What’s Missing From Your Employee Wellness Program?


Is your employee wellness program providing you with what you were expecting? I’m Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute & US Corporate Wellness and whether you’re an employee participating in the program or the individual in charge of designing the strategy, your answer to that question is of utmost importance.

Wait… what? Am I saying when it comes to health & wellness, the expectations of the employee and employer are actually aligned? Well – I’m not saying they currently are in many cases. But yes – I am saying that’s a completely reasonable expectation that can be effectively met if we’re wise in our approach…

Let’s take a step back and look at what is generally most important to each. 1st the employee team member: when it comes down to it, they’re looking to improve their life – in a way that matters to them. The employer? They are looking to provide their team members with the tools and resources to bring the best version of themselves to work each and every day. These primary goals can both be reached – simultaneously – if we choose to do so.

Obviously we aren’t going to cover all the details in this brief video, but let’s pull the curtain back on something called Self-determination theory and discuss how the research on SDT can point us in the right direction with our employee wellness programs.
Self-determination theory points to 3 basic psychological needs. When these are met, we are much more likely to move toward positive, lasting and meaningful change in our lives. The 1st of these is a need for autonomy – the ability to choose and then exercise control over our behaviors (vs. being told what to do). The second is a need for competence – the belief that we really can do what we’ve set out to do. The 3rd is the need for relatedness – being understood and cared for by others. If those three are in place, employees will garner far more traction in moving toward the desired change.

And then what happens? You know the answer. For the individual, positive change in one area can help start a domino effect in others – leading to that better life we are each looking to create. For the employer, you understand clearly that a team member with higher levels of energy, focus and engagement is a game-changer for the organization.

So that brings us back to the original question: “What is missing from your employee wellness program?” Reflecting on whether these 3 key aspects – Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness – are at the core of your employee wellness strategy will provide you with a great starting point. Meaningful and prioritized coaching provided by nationally board certified health & wellness coaches is likely the most effective way in which to address these key targets in a single strategy. We have plenty of other videos here about identifying an effective coaching model. However, the short version is that integrating this type of coaching into your employee wellness strategy will bring autonomy, competence and relatedness to the forefront almost overnight – and you DO NOT have to completely revamp your program to do so. And by coaching, in short I’m referencing a personalized 1:1 telephonic or face-to-face 20-30 min session focusing directly on what is important to that individual.

Many organizations already have a solid base for their wellness program in place, often including an outstanding wellness portal and even health risk assessment. If that’s you, keep those just like they are and simply integrate in a meaningful coaching approach involving nationally board certified health & wellness coaching. Need help or want to do some brainstorming about next steps? Feel free to reach out to us – Results@CatalystCoachingInstitute.com – we’re here to talk you through the process that is best for you and your organization.

Thanks for joining us here on the YouTube Coaching Channel. If you’re interested in expanding your tools and resources related to evidence-based coaching, you’ll find plenty more here. If you enjoy podcasts, you might also enjoy the Catalyst Health, Wellness & Performance Coaching podcast, where we have been fortunate to have a “who’s who” list of best-selling authors, world class researchers and elite athletes and coaches providing engaging, evidence-based strategies to improving our health, wellness & performance.

This is Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute signing out. Thanks for joining us and I’ll look forward to speaking with you soon on another feature here on the YouTube Coaching Channel or over at the Catalyst Health, Wellness & Performance coaching podcast.

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