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As awesome as a personal trainer career is, you may have wondered what other paths your skills and training can take you down. Or perhaps you’d like to increase your income or solve health and wellness problems on a larger scale.

An excellent option to consider is corporate wellness coaching. There are huge opportunities in this area, and you can build on your existing knowledge and experience to create a successful and lucrative career. Even if you’re not familiar with the corporate world, we’ve put together some information and advice to get you started. Suit up!

Why are corporate wellness coaches needed?

Let’s look at a typical corporate office dweller.

For privacy purposes we can’t reveal their name, but we’ll call them Quasimodo because sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer for at least 8 hours a day (but usually longer) has done nothing for their posture. That lump in their upper back is forming nicely.

By the time Quasi gets the family ready in the morning and rushes out the door they’re had no time for breakfast. Traffic is a complete nightmare so by the time they park at the office their stress levels are already high. They grab a coffee and biscuit and rush to the first of many meetings for the day.

Two thirds of the day is filled with meetings that could have been emails. One meeting goes overtime and so Quasi only has 15 minutes to dash to a nearby café to grab a muffin and a soda which they inhale during the next meeting.

The manager requests a task be done that Quasi has never heard of before, and they want it by COB. Quasi is too nervous to ask questions because the manager is impatient and there has been a rumour about looming redundancies, so their anxiety rapidly builds until at 3:30pm they finally ask a colleague how to do it. Quasi then frets that the colleague thinks they are underqualified.

Meanwhile their emails have been piling up.

At the end of the day Quasi stands up and slowly stretches. Their neck, back and legs have been achy and stiff because they sit down pretty much all day. They have a headache from the office lighting and air conditioning, and from staring at a screen for too long. An accident on the way home has caused a miles-long traffic jam (more sitting) which gives Quasi time to worry about the 3-day conference starting tomorrow that they haven’t finished their presentation for. Plus, their normal work tasks will fall behind while the conference is on. They’ll have to make up for it in the evenings, which their family will be annoyed about.

After a late dinner eaten while doing a few household chores, and after getting the kids to sleep, all Quasi has the energy to do is watch TV for a bit before falling into bed. They check their work emails before going to sleep, just so there aren’t so many in the morning, and then they lie awake stressing about their presentation.

That scenario may seem a bit over the top, but if you’ve ever worked in a corporate setting (which this blog writer has), it’s actually true for many workers. In fact, it doesn’t even cover most of the things that happen in a day and all the extra pressures, stressors, interactions, and expectations. That’s before you even consider everything happening in their personal life. And the global pandemic and lockdowns certainly didn’t help the situation. Even being able to work from home can cause its own problems.

Certainly, some corporate workers have the whole work-life balance thing under control. They eat well, fit in exercise and they know how to set boundaries. But there’s a reason the term ‘burnout’ has become so common. Thankfully, there is an increased societal need to focus on self-care, and many companies want to improve their employees’ health and wellness, they often just don’t know where to start.

Enter the ⭐Corporate Wellness Coach⭐!

What does a corporate wellness coach do?

A corporate wellness coach (AKA corporate health coach, corporate wellness specialist, workplace lifestyle coach) is a health and fitness professional who works within a corporate setting (or in any company really, big or small) to promote and support the wellbeing of employees. Their primary focus is on enhancing the overall health and wellness of individuals within the organization.

The main goal of a corporate wellness coach is to create a workplace culture that prioritizes and supports the health and wellbeing of employees. By doing so, organizations aim to enhance employee satisfaction, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and contribute to a positive work environment.

Here’s an overview of what a corporate wellness coach could do:

Wellness program development: Corporate wellness coaches often play a role in designing and implementing workplace wellness programs within the organization. These may include activities, workshops, and resources aimed at improving various aspects of employees’ health, such as physical fitness programs, mental health support, nutrition programs, and stress management strategies.

Coaches can also make recommendations to management about steps they could take to improve employee wellness such as free or subsidised gym memberships, on-site fitness facilities, end-of-trip facilities to encourage walking/riding to work, spaces for meditation/rest, free healthy snacks (such as fruit), or mental health days.

Individual coaching: Corporate wellness specialists may work one-on-one with employees to assess their health and wellness needs. Through coaching sessions, they provide personalized guidance, set realistic goals, and offer support to help individuals make positive lifestyle changes.

Working from home advice: As many organizations have introduced hybrid working models since the pandemic, coaches may also help employees to take the healthiest approach to their WFH situation. Topics covered could include setting boundaries, ensuring ergonomic workstations, making sensible dietary choices (tricky when working so close to the kitchen…), and incorporating exercises into their day.

Health education: Corporate wellness coaches are able to educate employees on various health-related topics, such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, and mental health. They may conduct workshops, seminars, or webinars to share information and raise awareness about healthy living practices.

Motivation and accountability: Coaches motivate employees to adopt healthier habits and hold them accountable for their wellness goals. This may involve regular check-ins, progress assessments, and adjustments to the wellness plan based on individual needs and challenges.

Workplace stress management: Given the constant demands of the corporate environment, managing stress is often a key focus. Corporate wellness coaches help employees develop effective stress management techniques and coping strategies to improve overall wellbeing.

Team building: Some corporate wellness coaches facilitate team building activities that promote a supportive and healthy work culture. These activities can enhance communication, collaboration, and a sense of community among employees.

Data analysis: Depending on the resources available (TrueCoach can help with this), coaches may analyze health-related data, such as participation rates in wellness programs or changes in health metrics, to assess the effectiveness of the initiatives and make data-driven recommendations for improvement.

3 ways you’ll benefit from being a corporate wellness specialist

1. A greater chance of longevity in the fitness industry

As fulfilling and enjoyable as personal training is, it’s also highly competitive and running your own small business takes a lot of work. Many personal trainers end up leaving the industry within a year. By specializing in corporate wellness you can strengthen your business model, do less hustling for new clients, and bring in more money.

2. Your career can grow and grow and grow

Once you have established yourself as an expert on workplace wellness there’s no end to how big you can go (certain companies can offer hundreds of clients). You could end up with a large staff of trainers helping you to run your corporate wellness empire! You can also further your training and education in different speciality areas to expand your offering, build a solid reputation, and increase the demand for your services.

3. Achieve a better work-life balance

As a corporate wellness coach you won’t need to go into the gym every day, or to whatever locations you use for your PT sessions. Part of your work will happen at the companies themselves, and then you’ll have more ability to work remotely with TrueCoach in your corner. You’ll be able to create programs, set habits, and track progress for individual employees. A corporate setting is also the perfect place for a library of pre-recorded videos on all kinds of topics…

How to get started as a corporate wellness coach

Here are a few ideas to help you get started in the corporate wellness world.

Level up! 👨‍🎓

Your existing personal trainer certification is a great start, but to really make your mark in the corporate coaching world you’ll want to look at upskilling. Look for programs that cover areas such as workplace health promotion, employee engagement, and behavior change strategies.

Certifications from reputable organizations can lend credibility to your expertise. Examples include:

International Coach Federation (ICF)

National Wellness Institute

National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)

Corporate Wellness Certification

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Crack into corporate culture 💼

Familiarize yourself with the dynamics and challenges of the corporate environment and understand the specific stressors and wellness needs that employees in office settings may face. You could read books, articles, and reports on corporate culture, workplace dynamics, and employee wellbeing, or attend industry conferences, seminars, and networking events related to corporate wellness, human resources, and workplace wellbeing.

To gain insights into workplace policies, corporate culture, and the overall goals and objectives of an organization, you’ll need to work out who to liaise with in each company. You could even conduct surveys with staff to understand their needs.

Rub shoulders with the right people 👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏼

Network with HR professionals, corporate wellness managers, and other individuals involved in employee wellbeing within the corporate sector. Building relationships with key stakeholders can open doors for potential opportunities to implement wellness programs in corporate settings.

Reach out to human resources professionals or corporate wellness coordinators for informational interviews. Understanding their perspectives and challenges can offer valuable insights into the unique aspects of corporate wellness.

Diversify your skillset 🧙‍♂️

Enhance your coaching skills beyond physical fitness to include aspects of mental and emotional wellbeing. Develop expertise in stress management, work-life balance, psychology, and behavior change techniques.

Consider pursuing additional certifications or training in areas such as mindfulness, nutrition coaching, and resilience building to offer a comprehensive approach to wellness. Your existing personal training programs won’t be directly transferable, so you’ll need to explore different ways to deliver to a much larger group.

Create tailored corporate wellness programs 🧘

As part of your upskilling, develop the ability to design and implement corporate wellness programs that address the unique needs of employees in a specific organization. You’ll want to build a solid portfolio to show potential clients. Learn how to conduct assessments to understand the wellness needs of the workforce and tailor programs that align with the goals and values of the company.

Each company will have a different mix of employees with varied requirements, so you’ll need to be able to adapt and adjust. You might like to create a specific hook to make your business stand out.

Promote yourself 🤳

Just because you’re targeting a different crowd, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be making the most of social media and marketing opportunities. You could share informative content on achieving a work-life balance, staying fit and flexible with a desk job, stress management strategies, etc.

If current clients allow it, testimonials and in-action videos would be amazing for grabbing the attention of potential businesses.

Make sure your content is always relevant, engaging, and drives traffic to your business!

For more help with this, see our recent blog posts:

👉Make every post count: building an effective content strategy

👉If you create it, they will come: crafting engaging personal training content

How TrueCoach can help

So, does health coaching for corporations sound like a good fit for you? If you’re keen to get cracking with employee and workplace wellness initiatives, a great starting point is to check out our Weekly Newsletter chock full of information and trends to keep your coaching headed to the next level! (Plus, it’s totally free)

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Article by TrueCoach

First published: February 12 2024

Last updated: February 12 2024