7 Core Metrics To Measure An Employee Health Coaching Initiative

August 21, 2017

This is an excerpt from our latest eBook: Employee Health Coaching 101 - Everything You Need To Know To Launch A Cost-Effective Health Coaching Program. Get your FREE copy here.

Depending on the motivation behind the program, management may want to see different reporting metrics. For example, a company trying to reduce healthcare costs might want to look at the improvement in their employees’ health, especially as it relates to medical claims. On the other hand, a culture-centric company might want to use surveys to gauge improvement in productivity, engagement, retention, and other value-on-investment measures.

Regardless of motivation, most companies start with these core metrics:

Participation Breadth

Of the employees who are offered the service, how many individuals actually took advantage of it? If your participation rate is low, you might want to investigate the cause. Here are some questions you can ask to evaluate the program internally:

  • Are you promoting the service widely and frequently?
  • Do people know that it’s a benefit available to them?
  • Were you clear about whether the program is paid for/subsidized by the organization?

Knowing why people are not participating is a great starting point to improve future offerings and communications.


Participation Depth

As mentioned above, the prevalence of consumer technology means that employees might not necessarily need a lot of face-time with their coach. However, they should still engage in plenty of interactions. Are your employees getting enough time with the health coach for the service to make a difference?

If you can’t afford to provide more interaction time with the coach, you might be better off directing your funding to something else, such as stocking a healthier kitchen or holding regular educational webinars.



This metric looks at whether participants are following their plan co-created with the coach, which can be gathered through both participant and coach reports. High-quality coaches help participants come up with attainable goals and design an achievable roadmap, so low adherence might mean that your coach hasn't received adequate training in facilitating behavioral change. 

Even a personality clash can hinder an employee’s progress. If your employees are falling off the wagon, it might be the case that you need to do a better job targeting participants and/or finding coaches better-suited for your program.



Satisfaction is a close cousin of participation because it shows how much people like their coaches and how much progress they are making. Some of the factors that play into participation satisfaction are:

From The Employee’s Point Of View

  • Effectiveness: Did employees achieve their personal goals? Did they feel like they gained anything from the program?
  • Scope Of Offering: Were coaches able to offer the services that employees wanted?
  • Convenience: Was it easy to work with the coach, whether it was for scheduling, conducting sessions, or communication purposes?
  • Overall Perceived Value: What is the overall grade participants would give to the program?

From The Coordinator’s Point Of View

  • Convenience: Was it easy to coordinate and plan sessions?
  • Communication: Were the participants responsive to communication efforts? 

Pro-tip: While it is comforting to see how much everybody’s loving the program, the reverse can also happen. Not everybody will like their coaches or even just working with a coach in general. If you see unfavorable results, your measurement data should be able to distinguish between program dissatisfaction (low-quality offering) and coach-client mismatches (can be resolved by changing coaches and/or changing to a different method).


Health Impacts

Health Behaviors
Were employees able to successfully implement and sustain healthy behaviors? To ensure sustained behavior changes, make sure to offer coaching over an adequate period of time.
Physical Health
Most of the time, physical health data is captured in biometric measurements, such as blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol, and so on. While disease-management programs might benefit from improvements in biometric measures, most of the general population won’t need frequent screenings. Program coordinators should use their discretion to determine whether this type of data is necessary for program development.


Productivity And Performance Measures

Measured by time away from work, time off tasks, or lowered on-the-job productivity due to poor health, these metrics are still in their infancy, and tools measuring these metrics differ significantly. The cheapest way to go about gathering this information is from self-reported data, but this lowers the validity of the results.

It is helpful to gauge the effect of health coaching on productivity, but you should take the data with a grain of salt and avoid putting too much weight on it.


Value-On-Investment (VOI)

According to Dr. Grossmier, “VOI is a measurement approach that integrates all of the other domains into a unifying framework and broadens wellness program evaluation from a single measure of success to more of an indexed approach that assesses the financial impact.” The VOI framework would emphasize the entire range of outcomes that are valuable to an employer.


Additional Metrics To Consider

  • Voluntary Employee Turnover
  • Changes In Registration And Demand For Coaching Time
  • Changes In Health Care Costs


Grab your FREE copy of this ebook to learn more about the best tools you can use to measure these aforementioned metrics!

Topics: Corporate Wellness

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