feel comfortable talking about mental health at work. This usually stems from a fear of judgment or – worse – a fear that it’ll affect their career development. The best way to assuage these fears is to normalise conversations around mental health in the workplace so that your employees know this is a challenge that almost everyone is dealing with. 

Don’t just wait for Mental Health Month to have these conversations – instead, make it a normal and accepted part of your company culture. There are several ways to accomplish this: ask your leaders and managers to speak openly about their own mental health struggles; create safe spaces or Employee Resource Groups where people can speak openly about emotional wellbeing; and make it ok to take mental health days.

3. Customize your benefits offerings

This may also be a good time to revisit your benefits offerings. Even if you have an incredible benefits package that gives employees stipends for massages or virtual therapy sessions, that doesn’t mean it’s what your workforce needs. Maybe it turns out that they’d rather have flexible working hours and more mental health days instead. 

The only way to find out what your employees truly need is to ask them. You can do this through one-on-one conversations or, if you have a bigger organisation, send out a wellbeing survey to identify the current gaps in your benefits. Once you have this information in hand, you can actually customise your offerings to align with your employees’ priorities.

Don’t overlook emotional wellbeing when it comes to your overall HR strategy. The mental health of your employees has the potential to make a huge impact on their happiness, productivity, and desire to stay with your organisation. Use our strategies to demonstrate that you care and to promote the importance of emotional wellbeing in your workplace. 

If you have any employees who are in need of support, be sure to check out The Flare Wellness Network, a free hub designed to support Australian workers by giving them access to benefits and offers, while encouraging businesses to partner together in an effort to support the wellbeing of the Australian workforce.

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.

10 appealing employee benefits companies should consider

Employers understand that they play a huge role when it comes to helping their employees succeed both in and out of the workplace. But you may be wondering: how do we support every individual’s needs when we have a rapidly growing organisation? The answer lies in employee benefits.

Employee benefits are additional forms of compensation that are provided to employees in addition to their salaries. They’re a great way to address the needs of your workers and can easily be scaled. To ensure that you’re only investing in the most impactful offerings, we put together a list of 10 employee benefits that we believe will have the most positive effect on your workforce.

Why are employee benefits important? 

The average employee spends one-third of his or her life at work. Given this, workers have very limited time to tend to other aspects of their life – whether that’s family, personal passions, or health. By offering a variety of benefits, employers can make this balancing act a bit easier for their employees by providing them with the resources, tools, or opportunities needed to take care of their personal and professional needs. 

There are business advantages to offering employee benefits as well. These types of offerings have been proven to improve company culture, boost productivity, and increase retention rates – all of which can lead to significant cost savings for your organisation. 

Below, we share 10 types of employee benefits to consider.

Mental health

The unfortunate reality is that we’re living in an increasingly stressful world. This is reflected by the fact that more than half (55%) of Australian employees feel stressed at work. One of the most effective ways to help employees manage this stress is to offer mental health benefits. These can come in the form of tools and resources to help your employees relax, work through their problems, and build resilience. 

Examples of mental health benefits:

  • Online therapy or counselling services
  • Meditation or mindfulness apps 
  • Paid time off for mental health days 

Related article: 10 Ideas to help you boost your employee engagement

Physical health

Physical health is an extremely important component of employee wellness as well. Whether it’s helping your employees stay active or better manage any illnesses they’re dealing with, benefits that improve physical health can make a huge difference to your workforce. 

Examples of physical health benefits: 

  • Flexible wellness budgets
  • Subsidised gym memberships
  • Annual health screenings 
  • Chronic disease management or smoking cessation programs


Juggling the demands of both work and family is challenging. To ease some of the burden, employers can offer benefits that either financially support family-specific needs or make the integration between home life and the office a bit more seamless. 

Examples of family benefits: 

  • Flexible childcare spending accounts
  • Adoption, surrogacy, or in vitro fertilisation support 
  • Daycare center at the office 
  • Monthly family-friendly work events


As businesses start to re-open after COVID-19, we’re likely to see an uptick in commuting. Getting to and from work can easily be one of the most stressful parts of an employee’s day, as they battle terrible traffic or sit on the bus for long periods of time, just to get to their 9 a.m. meeting on time. Fortunately, there are commuter benefits you can offer to minimise the impact.

Examples of commuter benefits: 

  • Subsidised public transportation passes
  • Employee parking spots 
  • Flexible schedules that allow employees to commute during off-hours

Financial well-being

Two out of five Australian workers experience financial stress during their careers. This makes it clear why financial wellness benefits are becoming an increasingly important part of wellness programs for many organisations. Offering benefits to boost the financial health of your employees can help reduce anxiety and help them reach long-term goals like buying a home or starting a family.

Examples of financial well-being benefits: 

  • Financial counseling 
  • Real-time payments
  • Financial education courses 
  • Additional superannuation contributions

Related article: 5 Ways to help your employees improve their financial wellbeing

Professional development

A study found that one of the ‘must have’ benefits that Australian employees expect to receive is training and development on the job. To keep people feeling fulfilled and engaged at work, you have to provide them with opportunities to grow – not only professionally, but personally as well. Benefits are a great way to encourage this type of development. 

Examples of professional development benefits: 

  • Learning and development budget
  • Monthly training opportunities 
  • Coaching or mentoring programs

Flexible work

One of the other ‘must have’ benefits for Australian employees is flexible work arrangements. Increasingly, people are looking for the ability to choose when and where they work. That’s why companies that offer flexible work benefits, such as accommodating remote working options, are likely to attract and retain top talent. 

Examples of flexible work: 

  • Work from home days
  • At-home office budget 
  • Flexibility to set a personal schedule


Did you know that 62% of Australian households own a pet? Your employees likely view their dogs and cats as part of the family. This can make it stressful for workers to leave their pets at home all day or deal with a sick animal. Offering pet-focused benefits that relieve some of the financial burdens or allow pets to be in the office with their humans can have a positive impact on your employees. 

Examples of pet-friendly benefits: 

  • Pet-friendly office
  • Subsidised pet care
  • Paid time off to take care of a new pet 


Introducing benefits that are focused on recognizing the hard work of your employees can be a powerful way to keep them feeling motivated and appreciated. There are many types of recognition programs you can introduce to your organisation. 

Examples of recognition benefits: 

  • Experiential recognition program
  • Peer-to-peer recognition program 
  • Company value awards 


Having the opportunity to connect with other teammates can be hugely beneficial to employees. Not only does it encourage collaboration, but it ensures that people know they have a community to turn to. There are several socially-focused benefits you can offer to encourage these bonding moments at work.

Examples of social benefits: 

  • Monthly team outings
  • Budget for coffee dates or lunches with colleagues
  • Company-wide gatherings or events

Want to give your team access to more employee benefits and discounts? Flare Employee Benefits gives your workforce access to an exclusive benefits and discount platform of leading retailers like Woolworths, JB Hi-Fi and Amazon. Check it out here

Lauren Dick from Relier Group on how to train employees and build high-performance teams

We interviewed Lauren Dick, the founder and director of Relier Group. Lauren has over 10 years of experience working for Australian owned retail brands such as Kookai, Aje and Tigerlily. In her experience working as a national training and development manager for Tigerlily and a National Retail Manager at Aje, she was responsible for coaching and developing hundreds of individual sales associates all across Australia.

She has now launched her own business, Relier Group, which is a HR consultancy business with the goal of making enterprise training and recruitment accessible for all businesses. Lauren uses her skills to build bespoke training programs and talent acquisition programs which help her clients build high performance teams who achieve consistent business results.

What are the company values of Relier Group and how do you uphold these values?

Relier is a french word with an English translation which means to connect. Connection is my founding value and my two other values are community and communication. My goal is to help businesses connect with their staff so that they can generate customer loyalty, client loyalty, and employee engagement. The communication value is based on open, honest, transparent and kind communication.

The reason I started Relier is because not all companies can afford to have an in house training manager or an in house HR support, so I started Relier so that no business would have to miss out on the benefits that HR can establish between an employee and the business.

What are some things you’ve learned by working in HR?

One of the biggest things I’ve learned by working in HR is to get feedback from the staff who are customer-facing because they tend to understand the customer best. Some businesses make the mistake of making assumptions about what their customer wants when they are quite removed from their customers. A better strategy is to ask their customer-facing staff for feedback.

Another important lesson I’ve learned is to coach your team to make decisions for themselves. I’ve worked in roles where I would have 300 people reporting to me, so it would be impossible to dictate every decision everyone makes. Instead, I learned to coach my team into being autonomous.  By asking them the right questions which are thought-provoking and solution-focused. In the long term being able to coach people into making the right decisions instead of telling them what to do will mean you will develop a team of amazing leaders that are ready to take on new challenges.

Where do you go to learn?

I think that the best way to learn is to look at what other companies are doing well, what they’re not doing well, and then developing an innovative strategy based on that. I would probably say a lot of my learning is self driven and is about understanding the competitive climate.

How do you ensure that a new hire is a good fit for your clients?

In my experience with recruiting for large companies for several years, what I’ve learned is that the culture first approach gets the best outcome in the end. The culture first approach means that you hire people based on cultural fit first, rather than their technical skill. The reason why I use this approach is because I believe that the best outcomes don’t always come from the people who have the best technical skill. Culture fit is especially important in a client and customer facing role, because the employees are representing the brand to customers and clients in everything they do. In my experience, a culture fit is always more important than a skill fit because skill fit is easier to find.

What tips would you give someone who’s just starting out in HR?

In any HR role, you have to start by really mastering leadership and mastering people management. Theory can only teach you so much it really comes down to getting practical experience in leadership and management roles. In these roles you will be able to learn how to manage different personalities, learn how to be an effective communicator and how to take on feedback to give feedback.

Education comes next when you’re at the point where you do want to step into a generalist role or a HR specific role. However, experience comes first because it’s hard to give advice when you haven’t been in the situation yourself. That’s why it’s important to pick your field, get experience, lead people, become an amazing leader and then go from there.

What are some of the best things that you’ve learned about leadership?

I think good leadership starts with communication. One of the best things I’ve learned is how to communicate effectively and drive learning for different personality types. Learning that different people have different needs has been really beneficial for me.

I’ve learnt to tailor my communication based on the needs and innate motivations of each individual team member and this has certainly been fundamental to my success. For example, I consider who in my network is an intuitive leader, who is driven by analytics, who is driven by individual success, who is more driven by shared team successes and so on. This then determines how I lead, coach and personalise their training to optimise outcomes. Communicating differently with each personality type is a skill I’ve learnt through retail training courses and consistent applied practice throughout my entire career.

How do you lead, coach and strategise with clients to achieve great retention rates for them?

It depends on what service they need, whether it be hiring and performance advice or developing customer service models.

My approach is to collaborate with the entire team, get to know the customer and develop a model which is customised for them. This helps to improve the retention rates and get better results on the shop floor.

Adjusting the focus and roles of the team to ensure that the right people are in the right roles is also important. For example, moving team members to focus on KPIs or moving them from a KPIs focus to a networking focus. This process ensures that my clients can retain talent and save on costs associated with having to hire or train new employees.

How do you ensure that new hires of your clients have a great experience?

I work on the onboarding process for my clients as a first step. An example which comes to mind is when I developed a digital onboarding experience using Flare for one of my clients. This client was a holiday and travel business, so I developed an onboarding process which was aligned to their values. In this onboarding process, it would take new starters on a digital journey which was really unique to the client’s business. I believe that a new starter’s onboarding experience sets the tone for what they can expect on their first days at work.

Are there any final words you’d like to share with our audience?

The best thing you can do is communicate regularly with your team and lead with kindness. This can help you ensure that you are staying productive and working towards your goals.

Some businesses are afraid to share results with their team, however I believe that it’s important to educate your team on the results, why they’re important and how they can impact the business in a positive way. Showing your team that they are important and they can make an impact is my biggest tip.

15 best questions to ask in an employee satisfaction survey

Every company wants their employees to be happy at their jobs. But the challenge is that many employers aren’t even aware that their workers are unhappy until it’s too late. This is how most organisations end up losing their top talent to competitors. To prevent this from happening, you may want to consider introducing an employee satisfaction survey to better keep a finger on the pulse.

If you’re not sure how to get started, don’t worry! We’re here to help. We’ll explain exactly what an employee satisfaction survey is, how to set one up, and share recommended questions in this post. 

What is an employee satisfaction survey, and why is it important? 

An employee satisfaction survey is an objective tool that’s used to measure how your workers feel about their jobs, their work environment, and the overall company culture. It’s an effective way to collect feedback from your workforce – regardless of size – and use that data to make more informed decisions about things like performance, retention, and innovation

You may be asking: why do I need a survey to do this? Why can’t I just talk to my employees to figure out whether they’re satisfied with their jobs or not? This is a fair question. There are a few reasons why this isn’t the most effective way to measure employee satisfaction. 

Related article: 10 Ideas to help you boost your employee engagement

  1. You’re susceptible to bias. All humans have bias. So if you’re looking to collect objective data, conversations aren’t the best way to do so. For instance, as the HR leader, you want everyone at the company to be happy. Which means you’re more likely to highlight the positive feedback you receive and deprioritise the negative or constructive feedback. This doesn’t give you an accurate sense for employee satisfaction.
  1. You’re not seeing the big picture. Let’s say you talk to one or two employees who absolutely love working at your company. You may walk away thinking that your employee satisfaction levels are fine. But what about the other 100 employees that you didn’t talk to? The truth is that one-on-one conversations, while valuable, aren’t scalable and don’t paint the bigger picture of what’s going on.
  1. Your employees might not be honest with you. Finally, there’s a good chance that if you ask an employee how they feel about their work and the company, they’re not going to be completely honest with you. This is completely natural. People may not feel comfortable sharing their true thoughts or may think they’ll be punished for saying something negative about leadership. Either way, you can’t expect your workers to give you full transparency.

How to conduct an employee satisfaction survey

While you certainly have the ability to conduct your own employee satisfaction survey, we recommend investing in a software platform to help you instead. The reason is because running and analysing your own surveys takes up a ton of time.

Not only do you have to come up with the right questions, build your survey, and manually calculate your results, but you also have to be able to translate all this information into a comprehensive report or dashboard to share back with your leadership team and employees. 

On the other hand, if you use a comprehensive performance management tool like Culture Amp and Lattice, it’ll be much less resource intensive. Both of these platforms will easily be able to help you launch your survey, come up with the right questions for your workforce, collect the feedback, and find ways to take action on the data that comes in.

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when conducting an employee satisfaction survey, regardless of whether you do it yourself or turn to a platform:

  • Be consistent. This means that if this is meant to be a twice-a-year survey, you have to consistently distribute it twice a year. Otherwise you risk skewing the accuracy of your data and won’t be able to measure progress. 
  • Make it anonymous. As we mentioned above, employees likely won’t be honest in the survey if their identities are attached to their responses. So make sure your survey is anonymised to protect your employees and encourage transparency. 

15 Questions to include in your survey

Below we outlined 15 key questions to include in your survey, which are categorised into three buckets: company culture, work fulfillment, and management/leadership. These are the pillars that have a huge influence on an employee’s satisfaction levels. Keep in mind that these questions are by no means comprehensive, so feel free to add on any others that are relevant to your business. 

Company Culture

These questions gauge how your employee feels about the company culture and work environment. This is all about measuring overall sentiment around how the company treats its employees, and whether or not someone feels compelled to look for a new job. 

1. Do you feel positively about our company culture? 

2. On a scale of 1-5, how likely are you to recommend our company as a great place to work?

3. Are you proud to work at our company?

4. Can you see yourself working here two years from now? 

Work fulfillment

These questions are focused specifically on how an employee feels in their role. This digs into everything from how fulfilled they feel by their work to how compatible they are with their fellow teammates. 

5. Do you feel proud of the work you’re doing? 

6. Are you aligned with the company’s mission and vision?

7. Do you feel like the company is invested in your personal and professional growth?

8. Are your roles and responsibilities clearly defined? 

9. Is your team supportive of one another?


These questions are about how employees perceive the leadership and management teams. It’s about identifying whether or not they feel their executives are honest, reliable, and have their best interests in mind. 

10. On a scale of 1-5, how transparent do you think the leadership team is? 

11. Do you feel informed about what’s happening at the company?

12. Does your manager make you feel supported and valued?

13. Do you feel comfortable approaching your manager with work-related problems?

14. Is the leadership team’s expectations of your performance clear? 

15. Are you connected to the resources you need to succeed in your role? 

Related article: 5 Ways to help your employees improve their financial wellbeing

Next steps

Even after you collect the data from your employee satisfaction survey, the work isn’t quite over yet! There are a few next steps to take into consideration: 

  • Use the data as a benchmark. If this is your first time running an employee satisfaction survey, your results will serve as the benchmark for next year. In other words, the next time you run this survey, the goal is to compare it to these first round of results and (hopefully) be able to note progress. 
  • Boost participation rates. With every survey, your goal is to have as many employees participate as possible. If you found that your participation rates were low this year, don’t worry. There are many tactics you can use – from sending out eye-catching reminder emails or Slack messages to incentivising employees with a prize – to increase participation rates. 
  • Identify a few actionable insights. The most important thing you can do with your survey results is to take action. For instance, if a common theme in your data was that employees didn’t feel like the leadership team was transparent enough, it may be time to introduce one to two new initiatives to address that issue. This can be having “Ask Me Anything” sessions once a week or having your company leaders set up more one-on-one meetings with employees throughout the year. Don’t try to address all the issues at once – otherwise you’ll feel overwhelmed. Instead, take one or two of the most pressing issues and focus on them over the next few months. 

Employee satisfaction surveys are a powerful tool that can help you retain top talent, improve performance, and increase innovation at your company. Follow these steps to get your survey started on the right foot.
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.

5 ways to develop strong workplace community on any budget

Building a positive work environment with a strong workplace community is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. A team that works well together will deliver better results than a team that doesn’t.

Why a strong workplace community is important

When employees feel as though they’re working within a community of likeminded coworkers and managers, their work becomes more meaningful. With a sense of camaraderie comes increasing ease of communication between employees. Simply feeling part of a team working on a task helps motivate people to take on more challenges. 

A strong workplace community is particularly important if you’re looking to reduce your turnover rate. To nurture a sense of workplace community, it’s important to be deliberate and plan ahead. Strong workplace communities grow best when someone is focused on working on employee engagement ideas and events.

5 Ideas to build a strong workplace community

Here are five practical ways you can build a sense of workplace community in your company, and you can do it on any budget.

1. Recognition

Saying well done is a powerful motivator. Whether it’s a hand-written note of thanks, a spot-bonus, quarterly awards and commendations from the top, or peer to peer recognition from and of coworkers, there are many ways to recognise and reward your employees. Key to success is to create an environment where recognition can flow from anyone. 

Making recognition a standard part of your company culture will help create a sense of belonging and appreciation which is a great foundation for building workplace community.

2. Team outings

One of the most obvious ways to create a sense of workplace community is to organise events outside of work, enabling your people to get to know each other on a more personal level.

Regular social events help create bonds within the team and boost employee morale. Your team outing can be as simple as regularly planning to have lunch at a local restaurant or a few drinks after work on a Friday in the local bar. However, the quirkier you can make it, the more likely you and the team will be able to have a good laugh about it afterwards and bond over the experience.

3. Fitness or sports teams

Promote fitness activities to show your people that you are committed to their health while cultivating team spirit and employee participation. There’s nothing like your employees competing together in organised sport to build team cohesiveness.

Get involved in a local soccer or netball tournament and sponsor a team by paying registrations fees and funding suitably branded kits.

Make sure you take lots of photos of your team in action and publish to your internal platforms and social media. It’s a great way to build your team’s rapport, profile and build community exposure. (For ideas to support wellbeing initiatives, see our previous post on wellbeing initiatives for Millennial employees.)

4. Volunteering

Volunteering for a worthy cause is a great way to cement your workplace community spirit. Taking part in volunteering events encourages both the company and employees to give back to the community, while promoting the causes your people care about most. It’s also worth remembering that your Millennial cohort is a group of idealistic, altruistic individuals. As a generation, they are passionate about social causes that benefit the greater good.

Sponsoring a team of employees to do a charity walk, run, or swim not only bonds your employees together, it can help boost morale, and generate positive vibes in the workplace. At the same time, your company gets the kudos of doing something worthy for the community, and ultimately raising brand perception.

But it’s important to take an employee centric approach to volunteering. Rather than specifying which particular organisations you will support, find out what causes matter most to your people and support individual efforts or group decisions. This will this help to encourage team spirit and camaraderie.

5. Purpose-designed spaces

It’s important to provide your employees with spaces to come together socially – whether it’s the kitchen, ping pong table, or informal seating scattered throughout the office. Your people need to be able to chat, whether it’s about the weekend’s footy or solving a specific workplace challenge.

However, while the physical space you work in is an important factor, so too are the unwritten rules of your workplace culture. Even best physical workspace won’t engender a sense of community if your workplace culture is out of step. Your team won’t use those cool breakout spaces to hang out or take a power nap if senior executives frown upon it.

Build your workplace community with Flare 

You don’t have to invest a fortune to build workplace community, but you do need to create structured opportunities for employees to get to know each other.

See for yourself how our platform can help you attract and retain great people with best-in-class employee wellbeing and engagement initiatives. Flare offers a free paperless onboarding software and free employee benefits with access to hundreds of leading retailer like Woolworths and Kmart. If you want to learn more about how Flare HR can support your business and employees during this time, please request a demo.

Building a positive work environment with a strong workplace community is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. A team that works well together will deliver better results than a team that doesn’t. Why a strong workplace community is important When employees feel as though they’re working within a community of likeminded coworkers and managers, […]