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How Health Coaches Can Support Employees’ Whole-Person Well-Being

Supporting employees in the workplace with health coaching can help them achieve specific health goals and improve the culture of well-being in the organization. Yet many corporate wellness health coaching programs focus primarily on weight loss and fitness coaching. Health Coaches at WebMD Health Services are different. They take a holistic approach, factoring in all aspects of a participant’s life that influence physical, mental, and emotional health. Read on to learn what sets WebMD Health Coaches apart.

WebMD Health Coaches help participants identify their “why.”

Using motivational interviewing techniques and the science of behavior change, WebMD Health Coaches help participants articulate exactly what they want to change about their health and why. For example, a coach might ask a participant how their life might be different if they quit tobacco. The participant may say, “I’ll have more stamina to play with my kids,” or “I’ll be able to take the stairs without stopping to rest.” This technique helps tap into intrinsic motivation, which is more successful in achieving behavior change than extrinsic motivation, such as simply hearing, “You need to quit smoking.”

Our Health Coaches look at the whole person and help participants connect the well-being dots.

Health Coaches take the time to understand all aspects of participants’ lives—their work, hobbies, home life, family, and more—to develop a plan that’s achievable for their unique life circumstances. They also increase participants’ awareness that everything we experience in our bodies—both physically and mentally—is connected. Sleep is a great example: research shows that poor quality sleep often causes us to eat more throughout the day. So if participant comes to a health coach because they’re struggling to lose weight, our coaches will ask questions regarding more than just eating and exercise habits. For instance, they may ask about sleep routines and offer a plan to begin improving sleep quality.

We provide support for a wide range of health goals.

Our Health Coaches don’t just work with participants to lose weight or exercise more. Essentially, a WebMD Health Coach can develop a plan to achieve whatever personal health interests and goals a participant has. Here is just a sample of the kinds of whole-person support they provide:

  • Coping with the pressures of being a manager
  • Identifying ways to set boundaries between work and life
  • Incorporating mindfulness into daily life
  • Managing chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, and high blood pressure
  • Medication adherence
  • Quitting vaping or smoking
  • Reducing stress
  • Understanding how to access company benefits, like Employee Assistance Programs or mental health resources

We become trusted partners to our clients.

Changing health behaviors is hard work, and few people can do it all on their own. WebMD Health Coaches form true partnerships with participants and provide the emotional support and accountability that making health improvements requires. The relationship is similar to a professional mentor, sports team coach, personal trainer, or even a financial advisor. Whether it’s a few words of encouragement to push past a plateau or just a listening ear, our coaches are there to support participants however they need it.

We make it easy to engage with a Health Coach.

Our Health Coaching services let participants engage with a coach in the most comfortable and convenient way for them. We offer one-on-one coaching sessions that enable participants to zero in on health goals and form a relationship with a coach. They can connect with the coach in person through our Dedicated Well-Being Services team—if their employer offers this service—or via telephone, Coach Connect secure messaging, and video.

For those who are more comfortable in a group setting, we also offer Group Coaching by WebMD. We’ve found that this is a good, low-risk way for participants to learn more about well-being and become more engaged in their health. It also provides a sense of community as participants interact with people who have similar health interests. Group Coaching is typically conducted via live video with a group of 10 to 20 participants, and Health Coaches highly encourage group interaction to get the most out of each class.

We have high standards for our coaches and our program.

Averaging sixteen and a half years of industry experience, every WebMD Health Coach has earned both undergraduate degrees and national certifications in their practicing fields. Many also hold additional advanced degrees, specialty certifications, and specialized training, allowing them to provide support for stress, weight management, and tobacco cessation.

The WebMD Health Coaching Program also adheres to clinical standards and protocols, and draws on a network of medical experts to provide additional support when needed. Our Clinical Advisory Board and Chief Medical Officer provide oversight, and we also hold National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Accreditation and Certifications in the following areas:

  • Wellness and Health Promotion
  • Disease Management
  • Health Information Product Support for Healthy Living

Combining education, experience, and motivational training, every WebMD Health Coach is a teacher, trusted partner, and well-being expert. Their whole-person approach to health helps participants achieve well-being goals across multiple aspects of their lives. If you’re interested in optimizing health coaching in the workplace, visit our website or contact us at connect@webmd.net.

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