Sometimes focusing on overall wellbeing as opposed to setting rigid goals can help groups meet their wellness goals.
The goals for the initiative were to enhance employee well-being while at the same time reduce risk factors – however these were defined by each person. The coaches supported their clients, but did not try to influence their unique desires.
Instead, we transformed the initiative from a mandatory outcome for those with identified health risks and specific risk reduction goals to a voluntary program based on complete well-being, and individual goals and objectives that were flexible.
Dimensions was called by the company to help protect the service employees from possible anthrax exposure.
Following the initial screening and counseling, participants received weekly calls from the same coach for three weeks and then every other week for 3 months. We initially coached clients regarding the wellness goals they wanted to accomplish and assisted in making those goals sustainable.
Our approach was unique and focused on holistic well-being which was – and still is – not common. What makes this most notable is that this was accomplished with participants working long hours and often difficult schedules.
The outcomes indicated a tremendous success rate, with most employees meeting and/or exceeding their goal(s), and all participants making lifestyle changes. Only one employee out of the 60 did not meet his goals, but stated that he was still thinking about eating better and making lifestyle changes. It was very exciting to watch the progress and very rewarding for both the coaches and participants. The coaches said it was the best project they were ever involved with.
Compared with other health coaching results and approaches, it is our understanding that our results are remarkable in terms of the number of contacts made and the positive outcomes.
For all of us, another surprise benefit was what we termed the “ripple effect”. Participants talked with other employees, shared information, posted handouts we distributed, and started discussion groups at work during lunch. They also shared knowledge and information with families and friends – all of whom made positive changes as well.
A sample of what participants reported:
- Power walking at lunch with co-workers
- Having more energy, feels better
- Playing 18-holes of golf without getting tired
- Had to tighten belt buckle
- Dropped 2 clothes sizes
- Can now carry 30+ pounds up hill without being tired when hunts – used to be short of breath and have pain in legs
- Family asked if she had gastric by-pass surgery since she looked better than a cousin who had by-pass surgery
- Went from 5 sodas per day to none
- Wife and children now exercising
- Decreased alcohol intake
- Started diabetes classes and going to support group meetings
- Co-Workers were exercising
- Clothes fit better
- Can wear wedding ring again
- “Gave me the incentive to start running again – without the guilt that it was taking time away from my kids and family.”
- Probably would not have started exercising again without this program and would not have continued without coach’s support.
- My wife and children are eating better and exercising.