In the next couple of weeks I will begin working as a CDL driver wellness coach for a company that has about 200 hundred drivers and 200 office workers who all have optional access to me as a health resource. It will be up to me to engage with drivers out in common areas and deliver presentations to office workers quarterly. I will take baseline health measures, utilize motivational interviewing techniques, follow up and problem solve with clients in order to help them improve their health and lifestyles.
It is up to me to raise participation rates in one-on-one wellness coaching and I was wondering if you could offer me any advice or resources that are aimed at working with a population such as CDL truck drivers and sedentary office workers?
I would also greatly appreciate help locating resources with information to disseminate that is timely and effective at quarterly presentations.
I have given a lot of thought to your question, because you have an audience with which I am not familiar. So I have several suggestions that I hope will be helpful:
First, I suggest that you do some "ride alongs" with drivers (Unless they are all long-distance drivers and it's not practical), as a way of getting acquainted and to give them an opportunity to talk informally about what challenges and stressors they experience doing their work. Ask them to teach you about what they encounter. Do a lot of listening, maintain individual confidentiality, and offer advice when asked. Probably you will be "tested" to see if you listen, understand, and can be trusted to keep confidentiality. All that is crucial to building trust and credibility. Expect that may take some time.
Second, if management has no objection, ask to talk with union representatives to learn about stressors common throughout the industry, and about behavioral solutions that the union can support. The involved unions may already have wellness programs or suggestions to contribute.
Same advice re building relationships with sedentary office workers. As a theoretically sedentary group, I would add inquiry about physical discomforts that arise from lack of active movements, and about practical solutions that have worked for them and can be shared without attribution.
A useful program goal is to learn what health-related issues the employees really care about and what health-related questions they would like to have answered in your newsletters and presentations. Remember that "health" involves "social determinants" as well as physical health, and that family issues also impact employee wellness.
Again, if management is supportive, recruit an advisory group from among both employee cohorts to help identify needs that can be addressed with periodic presentations and in-house media. Also to design a company-wide wellness culture.
One issue that may come up and will need to be handled confidentially is that of substance use/dependence. It will take your building a reputation as one willing to help get treatment without jeopardizing the employee's job. Your company's employee assistance policies also will be key to effective helping.
I am not familiar with relevant occupational health literature, so I suggest that you seek consultation from practitioners of physical and occupational therapy for advice and leads to literature. I do know that you will find relevant information by web-searching "employee wellness." Within CTB, Chapters 3 through 7 may be relevant. I have flagged several core competencies that may have chapters with relevant information.