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Sleep, nutrition, new parent coaching and more: Meet BetterUp's specialist coaching network

November 10, 2021 - 12 min read

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Why invest in the whole person?

What is BetterUp specialist coaching?

The right credentials for the challenges at hand

BetterUp's specialist coaching verticals

In the wake of the pandemic, millions of Americans have chosen to redefine the purpose and meaning that work plays in their daily lives. As a result, workers are leaving their organizations en masse in pursuit of greener pastures. 

What exactly are they looking for? 

Employees now want to dedicate their time and energy to an organization that enables them to bring their whole selves to the job. They want an environment that helps them grow and thrive and connect to what's most important to them while working with a diverse range of team members and inclusive leaders. They also need to develop as professionals, learn skills to stay relevant, achieve career goals, connect with others, and build relationships. Employers, for their part, are expected to support or create the conditions that lead to healthier lives — both physically and mentally. 

To solve these challenges, pre-pandemic thinking no longer applies. Data suggests that broad training or one-off development opportunities for employees haven't driven long-term impact. Because these traditional methods don't offer your people personalized support, employees can't unlock true growth in the mindsets and behaviors they'll need to thrive in the future — like resilience, communication skills, rest, nutrition, and more.

However, the organizations that can adapt and invest to meet these new needs not only benefit from a happier, more engaged, and loyal workforce, but they'll have a distinctly unique competitive advantage for attracting and retaining the best people. Our data show that addressing the whole person through a range of personalized coaching formats can have a profound impact on your people and your business. 

Why invest in the whole person?

When we show up at work, we bring our complete selves. Especially in this new hybrid world, it may be impossible to prevent our personal lives from impacting our performance in the workplace. Everyday factors like our relationships, our ability to rest, our diets, and how we regulate emotions and manage stress all play pivotal roles in our work lives. 

That's why BetterUp created the Whole Person Model (WPM) to measure the mindsets and behaviors that lead to peak performance, enhanced well-being, and strong company culture — both inside and outside of the workplace. Research shows that when we bring our whole selves to work, we're more creative and perform better. When we support the whole person, we support the whole organization, too. 

However, traditional training and development initiatives all too often ignore the bigger picture of our whole person realities and don't provide ways to support the growth needed for human transformation.

For example, consider the last time you got a few bad nights of sleep in a row. Studies show that four consecutive nights with less than 5 hours of sleep results in the cognitive abilities of someone with a blood alcohol content of .06 — nearly the legal limit to be considered intoxicated. Any new parent can surely relate. Sleep is just one aspect of our personal lives that can play a vital and preventative role in our ability to succeed in the workplace, yet we don’t often receive organizational guidance or support on how best to manage it.  

What makes BetterUp so unique compared to other traditional approaches is that in addition to our ICF-certified personal coaching, employees can also take advantage of specialist coaching and resources to further impact their growth as a whole person. With an extended network of highly specialized BetterUp Coaches in areas of sleep, nutrition, DEIB, and more, your people will truly have every resource they need to grow into their best selves.

What is BetterUp specialist coaching?

To truly show up as our best selves and perform at our peak, we need to be thriving physically, emotionally, cognitively, and socially. We also need rest, healthy habits, a sense of belonging, and resilient mindsets. What if your people could find personalized support for all of that in one place? That's how BetterUp's specialist coaching network works. 

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Just like a primary care physician would send you to a dermatologist for more specific skincare needs, we provide a full suite of support through a bench of specialists ready to come in to support employees across other key areas of their life.

While 1:1 BetterUp coaching focuses on developing the underlying mindsets and behaviors to help employees thrive, specialist coaching allows Members to dive deeper and dedicate space and energy to tackling aspects of their lives where they wish to show up stronger. Whether that's finding ways to get more rest, improve nutrition, navigate new parenthood, and more. 

The right credentials for the challenges at hand

Our Extended Network Specialist Coaches have specific qualifications that are different from those of BetterUp’s primary coaches. Their unique expertise helps Members hone in on specific goals and outcomes they wish to achieve with their help and intervene with support in ways only a specialist can.

Our sleep coaches, for example, typically have a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in the behavioral sciences and a background in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Our nutrition coaches must be Active Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) or possess a Masters in Nutrition as well as have years of experience in professional coaching, nutrition coaching, or evidence-based psychological interventions. These are just a few examples of the expertise within one of the largest professional coaching networks in the world built by BetterUp.

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BetterUp’s specialist coaching verticals

With the guidance of trained and certified Coaches who specialize in these key areas, employees get a guide to help them on their journey, in addition to learning resources, goal setting and accountability, and support in-between sessions through in-app messaging.


With our communication coaching, employees can learn and practice the fundamentals of effective communication, regardless of the context. Members learn how to develop an executive presence that’s authentic to them, refine their general presence across a multitude of topics, like speaking up in meetings, business writing, and more. From new managers to hybrid teams, having a workforce skilled in effective communication will promote alignment, productivity, and collaboration.  

99% of BetterUp Members agree that Communication Effectiveness coaching is a valuable use of time, and they are more effective at work as a result


High Stakes Conversations 

Whether you’re managing sales teams or want to foster more inclusion and belonging, today’s workers must know how to navigate difficult conversations. With High Stakes Conversations, employees learn about and prepare for the conversations that matter, from giving feedback to carefully and intentionally navigating complex conversations. They’ll also learn to develop the art of giving and receiving feedback and practice important conversational skills like active listening, managing emotions, and conflict resolution — all essential in today’s inclusive workplace. 

Working Parents

With the lines between home and work more blurry than ever before, it’s never been more important to support your working parents. With the help of a specialist Coach, your working parents will learn how to manage the challenges of parenting so they can effectively navigate their parenthood journey and find work-life balance and time management skills while working remotely. They’ll also learn powerful techniques to enhance their parenting style and gain perspective on transitioning into new parenthood or back to work.

23% of Working Parents coaching sessions are rated as “life-changing” by Members


Presenting with Confidence

With this specialist coaching, employees will learn to master the art of the perfect pitch through coaching and roleplay, how to speak with calm confidence and have the executive presence to make an impact with enhanced storytelling skills. 

Through awareness of their body language, tone of voice, and more, employees can learn how to hone in on and practice the key skills that lead to impactful presentations, from content ideation to effective delivery, making them better communicators and facilitators in and outside the workplace. 

Navigating Uncertainty

In turbulent times like the present, no mindset is more valuable than resilience, and that’s what employees learn to tap into in Navigating Uncertainty. With the help of their BetterUp Coach, your people will learn how to maintain inner calm and confidence when faced with challenging circumstances, develop lifelong strategies for self-compassion and acceptance, and improve their ability to adapt to change, uncertainty, and ambiguity. The result is a happier, healthier workforce. 

Workforce resilience is connected to higher levels of financial growth. BetterUp customers that experienced the highest increases in resilience also reported 3.2X greater year-over-year revenue growth and 60% higher five-year revenue growth.

Diversity and Inclusion

With 1 in 4 employees saying they don’t feel a sense of belonging at work, moving the needle on DEIB initiatives has never been more important. With the help of a Diversity and Inclusion specialist Coach, employees learn how to create a greater sense of belonging for themselves and their team by having open and constructive conversations. They’ll also explore best practices and potential pitfalls on topics of diversity, inclusion, and belonging, learn to recognize and react to signs of exclusion and become a champion of inclusivity. This specialist coaching is especially impactful because it provides all employees with the space they need to process and discuss topics of diversity, inclusion and belonging safely, without judgment. 


The food and drink we put into our bodies can play a pivotal role in our physical and mental health, yet many employees don’t have the time or insight to make healthy nutrition choices. With the help of a specialist nutrition Coach, employees will learn how to establish healthy eating habits by incorporating evidence-based recommendations that fits their lifestyle. This guidance helps teach how to boost energy levels throughout the day with the help of food, improving nutrition IQ, and gaining empowerment over establishing healthy eating habits.

72% of Members say they are more effective at work as a result of Nutrition coaching.



Sleep and rest are critical to our physical and mental well-being, yet many of us don’t get the amounts we need to feel our best. With the help of a BetterUp sleep Coach, employees will learn how to develop proper sleep hygiene to help maintain their energy level through the day, how to make sleep a priority amidst a busy work and social life, learn what constitutes a normal sleep pattern, and create routines that promote restful sleep.

Studies show that 40% of people in corporate jobs get less than 6 hours of sleep a night and that even missing one night of sleep leads to decreased innovation.


That’s just the start. BetterUp is sitting on the largest data set of Member needs and coaching outcomes of any provider in the world. Based on what we learn, we add to our Coach network and make new specialist options available, and Members and partners who have access will be notified as new options become available.

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Published November 10, 2021

Adam Wood

Sr. Content Marketing Manager

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