For the past 10 years, health and wellness initiatives have become increasingly common in the workplace. They vary company to company, but usually include mandates and incentives to improve nutrition, drive weight loss, and improve overall quality of life. However, these types of initiatives have difficulty engaging employees and inspiring long lasting health and wellness improvements.
“Health challenges” are a common tactic, but often fail as the motivation is only the prize instead of making any meaningful changes. Other, more generalized initiatives struggle because they involve a one-size-fits-all mentality, which ignores the individual’s personal wellness journey. However, success has been found in a different approach: onsite and integrated wellness coaching.
Are traditional wellness programs effective? The jury is out. See “Study Finds Wellness Programs Do Nothing to Improve Health Or Save Employers Money.”
Onsite wellness coaching is when an employee meets with a specific coach in the workplace to achieve personal goals. This method has been pioneered by my company, Wellness Coaches USA. We understand the roadblocks to getting people involved and engaged in a wellness program and that a successful program requires:
- Individualization – To create long-lasting health habits, the program must recognize your employees are all in a different place in their wellness journey. Working one-on-one in a private setting to create custom plans addressing their specific concerns and goals empowers your employees to make real changes.
- Accessibility – A service or program that can easily be found in the office is far more likely to be utilized than one located offsite, or outside of work hours. Additionally, coaches who make themselves available outside of office hours via email, phone, or social media can provide real time support and advice to your employees.
- Motivation – A coach’s goal is to provide tools and resources to create a culture of wellness. They identify the lifestyle issues preventing your employees from living their healthiest lives and provide a detailed plan to overcome these issues that are within your employee’s reach.
A personal, accessible, and long-term approach doesn’t just benefit the employee; hiring a wellness coach holds value for the employer as well. Many of these onsite coaching programs are covered by most insurance programs at no additional cost to the employer. In fact, according to the 2017 Aflac Workforce Report, 76% of employers with wellness programs say they are able to offer lower health insurance premiums at their company. Companies who utilize onsite coaching methods also recorded less workplace injuries and less employee sick days.