Mental and physical health in the workplace hasn’t been that hot topic as it is nowadays. There is a bilateral responsibility for keeping our minds and bodies in good condition. Both individuals and organizations make an effort towards not letting post-pandemic poor health results “steal our light”, motivation and engagement.

While there are many things that businesses can do to keep their staff members engaged and inspired, especially in these challenging times, workplace mental health best practices ought to be included in every part of an employer’s operating model: policies, procedures, instruction, organizational culture, or guiding principles. Incorporating health coaching services into a wellness program can be a terrific approach for businesses to assist their employees in reaching their health objectives and in enhancing their overall well-being.

In fact, the relationship between mental health and the workplace is bidirectional, as employment influences a person’s mental health, and an employee’s mental health influences general workplace morale. As a result, mental health of the employees has become a top concern for employers, necessitating a strategy addressing the elephant in the room.

Well-being needs grow after the pandemic

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has caused many unforeseen alterations in people’s lives. COVID-19 has affected all parts of our lives, from financial to social connections, family to business relationships, and physical to mental health. What we experienced with a monthly growing rate was anxiety, grief, fear, isolation, disconnection, exclusion and other feelings not always easy to name. Moreover, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among COVID-19 patients. Employees who suffer from PTSD are more prone to experience other mental health issues and lose their ability to focus on cognitive tasks. This is what business should take into account when planning a company’s growth. Thus, the need among employees to support their mental and physical health through well-being policies is beyond doubt.

Understanding health coaching services

Employers understand the significance of promoting a culture of health and wellness for staff members, by choosing the right strategies and tools. In this technology-driven world, no one asks anymore why they use wellness apps or fitness trackers. Nevertheless, according to research conducted by ComPsych Corporation, the need for personal health coach appeared to be more attractive and promising better long-term results than such apps.

Figure 1. Motivating factors to achieve wellness goals
Source: Self-prepared on ComPsych Tell it Now poll

A health coach is a trained and typically accredited practitioner who works with individuals or groups to assist them in accomplishing their health goals. Health coaches employ a client-centered approach to help their clients identify and achieve their health objectives, which may include:

  • tobacco cessation,
  • sleep hygiene,
  • bariatric care,
  • weight management,
  • family joy,
  • improved nutrition,
  • stress reduction,
  • emotions management
  • lifestyle, physical activity.

While our jobs have entered under our roofs changing our workstyle into the remote or hybrid one, finding the work-life balance has been jeopardized. Therefore to manage it more successfully health coaching programs are nowadays nearly a must for employees-caring organizations.

Benefits of health coaching services

Health coaching services can provide many benefits, including: personalized support, improving health outcomes, increasing confidence about availability and accountability of personal goals reaching process.

Individuals collaborate with health coaches to create a personalized plan for reaching their health objectives. They provide encouragement, motivation, and direction, which can be especially beneficial for persons who have struggled to make positive changes on their own. All coaching methods can be combined with popular fitness trackers or other apps, providing consumers with access to online wellness resources on their mobile devices. Barriers to wellness success can often include medical concerns such as depression, alexithymia or other behavioral health issues like permanent stress or work-life challenges i.e. financial difficulties.

Why do we need a health coach? Just me isn’t enough to take care of my  personal health?

Do-it-yourself approach appears to be easy and independent. However, according to wellness experts when it comes to long lasting healthy behavior change, professional guidance pays off. Having a personal health coach keeps employees on track, which builds trust and becomes a part of organizations’ as well as employees’ more holistic approach to wellness that incorporates a wide range of aspects.

Companies may take advantage of many wellbeing services including health coaching from different providers nowadays. On employer’s behalf they may organize a well-being webinar, health talk added daily to on-line platforms, when employees have an access to. Such companies are partners at every stage when implementing such services into a company’s HR policy.

Downsides to health coaching

Are there any downsides to health coaching? From the organization point of view, the cost of implementing a coaching program. Especially for those businesses with limited budgets. Most employees reveal the doubt of time for personal deep commitment in health coaching sessions, health reminders in apps etc. Such a provided well-being program with health coaching sessions may arise a resistance in staff members. Some employees may be unwilling to participate in health coaching or may not find the sessions engaging or encouraging. It actually depends on your employees’ overall motivators. The biggest downside from my point of view are privacy concerns. Employees may be cautious to disclose personal health information to a coach, especially if their privacy is not appropriately protected. That is why most employees would prefer to work with a health coach hired outside of their employer.

Who wins?

Employee well-being is crucial for achieving workforce fulfillment, productivity, and inclusivity, among other things. Businesses must consequently establish a work culture in which people may grow and flourish rather than simply endure. Staff wellness-focused organizations are predicted to have higher staff retention rates as well as the possibility for long-term growth and development. As a result, it is not surprising that the availability of mental health resources will become an important checklist item for employees when deciding whether to choose or stay with an organization. Organizations need to take care of protecting personal data, especially in the case of health coaching sessions, where the data shared between coach and coachee is very fragile.

In the post-pandemic world, perhaps the most successful organizations and businesses will be those that maintain such initiatives and actively seek ways to ensure that their employees receive the best support for their mental health and wellbeing, while constantly working together to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.