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What is Health Coaching?

Over the past several years, employees have begun to focus on their own health and wellness more than ever before – and corporations are taking notice! To keep up with this momentum, corporations are continually seeking innovative solutions to enhance the health and well-being of their workforce.

One such approach is by offering health coaching. Personalized and holistic, health coaching reaches past just a partial approach to wellness offerings by helping individuals balance their all-around health. In this blog, we’re digging into what health coaching is and how it can help your organization cut costs and improve employee productivity.

What is Health Coaching?

Let’s start with the basics and discuss what health coaching actually is, and how these types of coaches work with clients. At its core, Health Coaching is essentially a partnership. Health and wellness coaches work directly with clients who are interested in improving their health and well-being.

Health and wellness coaches work to create an encouraging environment based on positive change that aligns with their clients’ current needs and values. The focus is on empowering individuals to take charge of their well-being through customized support from board-certified individuals. More specifically, “National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWC) support clients in activating internal strengths and external resources to make sustainable and healthy lifestyle behavior changes. NBC-HWCs use a client-centered approach wherein clients decide their goals, engage in self-discovery or active learning processes, and self-monitor behaviors to increase accountability, all within the context of an interpersonal relationship with a health coach.”

Why Health Coaching in the Workplace is a Must-Have

Health coaching addresses the limitations of conventional wellness programs that typically make employees responsible for their own success. Instead, it offers a more personalized and effective solution by welcoming an employee to work directly alongside a coach. Here are key reasons why health coaching is so important in the corporate world:

  1. Personalization

Anyone can decide they want to pursue a healthier lifestyle. So often, however, it is that extra push of encouragement from a health coach that helps employees commit to their personal wellness priorities. Taking action in the form of behavior and lifestyle change is a very personal choice, one that easily be maintained on a long-term basis with the help of a health coach.

Health coaches, in partnership with their clients, provide support, celebrate successes, and explore options, ultimately helping clients set action-oriented plans that lead to the behavior change that they are seeking.

2. Long-term Behavioral Changes

Are employees partaking in diets full of nutritional value, maintaining a healthy weight, or exercising regularly? Most likely not. However, via six stages of behavior change, health and wellness coaches impactfully make a difference with those they work with. Working in partnership with a health coach, employees can find their purpose and explore what motivates them to assist in making and maintaining positive, long-lasting lifestyle changes.

3. Holistic Well-Being

Holistic well-being connects mental, physical, social, emotional, and financial elements. Health and wellness coaching acknowledges the importance of all of these while focusing on lifestyle changes that have profound effects. Recent reports reveal employees with poor well-being are twice as likely to develop chronic conditions compared to those with holistic well-being habits. Health and wellness coaching is a primary driver to holistic well-being as it addresses the whole person.

4. Employee Engagement

Health and wellness coaching provides the perfect foundation for encouraging and maintaining employee engagement. In the United States, annual employee engagement in the workplace is 32% indicating there is progress to be made, making a strong case for health coaching. The personalized nature of health coaching fosters a strong coach-participant relationship, promoting engagement and motivation from employees, both professionally and personally.

How Health and Wellness Coaching Can Positively Impact an Organization

The benefits of coaching to an employee parallel the benefits to corporations; individuals and the organization as a whole can benefit from all that health and wellness coaching has to offer. It is no secret that healthy employees equal a healthy working environment. Here’s what some organizations are seeing after implementing a wellness program:

  1. Improved Employee Productivity and Performance

When employees thrive, so does the company. Participating in corporate wellness programs has proven to increase worker productivity by over 5 percent. Healthy employees are more likely to have increased energy levels, strong focus, and more motivation to perform well. Consulting a health coach can help employees practice positive self-talk and gain an awareness of self-care – both leading to increased productivity.

2. Data-Driven Decision Making 

One study showed that after three months of health coaching, participants saw clinical improvements in multiple biomarker risk factors including body weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Taking proactive measures ensures that health coaching makes a difference. Based on results from health risk assessments, health coaches collaborate with participants to better assess and evaluate the overall health profile of individuals and the workforce. The data gathered provides valuable insights and allows coaches to better tailor their approaches when working with participants.

3. A Culture Focused on Health and Well-Being

HR leaders are always looking for ways to create a culture at the workplace that is welcoming, receptive, and genuinely somewhere that employees want to be. By championing health-conscious behaviors, fostering a supportive environment, and promoting wellness professionally and personally, health coaching initiatives contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Promoting health coaching within a company fills a gap between traditional healthcare and holistic well-being. Health coaching is an immersive experience that lies in the empowerment of participation. Championing and partnering with employees, health coaches are a significant asset driving sustainable results shaping healthier workforces.

Need help incorporating one-on-one health coaching into your company’s wellness plan? Contact us today to get started.