Wellness Coaching: Good for Employees, Good for Business
By Shelly Beal
Wellness Coaching is Good BusinessIn 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that lost productivity from absenteeism related to illness cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States or $1,685 per employee. This doesn’t include losses resulting from employees who come to work sick or in pain. Productivity can suffer from lifestyle factors such as sleep issues, poor nutritional habits or work-induced stress. These employer pain points and the high-demand, high-pressure work practices in the U.S. are felt in business at every level.
So how do we change something that is so deeply rooted in our organizational culture? It begins by looking within your business and asking some important questions.
- Are your employees just ‘not sick’ or are they thriving and happy?
- Do they feel they can leave work at work?
- Does your workplace culture support a healthy, balanced lifestyle?
- Are your key leaders setting good examples for all employees?
Are you struggling with the answers to these questions? Do you want to improve workplace culture?Wellness coaching may be the solution. Coaching in business and leadership settings is an invaluable tool for developing people across a wide range of needs. Coaching improves individual health and impacts your business in many key areas.
Benefits of Wellness Coaching in the Workplace
Empowers individuals and encourages them to take responsibility for their well-being:
The personal benefits of coaching are as diverse as the individuals involved. Numerous clients report that coaching positively impacts their careers and their personal lives by helping them to:
- Plan and take action towards their personal goals
- Become more resilient, self-reliant and efficient
- Recognize personal strengths and weaknesses
- Improve life balance and job satisfaction
- Become a better team player in their organization
- Work more productively by keeping a focus on their personal well-being
- Improve communication skills
Increases employee engagement and overall company morale:A good workplace is a happy workplace. No matter what your wellness program offers or how robust it is, your employee engagement is by far more important. Including wellness coaching in your programming can help employees identify specific wellness needs. From there the coach guides them to engage in programs that will target those needs. Good programming integrated with coaching keeps a focus on the individual and demonstrates organizational commitment to wellness.
Health is personal and each individual’s journey to behavior change is very different. Coaching is all about meeting the employee where they are. This gives them the accountability and guidance they need to progress. It will help to motivate and empower individuals to excel.
Helps develop high potential employees:Workplace wellness programs are beginning to become a core component of a well-rounded employee benefits package. This component is a recruitment and retention tool to help attract and keep high-quality employees. It helps maintain productivity and morale. Coaching needs to be an intrinsic element of any wellness program as it provides an invaluable space for personal development.
Education in an isolated offering is not enough to create lasting change. Individuals must change the internal thought processes for external behavior to truly change. This is often where coaching is most effective. Ongoing coaching can improve one’s self-confidence. Increased self-confidence enables employees to bring more of themselves into the workplace. This results in employees being more resilient and assertive.
Impacts workplace stress and burnout:The 2013/2014 Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey reports stress is the number one workforce risk issue, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity. High-stress levels that go unaddressed can lead to employee burnout which directly impacts your bottom line. Wellness coaches use techniques that enhance self-awareness and increase one’s sense of accomplishment. This helps employees recognize when they are overwhelmed. With awareness, they are more likely to apply methods of stress management.
Our coaches often have cases where an Employee Assistance Program or professional counseling could be helpful or even necessary. A qualified coach is trained to recognize this and encourage greater support to that individual. Guiding them to their EAP can be life-changing or even life-saving. Without the trust and relationship built with that coach over time, that employee might continue on a path towards greater stress, health risk or burnout.
“As a registered dietitian and health coach, I realize behavior change involves much more than just eating the right foods. It involves addressing behaviors that can influence food choices. Personal issues can impede progress towards someone’s health goals. In these cases, I encourage further counseling to address the underlying problems. I feel a credentialed counselor can help an employee address these issues through different techniques to modify behaviors that can block an employee’s progress toward their health or weight loss goals”
-Amanda Perron, SB Wellness Dietitian
Skills Learned from Wellness Coaching Can Make a Lasting ImpactWorkplace health is complex and composed of individual health issues. Skills learned from coaching can make a lasting impact on an employee’s approach to their overall career. Health and wellness coaching should not just be an add-on to your business. Integrating this approach into the culture and core values of your business will return your financial and time investment.
For more tips on how to create a healthier lifestyle for you and your employees, contact SB Wellness today for a free consultation. From biometric screenings to wellness programs and seminars, we can help you create a healthier, more productive workforce for your organization.