How to Create an Employee Wellness Program with Little to No Budget 

You want to help your employees achieve a strong work-life balance. You’d like to see them happier, healthier, and more focused at work. In fact, you’d like to offer an employee wellness program with all the bells and whistles of big companies like Google and Facebook, where employees enjoy on-site medical care, new-parent perks, and, of course, the requisite communal bicycles. 


The problem? You simply don’t have the budget for all of those goodies. 


Don’t worry. You can still create an incredible wellness program that directly addresses your

employees’ needs – all without going over budget. Here’s how: 


Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep


When you first start creating your wellness program, it’s a good idea to reach out to employees and ask them what they want. During this process, you may be tempted to brainstorm all sorts of potential perks and program features. Be careful – if you promise expensive off-site memberships or private yoga instruction, your employees will come to expect those things. Then, when you don’t have the budget to materialize your dream program, morale will drop and your employees will be soured on the whole thing. Be realistic.


Find and Implement Low-Cost Perks


You don’t need Google’s budget to create a wellness program that offers exactly what your

employees need and want.


You can…


  • Designate an empty office as a yoga, stretch, or nap space
  • Give employees a 15 minute walk break 2x/day
  • Offer a refund or bonus to employees who pass a health risk appraisal – reach out to your company’s insurance provider to see how you can easily implement this strategy


Stay On Top of Industry Trends


One of the best ways to decrease the cost of your wellness program is simply to stay informed.

Create a Google alert for “work life balance” or “wellness program perks.” Read articles on

LinkedIn and research industry trends. You’ll be surprised how many low-cost ideas you can find,

simply by spending 10 minutes per day researching online. 


Hire a Consultant


Having a consultant ‘in your pocket’ is priceless for companies looking to decrease their wellness

budgets.  A consultant is also a great idea if you’re looking for creative ways to start a low-cost wellness program.


A professional consultant has key relationships with vendors and will be able to connect your

company with the services and perks needed to create an outstanding wellness program.


Even if you only reach out to them twice per year, a consultant will help make your dream of an

affordable wellness program a reality. 


When creating an employee wellness program on a budget, it’s crucial to start with a realistic

picture. Take stock of what you can afford and what you can’t, and survey your employees to find

out exactly what they want. Implement low-cost perks like walk breaks and yoga/stretching space

at the office. Stay on top of industry trends to find more low-cost perks, and consult a

professional to find even more ways to amplify your budget program’s effectiveness. 


Are you ready to activate your employees and increase engagement in your company’s wellness



Join Fran Dean Bishop for a live, interactive workshop on how to create dynamic wellness

programs that improve your employees’ work-life balance.  


Boost Employee Morale Workshop – Creating a Healthy, Conscious Workforce with Fran Dean Bishop

Monday, November 3, 2014

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Knowledge Management Track:


Successful companies know that a healthy workforce can often lead to a fiscally fit balance sheet.

Yet no two companies are alike. Join this highly interactive workshop and gain the critical insights to create a highly engaging wellness program. Discover the 3 key reasons why employees don't participate in company-sponsored wellness programs and how to ensure they will. Learn the

difference between a work-life balance culture and a wellness culture and why both are essential to

increasing employee participation and productivity. Also find out why a company wellness program doesn't have to cost a fortune to be a success and WHY you should launch one with little or no budget. Each participant will leave with an interactive wellness engagement toolkit with tips, tools and resources that can be implemented immediately for companies of any size.


Human Resource Conference for Legal Professionals 


Do you want to build a strong wellness program for your organization? If the answer is yes, please contact Fran at or call 866.659.3400 for more information.


Image courtesy of Ambro /


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