A Corporate Wellness Coach is a health coach who is brought into a facility or corporate office to help people either improve or maintain their health.

Somewhat different from a professional like a dietician who might assign someone a specific eating plan or exercise plan, a wellness coach is focused more on helping to inspire and advise someone on how they can make better choices in support of their health and wellness goals.

A corporate wellness coach can help reduce the cost of health care as well as absenteeism, and they can positively contribute to performance and productivity. Assisting employees to be more engaged in support of their health can go a long way to improving their health and wellness.

What Does a Corporate Wellness Coach Do?

Wellness coaching has come a long way in the past years. It bridges the gap between standard healthcare within organizational systems and behavioral change.

A corporate wellness coach, or employee wellness coach, can make a positive impact on a company’s bottom line, helping to improve things like client/patient outcomes, employee engagement, medical compliance, team health and productivity, and even health and mental healthcare costs.

Pros and Cons of Wellness Coaching

According to industry experts, there are some pros and cons to health coaching.[1] The biggest obstacle is finding the right balance of people to work with because not everyone is ready, willing, and able to jump on the wellness coaching wagon.

The bottom line is that people don’t want to be forced into working with a health coach or corporate wellness coach, and those who need the service the most, are the least likely to do it.

If you are hoping to hire a wellness coach and expecting the coach to work with every single person in the organization, it’s probably not going to happen, and it’s not realistic.

Wellness coaching bridges the gap between standard healthcare within organizational systems and behavioral change.

The most significant key factor in launching a successful coaching program is getting the neediest employees to participate.

The best approach for those with elevated health risks is a soft and gentle approach starting with asking them if they would like some advice or help and whether they would be willing to work with a health coach.

The actual percentage of the workforce that is both at risk and willing to make some changes is fairly low, only around 3-7% of the population.[1]

This may not seem like a number that can have any impact, but it is a good way to genuinely understand the kinds of populations where the coaching dollars will make the most significant impact.

By sticking with this kind of realistic percentage, employees won’t feel like they are being harassed, and people might even feel motivated by the possibilities a health coach can offer them.

In the end, everyone wins under this model, because those who are receiving coaching are the ones who genuinely want it.

It is a monumental task helping people adopt a healthier lifestyle and an even bigger task to get them to implement these changes permanently.

Corporate Wellness Coach Certification Programs

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to corporate wellness certification. The industry as a whole is not regulated even though there are a few federal and state laws to guide how a program may be conducted.

For the most part, no formal training or certification is needed, but it does go a long way to helping you be better qualified and appear credible.

Getting a wellness certification is a self-regulated activity for the most part. There are three types of wellness certification programs:

  1. Wellness program certifications
  2. Health coach certifications, and
  3. Fitness coaching or personal training certifications.

A wellness program certification is typically open for those who are planning, managing and directing the day-to-day activities of a specific worksite wellness program. Training might include several layers or levels from a wellness assistant to a wellness program manager.

These types of certification programs are usually organized by benefits specialists or HR departments who may not have any training in corporate wellness.

Most of the higher level wellness positions are being filled by those who have some kind of undergraduate training in the industry.

Health coach certifications are typically required for one-on-one health coaching. The certificates are usually simple to acquire in a short period.

A fitness coaching or personal training certification is available for those who plan on working with someone one-on-one and for those who are interested in providing fitness or exercise training.

7 Most Popular Certifications

Some of the most popular health coaching certification programs are:

Wellness Coaching Certification

Details

NSHC Wellness Coach CertificationThe National Society of Health Coaches offers a Health Coach Certification (Certificated Health Coach CHC).  The certification is available only to licensed and credentialed healthcare professionals such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, licensed clinical counselors, etc.

The average time to complete the program is around 70 hours. Once the program is completed, students can then take the online certification exam with 12 months.

Those who are not licensed can still take the course, but they would only receive a certificate of completion.

ProviderNational Society of Health Coaches
Price$595+
Good ForMedical Professionals, Nursing Professionals, Psychologists, Counselors
Websitehttps://www.nshcoa.com/

Wellness Coaching Certification

Details

ACE Wellness Coach CertificationThe American Council on Exercise is another accredited health coach program. It is designed for both healthcare providers and fitness professionals.

This program is suitable for those who want to integrate new health strategies into the lives of their patients or clients.

There are two packages available, standard or premium, which can be purchased for self-study and weekly email courses.

ProviderAmerican Council on Exercise
Price$649+
Good ForFitness Professionals, Health Coaches, Nutritionists, Dieticians, HR Professionals, Healthcare Professionals
Websitehttps://www.nshcoa.com/

Wellness Coaching Certification

Details

Dr Sears Wellness Coach CertificationDr. Sears Wellness Institute offers three types of health coach certifications that take around six weeks to complete. The program is based on Dr. Sears L.E.A.N program (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition).

The three certifications include a family coach, a pregnant and nursing moms coach, and an adult and seniors coach, and the prices are around $895.00 per program.

Dr. Sears Wellness Institute also offers a Master health coach certification that takes 24-30 weeks at a cost ranging from $2790.00 – $3440.00. All programs are offered online.

ProviderDr. Sears Wellness Institute
Price$2790+
Good ForFamily Coaching, Nursing Professionals, Health Coaches
Websitehttps://www.drsearswellnessinstitute.org/health-coach-certification/

Wellness Coaching Certification

Details

Duke Integrative Medicine Wellness Coach CertificationThe Duke Integrative Medicine program offers a certificate of completion for the foundation course and a certified integrated health coach certification as a distance learning course.

The foundation course takes place on the Duke campus, and it takes around four months to complete.

Duke University is a highly respected university, and its health coach professional training is a very rigorous and formally structured program.

ProviderDuke Integrative Medicine
Price$3996+
Good ForMedical Professionals, Nursing Professionals, Physical Therapists, Health Coaches, Fitness Coaches, Psychologists, Nutritionists
Websitehttps://dukeintegrativemedicine.org/integrative-health-coach-training

Wellness Coaching Certification

Details

Wellcoaches Wellness Coach CertificationThe Wellcoaches School of Coaching has a certificate program that takes around 18-weeks to complete. This certification is required for those who want to enter the Professional Health Coach training program at Wellcoaches, which consists of a 10-month curriculum.

The program uses distance learning and interactive online workshops.

ProviderWellcoaches School of Coaching
Price$1475+
Good ForMedical Professionals, Nursing Professionals, Physical Therapists, Health Coaches, Fitness Coaches, Psychologists, Nutritionists, and more
Websitehttps://www.wellcoachesschool.com/

Wellness Coaching Certification

Details

Health Coach Institute Wellness Coach CertificationThe Health Coach Institute also offers a health coach training program. The prices range from $5,200 – $5,994.00 for a 6-month program. The program is offered online and provides everything one might need to launch and manage a successful coaching business.

The foundational training includes four pillars: nutritional coaching, habit-changing coaching, life coaching, and business and marketing strategies.

ProviderHealth Coach Institute
Price$5200+
Good ForHealth Coaches, Coaching Management
Websitehttps://www.healthcoachinstitute.com/

Wellness Coaching Certification

Details

IAWP Wellness Coach CertificationIAW also offers wellness coaching training and certification. The program is CCE accredited by the International Coach Federation as well as the AADP (American Association of Drugless Professionals). Additional accreditation includes the Canadian Health Coach Alliance as well as the UK Health Coach Association.

The program has three pillars of education, including Wellness training, Coach training, and Business training.

ProviderIntegrated Association of Wellness Professionals
Price$199+ monthly
Good ForHealth Coaches, Fitness Coaches, Nutritionists, Dieticians
Websitehttps://iawpwellnesscoach.com/

7 Top Corporate Health Coach Companies

There are many corporate wellness companies and programs; they offer a range of services such as tailored nutrition programs, employee screening, and more.

These top seven providers vary somewhat in their key focus, but all offer the services of a professional wellness coach who can help employees improve their health and well-being.

Provider

Details

Advanced Wellness SystemsAdvanced Wellness Systems integrates motivational design and behavioral science in its wellness program. The company has years of wellness experience and scientific research.

They have developed programs that help lower the cost of healthcare to improve the status of health and deliver results that sustain themselves going forward.

Advanced wellness systems have put a lot of research into their wellness programs, with the overall goal being creating healthier and happier employees.

NameAdvanced Wellness Systems
PriceAvailable on request
Good ForCustom Online Coaching, Health Coaching, Employee Wellbeing
Websitehttp://advanced-wellness-systems.com/

Provider

Details

ChooseHealthChoose Health is one of the most highly recognized health coaching companies in the wellness industry, with many professional wellness coaches on its staff.

Choose Health was initially designed as an expanse of the risk and loss management services that Sargent & Associates were providing to companies. This expansion served to integrate health coaching programs for companies that were designed to help lower behavioral risks that would typically cause employees to file claims for compensation or absenteeism. The program resulted in increased productivity as well as a reduction of expenses.

NameChoose Health
PriceAvailable on Request
Good ForHealth Coaching, Behavioral Health
Websitehttp://www.uchoosehealth.net/

Provider

Details

ConcentraConcentra provides a workplace wellness program that is unique for every company. Their customized programs are designed to deliver the most effective wellness solutions for the employees of each company.

Some of the custom services include biometric screenings, health risk assessments, health outreach programs, corporate wellness activities, occupational health services, wellness interventions, and worksite clinical care.

NameConcentra
PriceAvailable on Request
Good ForPsychological Assessments, Physical Therapy, Medical Services, Health Coaching
Websitehttps://www.concentra.com/

Provider

Details

OptumOptum offers programs, tools, and interactive online learning for employees among its wellness coaching solutions.

Their team includes fitness coaches, dieticians, and behavior change coaches who help teams and individuals improve their well-being.

The overall goals are to cope with stress better, help employees get motivated, and feel better.

NameOptum
PriceAvailable on Request
Good ForFitness Coaching, Health Coaching, Stress Management, Behavioral Health
Websitehttps://www.optum.com/business/solutions/employer/wellness/wellness.html

Provider

Details

TotalCare EAPTotalCare EAP is a wellness coaching servicing platform certified by ESI Group. It is considered to be the gold standard of the wellness industry.

Their programs consist of a team of behavioral health counselors as well as wellness coaches who are deemed as experts in physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

The areas are addressed with clients to help them change their behavior towards exercise and nutrition as well as stress management.

NameTotalCare EAP
PriceAvailable on request
Good ForMental Health Coaching, Stress Management Programs, Behavioral Health Counseling
Websitehttps://www.theeap.com/totalcare-eap

Provider

Details

Wellness Coaches USAWellness Coaches USA is another highly rated company and one of the top health coaching companies. The company is a pioneer when it comes to offering onsite health coaching programs for the workplace.

The company also offers practices to help encourage employees to be more engaged in making behavioral and lifestyle changes for a positive outcome.

NameWellness Coaches USA
PriceAvailable on Request
Good ForHealth Coaching, Nutrition Counseling, Technology Coaching, Injury Prevention Coaching
Websitehttps://wellnesscoachesusa.com/

Provider

Details

Wellness Corporate SolutionsWellness Corporate Solutions is also a good company. They offer biometric screenings and comprehensive wellness programming.

Their custom program includes high-touch annual programming that emphasizes health education and promotes lasting behavior change.

NameWellness Corporate Solutions
PriceAvailable on request
Good ForHealth Coaching, Medical Solutions, Stress Management Programs
Websitehttps://www.wellnesscorporatesolutions.com/

How to Pitch Wellness Coaching

Employee wellness coaching has taken off over the last few years. If you are looking to pitch a corporate wellness program, it may be challenging to figure out where to start.

According to Hope Health, the best way to promote your wellness coaching services is with an elevator pitch.[2]

You have 20-30 seconds to impress someone or to convince someone to participate in worksite wellness. This kind of strategy can be used to motivate employees to participate, gain management support, or to pitch to an organizational leadership group.

When you develop a great elevator pitch, people will be much more responsive to what you are promoting.

When people get excited about the possibility of creating something better together, this acts like a compass or a North Star helping to bring people together in support of a common goal.

5 Steps to Creating an Effective Pitch

The five steps include:

  1. Identifying your goal.
  2. Explaining what the program does.
  3. Communicating your unique selling idea.
  4. Keeping the 9 C’s in mind.
  5. Practice, practice, and practice.

Before you start,  put your best stuff out there first. You have approximately eight seconds to get someone’s attention.

Start by identifying your goals. Think about what it is you want people to do. How can you get people involved, and why should they get involved? Focus on the coaching tools you can offer to help them live a happier and healthier life.

Next, it’s important to explain what the program does and what it’s all about. Focus on the possibilities the program can provide and how it can help someone achieve those possibilities. If possible, add impactful information or statistics that help to convey the value of what your program does.

Next, it’s important to think about your unique program. Think about what it is that makes your program different and how can it help them achieve their goals.

The 9 C’s are also important to keep in mind when creating your pitch. Make sure what you are selling or pitching is:

  1. Concise
  2. Clear
  3. Compelling
  4. Credible
  5. Conceptual
  6. Concrete
  7. Customized
  8. Consistent
  9. Conversational

Last but certainly not least, it’s important to practice until you feel comfortable selling your idea.

Practice your pitch again and again while you stand in front of the mirror. How you say something is just as important as what you say. Try and be enthusiastic and energetic but not too aggressive. Strive for a smooth, natural, and conversational tone.

What Does The Research Say?

As we have seen, health coaching or wellness coaching draws on the ideas and principles of positive psychology as well as the practices of motivational interviewing and goal setting.

The overall goal is to obtain sustained behavioral change, especially for those with chronic diseases or for those looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Having said that, there is some research available that examines health coaching for individuals and groups.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), researchers affirm the long-term benefits and the value of health coaching.[3]

Better Patient Engagement

Health coaching, provided by a member of a primary care team trained to support patient engagement in chronic disease self-management, is a promising intervention that helps offset the heavy workload placed on primary care providers for chronic disease management.

The researchers also noted that health coaching helped improve outcomes in those patients with cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes and hypertension.

The study surmised that health coaching could be a very effective tool for physicians who want to encourage patients to self-manage their care.

Health coaching could be a very effective tool for physicians who want to encourage patients to self-manage their care.

In a 1-year randomized controlled trial of health coaching interventions amongst a safety-net population, the proportion of patients who achieved a secondary outcome of being at their goal for a single clinical measure such as hemoglobin A1c, enjoyed lower numbers, dropping from 53.4% to 36.2%.

Improved Health Outcomes

The authors of the study concluded that the most improved outcomes continued for one year after the completion of the health coaching intervention, which is a very positive outcome.

The most significant finding from this research was that those who received a year of health coaching within a 12-month time frame maintained positive clinical improvements at the 2-year mark.[3]

These findings aligned with the primary outcome of maintaining control of clinical issues such as diabetes and hypertension a full year after the health coaching intervention was completed.

Another key takeaway, according to the study, is that investing in health coaching may have not only immediate benefits for those who are struggling to meet their health goals, but also long term benefits.

Wellness and Health Coaching Apps

There seems to be an app for everything, even health coaching. Coaching via a health app is now being offered more and more by health care providers. These apps are based around medical conditions rather than a broader telehealth service.

According to research, the two most widely used medical conditions for health coaching apps are diabetes and obesity.

A quick look at any App Store, however, reveals a wealth of mobile solutions for physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and more.

Most Useful Features

According to experts, there are six factors for success for digital-enabled health coaching:[4]

  1. Using the chat feature for communication.
  2. Having a sophisticated dashboard.
  3. Having a structured program.
  4. Having digitally native coaches.
  5. Adding connected devices such as test strips or fitness trackers, and
  6. Having an integrated health care delivery and business model.

Chat features are the most widely used method for coaching, behind human coaching at least; however, pure “AI” coaching still lacks in comparison to a real-life human coach.

Having a sophisticated dashboard is also important in terms of success. This enables coaches to manage large numbers of patients or users. Some of the best features offered include group messaging, patient or user life cycle management, and robust reporting features.

Having a structured program is integrally important, as well. Having a program length between 6 and 16 weeks is an excellent timeframe to help retain users and help build a marketable product.

A digitally native coach provides the best in class service and allows coaches to work with their patients or users remotely.

Another tip for success in terms of health coaching apps is utilizing connected devices. Offering devices such as test strips, fitness trackers, or lancets enables the health coach to provide a more comprehensive service.

Having a model that is integrated allows digital health coaching to become a comprehensive part of the patient treatment model.

Having these aspects allows the health coaches to manage daily communications, thereby helping the patient change unhealthy behaviors and keep track of goals as well as monitor risks.

According to Jahns, pilot programs of integrated models have shown significant reductions in cost per patient mainly through reduced health care plans and hospital visits.

Final Thoughts

Health care coaching and corporate wellness coaching has come a long way over the last few years. A corporate wellness coach can offer a lot of positive benefits, especially for those with chronic conditions like diabetes or obesity.

As we have seen, there are positive and negative aspects of wellness coaching, the most significant negative issue being the difficulty of getting people interested in the service and finding the right balance of people to work with.

There are many corporate wellness coaching certification programs to choose from and different levels of certification. For some, no formal training or certifications are needed, but they do go a long way to helping you find larger clients and more customers as your business grows.

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