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Why adding wellbeing to company budget can make all the difference

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

Employee wellbeing is an important consideration for any business. However, many initiatives can fall short without the proper care and attention. This is why implementing a wellbeing budget can be a great way to set resources aside specifically to cater to wellbeing.

The benefits of a wellbeing budget can be significant, according to Avaana chief executive and co-founder Rohan Pardasani.

“When an effective wellbeing program is implemented, employee retention increases, employees become more engaged in their work, absenteeism is reduced, and there are noticeable boosts in work performance and productivity,” he explained.


“Talent acquisition and retention are crucial for a business to thrive. After all, employees are a company’s most valuable asset. This is why HR leaders are now focusing on the wellbeing of their employees more than ever.”

Mr Pardasani continued: “Investing in employee wellbeing programs strongly correlates with increased productivity and overall job satisfaction, which, in turn, encourages people to stay and grow with their employer.”

There are challenges when implementing this type of policy, and considerations must be made prior. Mr Pardasani noted the benefits of implementing a wellbeing budget should be evaluated with reference to the following:

  1. What outcomes do we hope to achieve with the given wellbeing budget?
  2. How do those outcomes change if we increase or decrease spending?
  3. What is the expected participation in the relevant wellbeing services, and which services provide the best participation outcomes?
  4. How do participation outcomes drive wellbeing and workplace performance-based outcomes?

Implementing a budget puts wellbeing policy at the heart of business outcomes, which, traditionally in business, was not the case. This can help eliminate any preconceived notions and allow wellbeing to be truly recognised.

“The traditional view was that these outcomes should be assessed at the workforce level, assuming that workers who valued wellbeing initiatives provided by the company (and its corporate health and wellbeing providers) would use them, while those who did not see value in wellbeing would ignore the benefits offered by the employer,” Mr Pardasani said.

“The problem with this approach was that HR managers and decision-makers were arguably required to make decisions on a one-size-fits-all basis, considering the wellbeing of the entire workforce rather than individual needs.”

“This resulted in a lowest common denominator approach regarding supposed ‘wellbeing services.’ Corporates allocated their wellbeing budget to services like health checks, skin checks, flu shots, and fruit bowls. Arguably, many of these services provided value pre-COVID. However, as a greater number of health and wellbeing services became mainstream post-COVID, they have become less effective,” he commented.

It’s crucial that employers steer clear of the “one-size-fits-all” approach to wellbeing policy and cater to the needs of a diverse workforce. This can be made easier by implementing a wellbeing budget.

“We challenge the traditional view by arguing that wellbeing isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. Different people have different wellbeing needs, and if a wellbeing budget deployment strategy can be delivered on an individual employee level, it will drive superior health and wellbeing outcomes,” said Mr Pardasani

So, how can this be done? Mr Pardasani said there are seven key methods for doing this:

  1. Make health and wellbeing a central topic in hiring and performance review processes.
  2. Understand the diverse wellbeing needs of employees.
  3. Acknowledge employees’ understanding of their own health and wellbeing needs.
  4. Recognise personal investment in health.
  5. Recognise that when employers help cover some of the personal wellbeing expenses on behalf of employees, it can potentially offer greater benefits than providing additional health and wellbeing services that employees may not want or need.
  6. Provide leadership and planning.
  7. Leverage technology platforms.
Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.