Down the back of the couch - where do you find a wellbeing budget ?

Every day of the week we work with awesome business leaders, they can see what wellbeing could achieve for their organisation. But time and again, they share that they want to bring a culture of wellbeing to the workplace but they ‘just don’t have a budget’.

This is normally the point when two roads tend to emerge. Those who can see the compelling ROI of wellbeing (we will deal with this in a separate blog) and decide to get more focused/creative around building a specific budget, and those who don’t.

The following are observations from my career, as well as working with incredible business leaders who are so passionate to take their organisation to the next level and leverage the power of wellbeing to drive meaningful engagement and productivity that they are willing to ‘go the extra mile’.

So, what are the steps these people take in order to prepare, find or to land a wellbeing budget ?

  • Work through what your wellbeing vision for your organisation is or could be. You know the old adage ‘if you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there’. If you are looking to leverage serious competitive advantage, drive engagement levels by X%, increase retention or attraction by Y%. .. then your wellbeing game has to be strong. If you just want something to tick the box, that's entirely another.

  • Next step is to figure out where you are spending your budget(s) right now. Very often in working with companies that think they don’t have budget -they actually do, they are just spending it in a myriad of ways. Money on pizza here, fruit there, the odd class, hiring fees, training programs, team building events, employer branding … there are no ends of places that companies get good at spending money, and in many cases ‘unconsciously’. We help companies by completing an exercise to get them thinking about spend and also its impact.

If you are interested in receiving our ‘Wellbeing Spend Analyser’ please contact James via email and he will send you an electronic editable version.

  • Let’s take an example of the 80 euro a week on fruit in the canteen (and btw, I love fruit and love even more having it in the canteen) … conscientious leaders will pose the question ask 'is it really moving the dial on wellbeing?' What about the yoga class that costs 100 euro each week and all 10-12 people who go to it … is that really impacting well being across your organisation? The Wellbeing Analyser is an exercise which focuses us in on what we are spending (and all those 80-100 euros add up quickly), how many people are impacted and does it get us close to our wellbeing objective? In the majority of cases, when working with companies, there are budgets – they can be in the wrong place or being spent on something not as critical. So step 1, can you reallocate budget to wellbeing?

  • You can’t find any money to reallocate or you need some more money to achieve your objective - then ask! It really is as simple as that. However, don’t go asking cap in hand, you need to be compelling – what is the ROI, how will you measure it, how will it align with company objectives. You will be competing against every other business unit, so you need to make sure that your argument/stats are more impactful than others.

  • Maybe you can’t get the entire organisation behind a wellbeing program on your first attempt, but could you get a function or division to champion a program based around specific deliverables? Frequently we find this is a great way to get a budget to get-things-going, to show an ROI and get wellbeing ‘in the door’.

  • Finally, if you can’t get a budget or commitment to a wellbeing program – be tenacious! The reality is that squeaky wheels get grease. Sometimes the timing can be off, but let your leadership team/colleagues know that you’re not going away, that this is not a fad and you are keeping it on the agenda.

We would love to hear your learnings in this space – How have you managed to land a budget for wellbeing ? How have you increased your wellbeing spend? What lessons have you learned as you are on your organisations journey?

Michelle Fogarty

COO @ PepTalk

Let's make work better …

At PepTalk, engagement is at the heart of all our wellbeing platform. Our platform is about energy, passion and fun while being grounded in key business outcomes. To find out more about this area and our wider PepTalk offering book a demonstration at or email

Shout out to the super talented James Curran for his epic gifs

75 views0 comments
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • LinkedIn - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle


+ 353 (0)1 504 85 47

Peptalk UK - Dauntsey House - 4B Frederick’s Place - London EC2R 8AB - United Kingdom

Peptalk  HQ - Millbank Business Park - Lucan - Dublin - Ireland

You can read our Privacy Policy <here>