Organizational Wellness

Integrating Whole-person Care Health Coaching into Your Employee Wellness Program

Dec 14, 2021
Last Updated May 9, 2024

Employee wellbeing is a non-negiable to today’s workforce. So much so, in fact, that nine out of 10 employees in a recent international survey said their wellbeing at work matters as much as their salary.

This clear call for wellness is why so many HR leaders are looking to strengthen their wellness initiatives. For example, about 76% of companies are looking to teach their people stress management. Others are starting walking programs or mental wellness workshops. 

One way to take your wellbeing programs to the next level is to consider how you can integrate whole person care and coaching into your initiatives. Both of these are ways to show your team members that you care about them — and to boost your own crucial metrics. After all, 93% of workers say their physical wellbeing impacts their work productivity. 

Here are the benefits of taking a whole person approach to wellness, and how coaches can help you reap the rewards!


What Is Whole-Person Care?

This whole-person care approaches wellbeing in a holistic fashion. It recognizes that wellness has multiple dimensions, including physical, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing. 

It emerged as a healthcare model over the last decade. This involved practitioners supporting a patient’s mental and emotional state, as well as their physical health. This approach has made its way into other wellness spaces, including employee wellbeing. 

By adopting a whole-person care approach, organizations foster a more comprehensive and effective approach to supporting wellbeing. This includes offering resources and interventions that address all aspects of health and personal growth – such as gym memberships, sleep trackers, nutrition counseling, reproductive health support, budget apps, meditation courses, and more. 

The Benefits of Whole Person Health Coaches

Coaching is a familiar concept for career development and employee training. A similar concept can be used to maximize whole-person care: Health coaches. These trained experts show individuals how to do something. It can be a powerful way to help individuals learn how to develop and maintain this lifestyle, according to recent research

Whole-health coaching generally provide guidance in three main areas

  • Fostering healing
  • Optimizing health
  • Enhancing wellbeing

In other words, a whole-person care coach guides the employee to access inner resources that allow their strengths to be leveraged for positive change. Those inner resources can include anything from the company’s wellness programs to breathing techniques.  

This can help employees achieve better health outcomes. For examples, staffers who worked with a health coach for 12 weeks in one study experienced the following benefits: 

  • Improved personal health awareness
  • Better accountability 
  • Increased motivation 
  • Higher self-efficacy
  • Ability to overcome barriers
  • Reduced body mass index (BMI)

The participants also expressed appreciation for and value of health coaching for encouraging support and using resources. “HC [health coach] was not judgmental. HC was encouraging. HC taught me to forgive myself if I didn’t make my goals, not be so hard on myself,” said one study member. 

The positive results certainly help the individual holistically. Those personal improvements also benefit the company with increased productivity and deeper levels of collaboration. 

How to Implement Whole-Person Care Coaching

Introducing whole-person care coaching into your organization elevates conventional wellness programs. The following step-by-step guide will help you effectively implement a whole-person care coaching program, ensuring that each employee receives tailored support to thrive both in and out of the workplace

Step 1: Define Your Whole-Person Care Objectives

Start by clearly defining what whole-person care means for your organization. This approach integrates physical, mental, and emotional health. Set specific objectives on how these elements can be nurtured through coaching. Objectives might include improving overall employee healthincreasing job satisfaction, and enhancing work-life wellness.

Step 2: Partner with a Qualified Coach Program

You can streamline your program launch by partnering with a reputable coach program that specializes in holistic wellbeing (as opposed to personally hiring individual coaches). Look for programs that have a track record of successful implementations in similar organizations. This partnership gives you access to a network of professional coaches who are trained to address a variety of needs and challenges, ensuring consistency and quality in the coaching provided. Additionally, working with an established program can offer scalability and easier integration with your existing wellness initiatives.

Step 3: Leverage Customized Coaching Programs

Your coaches can now develop programs tailored to individual needs. You can support them by running assessments or providing access to survey tools to understand each employee’s health status and personal goals. The program should offer flexibility to focus on areas most relevant to each individual, whether it’s stress management, nutritionexercise, or mental wellbeing.

Step 4: Integrate Coaching with Overall Wellbeing Initiatives

Link coaching to your existing employee wellbeing programs. This integration ensures that coaching is not an isolated service but part of a broader, supportive environment. Encourage coaches to work collaboratively with other wellness providers and services offered by your organization.

Step 5: Provide Ongoing Communication and Support to Drive Program Adoption

Effective communication is crucial to a whole-person care coaching program. Develop a comprehensive communication plan to keep all stakeholders informed and engaged. This plan should include regular updates, success stories, and educational resources about the benefits of whole-person care. Support from top management is also critical — their endorsement can drive program adoption and participation. Additionally, provide easy access to support for both coaches and employees to address any questions or concerns as they navigate the program. This ongoing communication helps establish the program as a core part of your organization’s culture.

Step 6: Measure and Analyze the Impact

Implement a system to measure the effectiveness of the coaching program. This could include surveys, health outcomes, employee productivity metrics, and feedback sessions. Analyze this data to assess the impact of the coaching on individual and organizational levels. Adjust the program as needed based on these insights.

Step 7: Scale Up the Program

Driving widespread adoption happens in phases. You can highlight early  success stories to drum up more interest among your workforce. Gradually scale up the program to include more participants, amplifying your impact as you go!

By following these steps, your organization can successfully implement whole-person care coaching, fostering an environment that supports comprehensive employee wellbeing. This approach not only enhances individual health but also drives organizational productivity and success.

Power Performance with Wellbeing

Improving employee wellbeing benefits everyone. Not only do employees experience better health, organizations enjoy improved productivity, better retention, and lower healthcare costs. 

Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today to learn more about expanding your wellness offerings, including with our personalized coaching!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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