Best Practices in HR

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Robyn Whalen
  February 22, 2019

Health and Wellness Coaching: Is it Right for Your Company?

As an employer, you want to see your staff as healthy as possible.

With the constant rise of healthcare costs, employers are learning that adding preventive measures for chronic health issues makes sense to maintain a healthy workforce.

Studies show wellness coaching programs boost quality of life in several areas, which could explain why more companies are bringing corporate wellness coaches into the workplace. By working with a wellness coach, employees have a better chance of reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes.

Most chronic health issues that drain employees of their well-being are preventable, especially with early intervention. A corporate wellness coach can work alongside employees to help them create manageable health goals that benefit the employee and employer.

A Look at Chronic Disease:

  • More than 29 million Americans have diabetes
  • 86 million adults have prediabetes
  • Heart disease and stroke kills Americans the most
  • More than 1.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year
  • Arthritis impacts 54.4 million people

Considering the health and economic costs of chronic diseases, and their impact on the workplace, starting a wellness coaching program onsite is a much cheaper alternative to losing employees due to health issues.

What is Health and Wellness Coaching?

Health and wellness coaches help people make healthier lifestyle choices. They work with clients to enhance overall well-being while also helping them figure out personal health and wellness issues and goals.

A health coach focuses on emotional, physical, and lifestyle needs of individual clients.

A health and wellness coach might help a client work on developing a positive mindset or healthier eating habits and encourage them along their path to a better lifestyle. Overall, coaches act as cheerleaders to help clients make positive, lifelong changes to their health.

Three reasons to consider health and wellness coaching:

Lower Health Insurance Premiums

When you consider that 90% of America’s 3.3 trillion in annual healthcare costs are for people with chronic and mental health issues, it’s enough to take pause. How many employees in your office are on their way to having a stroke or mental breakdown? A corporate wellness coach can work with employees to find personalized plans that reduce the chance of developing chronic health issues that cause employees to get sick and insurance rates to spike.

Encourages Annual Check-ups

When employees get regular checkups and blood work, it’s easier to catch a small health issue from turning into a chronic health issue. If employees see how easy it is to work with a coach to get encouragement and schedule appointments, others are more likely to join in, too. With consistent help from a coach, employees will see healthier changes seep into all areas of their life, including work.

Increased Productivity

When you’re constantly sick or lethargic, it’s hard to get motivated to get work done. Not to mention the time off needed for doctors’ appointments due to chronic health issues. Healthy, physically fit employees can better manage stress and workloads than unhealthy employees. That means higher quality work and productivity produced for employers.

Coach Your Employees and Business into Better Health

When companies regularly work with health coaches, it reduces potential healthcare costs for employers, and it gives employees a chance to reach their optimum wellness goals.

Health and wellness coaching is not a short-term commitment. Genuine lifestyle changes require breaking hard habits, which is often a daily and long-term commitment. Employees can expect a partnership that is equal parts hard work and dedication for both parties to kick habits like eating junk food, smoking, and more.

A health coach is right for your company if you have the willingness to dedicate resources to an in-depth program and employees who are serious about healthier living. There’s no one-size-fits-all, so be sure to interview potential health coaches before bringing them on board. You’ll want to make sure they’re a good fit for your company culture and provide adequate support for staff.

Does your company use a health coach or a wellness coach? How has it worked out for your employees? Share in the comments below.