Health coaching, in my opinion, is one of the most effective programs you can offer employees as part of any worksite health promotion program.
Health, or wellness coaching, is quite a new paradigm among worksite wellness programs but is gaining greater demand with society’s current health crisis. It’s popularity will continue to increase as corporate America becomes more aware of the impact it can have on employees’ overall health.
Wellness coaching is a confidential partnership between an individual, the employee, and a personal wellness coach. The objective of the individual sessions is to help participants understand their results, provide a question and answer session, and help them achieve their wellness goals.
Coaching delivers motivation, discipline, knowledge, and accountability for every participant looking to acquire better health. Health coaching sessions most frequently occur via the telephone and occur on a weekly, monthly, or an as needed basis.
Telephonic wellness coaching is the best form of communicating with employees because it allows sessions to be scheduled at a time and place that is most convenient for participants. However, as technology progresses, more coaching sessions will be able to be conducted effectively through the online community. Health coaches are diversified experts in the areas of:
- Physical Activity
- Weight management
- Stress Management
- Life Issues…….
and any other areas that negatively impact our health and wellness.
Coaches often experienced health and wellness professionals, certified personal trainers, nurses, dietitians, and health educators.
Following implementation of health risk appraisals and health screenings, employees will receive an abundant amount of information related to their health and wellness. For the average person, this information can be quite overwhelming and therefore most will do absolutely nothing with it let alone engage in any lifestyle changes.
That is why wellness coaching is such an important benefit to offer employees. As humans we are much more likely to make change if we first have the knowledge and then the ongoing accountability that coaches can provide.
Wellness coaches utilize the employee health reports to create an individualized plan, wellness vision, and short-term and long-term wellness goals. This is a great opportunity for employees to get one-on-one attention and guidance for conquering any challenges they might face. Some employers will require that all employees complete at least one wellness coaching session per year following the health assessments.
Not all employees will be ready to make any lifestyle changes but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the near future. Therefore, I strongly encourage that employees with 3 or more health risk factors have access to a wellness coach more frequently (at least monthly at first) because if and when they are ready to make a change, they will have some assistance waiting to help them.
Employers should allow for employees to participate in their wellness coaching sessions during work hours if at all possible. After work, employees often get busy with family and other activities so allow 20-30 minutes during their workday is much more effective.
The goal of health coaching is to walk employees through struggles, answer questions, and give them a road map to success.