In somewhat of a trend that we still see gaining momentum, some larger Fortune 500 companies have come to realize the value of maintaining the health of their employees in order to manage health care costs.
So it then follows, if wellness coaching is effective at implementing effective ways to change lifestyle behaviors, then the need is clearly seen in terms of how valuable a wellness coach can be toward impacting lifestyle behavior change within corporate environments.
Wellness has Continued to Grow
As the interest in wellness has continued to grow, so does coaching. Corporate wellness coaches are now used in business, for career development to develop leaders and to develop character for clients who are trying to become architects of healthy, rewarding lives.
During the 1990s there was rapid growth and interest in the field of coaching and what has evolved out of that is showing that one of the most popular forms of coaching is what we now call wellness coaching and life coaching.
The life coaching model gained popularity due to the fact that clients had found a coach or an ally, who could persuade them with positive thinking, hold them accountable to complete their goals and to challenge them to be their best – and in doing so, provided the client with significant growth in both personal and business pursuits. Since we’ve mentioned life coaching, you should understand that life coaching is very similar to wellness coaching. In fact, the two fields are considered to be connected.
Wellness coaches are also extremely effective when deployed into group settings, such as what is seen with worksite wellness. During the initial or early push toward wellness initiatives in the workplace, it was not uncommon for lackluster results to be seen as health educators and nurses grew discouraged because their efforts seemed to be ineffective.
Well, let’s look at why that might have been the case. There are some key differences between a nurse trying to keep an employee healthy when compared to a wellness coach with the same mission. From the employees perspective, recommendations and suggestions from a nurse could be viewed as being told what to do. By comparison, a wellness coach would only listen to the client and use strategies to have the client ultimately wind up saying what changes need to be made without prodding.
Another factor in business settings is confidentiality. Most worksite health promotion or wellness programs employ a health professional and some- times employees are reluctant to provide the openness required to these employees, depending on many factors. But the employee would always know that information conveyed to a wellness coach is confidential and in the corporate sector, wellness coaches are most successful when they are not employed in the same way that a nurse or similar health professional would be operating.
Your coaching services are just among the thousands of new wellness products and services that have come to the market in the past 10 years. Even in its infancy, no one could have predicted the growth of the wellness industry, due to portable technology and the ability for coaches to apply technology in various settings.
Tech’s Ties to Employee Wellness
Technology encourages us to use these and many other new devices or products, and have legitimate ties in the wellness industry. By applying medical testing techniques and pharmaceutical grade manufacturing standards to wellness products and services, significant changes were seen occurring (especially in 2004-2007) in the health insurance industry.
This allowed employees to have more choices or to wield more power with their choices and how they invest themselves in their own wellness. Some of these changes encourage employees to keep what they don’t spend on sickness today, for their retirement.
This is done by using HSA’s or health savings accounts or HSA’s, which are health reimbursement arrangements for employees. In these arrangements, employers allow employees a 100% income tax deduction for many of their wellness expenditures that are out of pocket and they allow people to keep saving for their future wellness tomorrow, with what they don’t use prematurely.
In this way, it has the potential to become a significant amount of savings (in a health savings account) and encourages employees to not only have more control over their wellness but to also impact expenses and lower costs for workers compensation claims. All of this is on the business end of wellness, but you the coach, orchestrate and facilitate wellness in the workplace in this particular scenario and therefore have an effect on the bottom line.
Other important parts of the wellness industry that reveal trends include affordability and costs of wellness programs. Wellness also requires promotion – and the latest trends are showing increasing interest, relative to its acceptance among the medical community, businesses retailers and the industry overall.
The service that you provide needs to be sustainable by ensuring any need that represents a continual consumption of wellness coaching services. In other words, you want clients that will rely on your services over time and retain you as part of their efforts to create lifelong healthy habits. In order to succeed, your service must also have universal appeal.
Your product and service must also represent a low commitment time for the client. If your client feels that there is too much of an opportunity cost to participating in the coaching experience with you, then they may not be successful, or they may not get the full benefit of working with you as their coach.
Wellness Coaching Improves Behaviors and Health
It has now been clearly demonstrated, through research and science, that wellness coaching does successfully improve individual behaviors and health. But wellness coaching is only half of the equation. To truly deliver on the promise of wellness coaching, to improve clients wellness initiatives, we must also stimulate engagement from the client in the wellness coaching process. That’s why your goal is to engage your client through behavior changes with your coaching skills.
The majority of activity seen within the wellness industry is driven and made collectively possible by individual entrepreneurs, representing a wide variety of health-related professionals – such as wellness coaches – operating within smaller (less than 100 employees) businesses.
This scenario is becoming very common and may require a paradigm shift on the part of the consumer or client. It seems that each day we learn more about the effectiveness of how direct, person-to-person contact is the best way to facilitate behavior change. Sometimes the only way to make this paradigm shift is for a change in the potential client’s thinking to take place.
Your Wellness Coaching Career
Becoming a Certified Wellness Coach is the perfect addition for the fitness professional who wants to offer more all-inclusive wellness services to clients. The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.
Already started your Wellness Coaching Career? Learn more about becoming a Certified Corporate Wellness Coach. This niche market is exploding with opportunity!
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.