Amazon. Netflix. Zappos. Today’s consumer culture is increasingly dominated by brands that thrive on facilitating a personalized experience. So, when it comes to your corporate wellness program, why should your employees expect anything different?

They shouldn’t, and in reality, they don’t. In fact, according to recent research, almost 75 percent of wellness program participants say a personal touch is important in their health, wellness and fitness program.

In our industry, health coaches help put this personalized experience into practice. Coaches guide employees on their journey to help them reach their health goals, providing expertise, structure, encouragement, accountability and human connection along the way. In many of our client programs, health coaches are available to meet with participants at their choosing, allowing employees to select the mode, pace, duration and frequency of their coaching sessions. This helps employees feel like a person, not an appointment, and gives them peace-of-mind knowing they have the flexibility and freedom to access support when they need it most.

Coaches deliver benefits far beyond fulfilling employees’ desires for personalized wellness. Here are three ways personal health coaches can jumpstart and significantly impact corporate wellness programs: 

  1. Coaches can help facilitate healthy behaviors

In a survey among our own clients, we found that coached participants gained 70 percent less weight than non-coached participants. Nearly 20 percent of coached participants lost around 8 pounds each year (versus just 2 pounds per year for non-coached participants). Coached participants were also 29 percent more likely to quit using tobacco versus non-coached participants. Across the board, coaches made a significant difference when it came to encouraging those essential, healthy behaviors.

  1. Coaches can help improve employee productivity

Accountability gets results: Employees who were supported by a coach completed more sessions and stayed enrolled in corporate wellness programs longer. Seventy-one percent of coached employees remained in their program past three months, while only 35 percent of those who were self-directed achieved the same. The results aren’t limited to health benefits either: 84 percent of employees who worked with a coach reported improved productivity.

  1. Coaches can help employers save bottom-line health care dollars

When it comes to cost savings and health coaching, I’ve found the 70:30 rule usually applies. In other words, 70 percent of employers’ medical and pharmacy cost savings are coming from the 30 percent of their wellness program participants who enroll in coaching. Employees who participate in company wellness programs save an average of $261 in medical costs per year. However, those who work directly with a personal health coach save an average of $586 annually—more than double the savings!

Personal health coaches provide far-reaching benefits to employees and employers alike. Coaches help employees gain momentum on their wellness journeys and provide support in achieving their health goals, while realizing greater program engagement, productivity and health care cost savings for employers. When combined with the right technology and resources, a coach-driven approach can create new levels of improvement and program results for all.

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