Are wellness programs or health risk assessments enough to help employees get healthier, or should more companies hire a health coach to drive participation and achieve company goals?
More and more companies are experimenting with hiring health coaches to encourage engagement in wellness programs. This also helps employees stay on track with their health goals.
And it’ll save your company money too. Employees who work with health coaches gain 70% less weight. They also save employers, on average, $586 a year, according to a Health Fitness study.
10% reduction in health risks
At the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, employees meet about once a month with a health coach. This ensures they’re on track to meet their goals.
Since 2017, participation rates more than doubled and there’s been a 10% reduction in health risks.
Another employer, Reliance Steel and Aluminum in Los Angeles, chose to hire a health coach through wellness program provider Staywell in 2016.
“Those who participate in the program have a higher rate of success, versus participants in the program who don’t participate,” says Reliance’s wellness director.
“Health coaches engage employees and meet them where they are so they are more successful at making healthy behavior changes,” says Melissa Dupuis, director of wellness, Wellable.
According to Dupuis, a coach will help to:
- increase productivity, lower presenteeism (by encouraging workers to talk about problems and creating an action plan for healthy behaviors)
- decrease stress (by helping to identify stressors, find solutions), and
- promote healthy behaviors (by quickly identifying unhealthy behaviors and focusing on them one at a time).
On average, a health coach can cost $140-$165 per employee, according to wellness provider WellSteps.