What is a Wellness Coach vs. a Human Performance Coach?

What is a Health & Wellness Coach vs. a Human Performance Coach?

Wellness programs are historically the way that companies in the U.S. have addressed health in the workplace. In fact, nearly half of U.S. companies have implemented one. They often focus on helping people make changes like becoming more physically active (29 percent), obesity/weight management (17 percent), and tobacco cessation (19 percent). As you can see, the focus was on the physical, in an attempt to help people adopt healthier lifestyle habits and reduce their risk of chronic (and costly) conditions. The end goal for these traditional programs was to cut healthcare costs.  


One of the ways that wellness programs sought to help people make individual changes that could collectively lead to reduced healthcare costs is to have them attend scheduled sessions with a wellness coach.

What is a wellness coach?

Wellness coaches are a resource offered through workplace wellness programs. If the company conducts annual health screenings, the employer might require employees whose health numbers (e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body mass index, among others) don’t fall within a given range to meet with a wellness coach, who can “get them on the right track.” The employee and the wellness coach would set goals, likely related to their physical health and lowering health risks. Then, each week, the wellness coach would call at the same scheduled time and check in on how the employee is progressing toward those physical health goals. 

These are all important steps — and ones that Aduro also takes to measure physical health improvements.  The biggest difference, however, is that — to us — those numbers are part of the equation, not the whole story.  

Why “Wellness” Coaching is Not Enough

When you look at employees as a risk that needs to be reduced, you’re often overlooking the fact that they’re a person. There is more to their work performance, health and life than their physical wellness. That is just one component of who they are and their potential for greatness.  

Additionally, when employees are only asked to focus on smoking cessation, weight-loss, and increased aerobic activity, it’s pretty much a pass/fail system. Did you quit smoking? Did you lose weight? Are you working out more? They require yes or no answers, which can leave employees feeling discouraged if they didn’t fare well. It also pushes the coach into the role of the person that the employee has to “answer to,” which isn’t the way to inspire meaningful, lasting change.  

A coach should be someone who listens first, provides support when needed and asks questions that inspire changes in thinking. 

The Evolution of Wellness + Coaching

Early on, Aduro saw the shortcomings of traditional programs that focused solely on mitigating health risks. We came into the industry with the concept of a whole person approach to well-being. It’s called Human Performance.  
Our Human Performance approach supports your employees in six, interconnected aspects of life: 

  1. Lifestyle & Health – The ability to make better day-to-day decisions by understanding how they connect to future outcomes.   
  1. Mindset & Resilience – Recognizing your own “default” settings, in order to better respond to adversity.  
  1. Money & Prosperity – Understanding your relationship with money and how you can move from meeting basic needs to leading a fulfilling, secure life.    
  1. Development & Growth – Personal and professional development creates a cycle of growth and mentorship.  
  1. Relationships & Community – Learning how our connections can help to build and strengthen our sense of belonging and community.  
  1. Purpose & Contribution – When people have a clear purpose, they’re able to show up fully.  
Aduro's six aspects of life: Mindset and Resilience, Purpose and Contribution, Lifestyle and Health, Relationships and Community, Development and Growth, Money and Prosperity.

When we entered the market, a big part of our mission was to help people evolve from what needed do to improve their health to what they were motivated to do to reach their goals, in all apsects of life. The latter leads to sustainable change and performance.   

The catalyst of that evolution are our Human Performance coaches. 

What is a Human Performance Coach?

A Human Performance coach is a person who helps others tap into their greatness. Our coaching is rooted in science and helping employees identify what matters most to them. Once we help them identify their intrinsic motivators (what inherently matters most to us), we help them create a road map toward living a life that reflects our own values. Then, we create expert-led, personalized interactive content to help support people on their path toward fulfilling their greatest potential.    

The interactive content takes place on Aduro Connect™, which offers content resources to help support the individual on their journey, as well as alerts, nudges and personalized messaging to drive action.  

On the platform, we let employees choose their own paths, just as we do in coaching sessions, which leads to greater investment in the outcome.  

We offer individual, one-on-one coaching sessions, which focus on the themes that matter most to the person. These sessions are offered both telephonically and onsite*. There’s also the opportunity for group coaching sessions, which address challenges nearly all of us face. 

As an example, some of themes a coach might support include: 

  • Emotional problem solving 
  • Managing stress and anxiety 
  • Depression and mental health support
  • Burnout and building resilience

Our Human Performance coaches also help people identify roadblocks that they may come across in their journeys — such as stress or anxiety — and help them identify ways to navigate around them.  
Additionally, our coaches make it a point to familiarize themselves with the company benefits available to the employees they coach. That’s important because an employee may not recall that they have a certain amount of company-covered therapy sessions available each year that they could really use right now, during a particularly difficult season of their lives.  

That integration helps support employees’ success in three key ways: They’re supported by a real person (a coach), connected to technology that provides real-time nudges for actionable change, and they can receive referrals to a medical provider (such as a psychologist) if they need more support in their corner. Our coaching program is also accredited by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).   

So what is a Human Performance coach?  
It’s someone who taps into the greatness inside of us that’s always been there — we just never knew it. 

Learn more about Aduro’s Human Performance Solution to employee wellness.