Wellness Works!

Coaching Relationships Impact Change

I can’t stress enough the impact of employers integrating Wellness Coaching into their Corporate Wellness Initiatives. Just doing a Biometric Screening or taking a Health Risk Assessment alone, without coaching intervention, gives participants information with a lack of knowledge as to long term health impact or support in making appropriate lifestyle changes.

It is important that changes are sustainable. Many individuals struggle with maintaining that instantaneous weight loss or the exercise program. With frequent sessions with the Wellness Coach, goals can be set, barriers to change can be addressed, and participants can get that accountability and support necessary to sustain changes.

“Good coaches look at people who are struggling and see the possibility and opportunity for
healthy change, even transformation. With a good coach, the journey of change is engaging, even fun, more like an adventure than hard work,” according to Margaret Moore, M.A., founder of WellCoaches Corporation.

Coaching can be done both on-site at the company, or telephonically. Many employers don’t put a limit on the number of coaching sessions throughout the year. Whether on-site or telephonic, it is most effective to have the same Wellness Coach working with the participant throughout the program. Establishing trust, a good rapport, and consistency can factor into success.

A Johns Hopkins/Healthways study published in the November 2011 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine showed that 40 percent of participants who received an obesity coaching intervention sustained five percent of their weight loss at the end of two years. There also was no statistical difference in outcomes of telephonic coaching vs. on-site coaching.

Keep in mind, change does not happen overnight. We have one Wellness Coach that has been working with the same group for over three years, and it has taken a minimum of two years to see sustained success stories and a reduction in claim costs to the employer. I have to say, Wellness Coaching does work. It can be extremely rewarding to the participant and also the Wellness Coach.