Innovative Gets Certified in Mental Health First Aid Training in the Workplace

Category: Workplace Wellness

Innovative Gets Certified in Mental Health First Aid Training in the Workplace

Posted On: May 9, 2022 | Categorized as: Company News, Workplace Wellness

employers sitting in a circle training on mental health

Innovative Benefits Planning is pleased to announce that our Nurse Advocate, Erica Polaneczky, has become certified in Mental Health First Aid Training. This certification allows her to provide Mental Health First Aid in the workplace training for employers. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches employers how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults in the workplace. Participants build the skills and confidence they need to reach out and provide initial support to those employees who are struggling. They will also learn how to help connect them to appropriate support. “The pandemic has dramatically increased depression and anxiety at home and in the workplace,” CEO Terriann Procida said. “We believe is it more important than ever to break the stigma around mental health, enable early identification of at-risk employees, and provide more resources in the workplace -- which is why Innovative is…


37% of Employees Cite Stress for Leaving Their Job: Learn How You Can Prevent This

Posted On: April 27, 2022 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Employers who are already challenged to find and keep top talent amidst a tough job market may find that high levels of workplace stress are making it more difficult to assemble and sustain a solid workforce.Recruiting and RetentionWith stress levels higher than ever in the early 2020s, several recent studies directly link stress levels with organizations’ ability to retain existing employees and recruit new ones. Employees cited stress as the top reason for leaving their jobs, accounting for 37% of responses in one survey. Meanwhile, surveys of employers do not even rank job stress among the top five reasons that they lose employees. This gap indicates a greater need for employers to better understand how stress impacts the workplace, particularly how it drives employee decisions on whether to keep their job or seek new opportunities.The role of stress is particularly important in the current tight market. The Great Resignation has…


9 Things to Consider About Your Advance Directive

Posted On: April 12, 2022 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

It is no surprise that Stress Awareness Month and National Healthcare Decisions Day fall on the calendar simultaneously. If you are caring for a parent, spouse, or other family member, you want to honor their wishes, values, and goals. At the same time, you are no stranger to the stress that comes with the part. Helping your loved ones express and document their healthcare wishes in advance will ensure that you can honor those wishes if or when they can’t speak for themselves due to serious illness, without the responsibility entirely falling on you as the caregiver.  When dealing with such a great loss, there is no reason to create additional stress for the family. They should be able to grieve in peace, without worrying too much about “next steps”. The best time to document these wishes is while we’re in good health. It always seems too early, until it’s…


Innovative Announces the 3rd Annual Well-Being @ Work Summit

Posted On: March 25, 2022 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Innovative is excited to announce the date for our 3rd annual Well-Being at Work Summit. Join us on Thursday, May 12th, from 9:00am-3:00pm, at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey.This Year’s Theme:Unfortunately, due to things like the pandemic, isolation and burnout, employee mental illness is on the rise. In fact, according to the CDC, about 20% of Americans report symptoms of mental illness. To help support employers through these times, we decided to focus this year’s theme on mental health in the workplace.Our 4 industry-expert speakers will share their unmatched knowledge to:Positively lead your team by providing strategies to build resilienceLearn practices that support healing mind, body and spiritUnderstand how Mindfulness can be used as a tool to address implicit biasApply strategies and identify resources to accommodate and support employees' mental health and wellnesshttps://youtu.be/d9zr7L-R3bIWhat to Expect That Day:Attendees will have the opportunity to network with other employers who are in…


The Connection of Healthy Hearts and Minds in the Workplace

Posted On: February 16, 2022 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

American Heart Month, observed every February since 1963, raises awareness about the dangers of heart disease and promotes lifestyle changes that can help people improve their heart health. Despite this, heart disease remains the leading cause of death among Americans. However, the American Heart Association (AHA) is now expanding the scope of its guidance to emphasize the emerging connection between heart health and mental health.For many years, the AHA stated recently, doctors thought the only link between mental health and heart health stemmed from behaviors (such as a depressed person smoking, drinking, or eating poor) that hampered heart health. However, newer research indicates that physiological, biological, and chemical factors that affect mental health may also influence heart disease. Mental health issues such as work-related stress and anxiety are becoming widely recognized as additional risk factors for heart disease beyond the traditional sources.In March 2021, the AHA officially recognized the mental…


How to Detect Employee Burnout and 15 Ways Employers Can Help Reduce It

Posted On: January 13, 2022 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Employee burnout continues to grow as the global pandemic enters its third year. In fact, experts say burnout is a primary cause for the Great Resignation, in which a record 39 million U.S. workers quit their jobs during the first 10 months of 2021.The root causes of employee burnout have been growing for several years due to employees working more hours than they did decades ago and remote working during the pandemic intensified that trend as collaboration tools and virtual meetings blurred the line between work and home.Companies already struggling to define new ways of working and fill open positions are also being challenged to combat burnout. The costs in lost productivity, employee turnover, and higher healthcare costs are leading more organizations to move proactively to boost employee morale and wellness. Their approach starts with:Open communication about burnout and other workplace mental health problems.Identifying the signs of burnout among individual…


Promoting End of Year Workplace Wellness Engagement

Posted On: November 30, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

As we near the end of the year, don’t let your wellness program slip through the cracks. With the holidays approaching, flu season here, and 2022 planning in full effect, now is the perfect time to evaluate your organization’s end of year wellness initiatives to keep your employees healthy and ready for the new year. Consider these 8 tips as you approach the end of year: Educate employees on how to reduce the spread of illness and encourage them to receive a flu shot, COVID-19 vaccine, and booster shot (provide education and coverage information when possible) With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and emerging flu season, we must do our part to prevent the spread of illness. Not only do you want your team to be healthy, but we need to continue to reduce further strains on our health care system. Encourage frequent hand washing, social distancing, and the use of…


5 Ways Employers Can Address Mental Health in the Workplace

Posted On: November 17, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Mental health is top of mind everywhere these days as about 20% of adult Americans report symptoms of mental illness according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Workplace mental health concerns such as anxiety, stress, and depression had already been growing, and then the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work situations just intensified these matters. It’s no secret that work-related factors, especially during the pandemic, are impacting employee’s mental health. In fact, The World Health Organization classified employee burnout as a medical condition. The two most important steps employers can take to help address this is 1) talk about mental health and 2) offer resources.Benefits of Addressing Mental Health in the WorkplaceMental health conditions cost employers more than $100 billion and 217 lost workdays annually, according to the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI). There are many benefits to taking the lead in the workplace:Increased productivity-A 2021 survey by The Hartford…


Coordinate Your Flu Shot Clinic Today!

Posted On: October 27, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Flu season here and the best way to protect your employees from the flu is to encourage them to get a flu shot! There are always benefits from receiving the flu vaccination, however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year is more important than ever for your employees to receive a flu shot and reduce illnesses:The symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are similar so receiving the flu vaccine will limit confusion.By protecting oneself from the flu, which could result in hospitalization, this could potentially preserve scarce healthcare resources.It is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, but the flu is preventable.Let Innovative Workplace Wellness help arrange a flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine clinic for your employees! Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Kit to get started today. Visit COVID-19 Vaccine Kit


5 Ways to Leverage Benefits to Combat Recruiting Challenges and Boost Retention

Posted On: September 21, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, HR Consulting, Workplace Wellness

Employers face the toughest job market in recent years as they struggle to recruit and retain employees. Many are having trouble keeping top performers on board, as well as finding qualified candidates for open positions. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in July that the number of open jobs reached a high of 10.9 million, while the number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs had been climbing sharply since February, totaling four million in April and again in July. Meanwhile, the importance of retaining key employees grows: the Society of Human Sources (SHRM) found the average cost of replacing an employee runs 50% to 60% of their annual salary. The tight labor market underscores the importance of having a solid benefits package to help employers recruit and retain employees. The combination of competitive pay and attractive benefits provides a key advantage when organizations compete for workers.  The…


6 Tips for a Healthier Summer BBQ

Posted On: July 29, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

6 Tips for a Healthier Summer BBQ Grilling is a fun way to prepare some of your favorite foods, especially during the summer. Try out a new recipe and follow these tips to make your summer cooking adventures healthy and flavorful this season! Add color. So many different fruits and veggies can be grilled, alone or in kebabs. Try out a few new things on the grill. Choose healthier sides. Try a bean salad, a green salad, or a fruit salad instead of the traditional macaroni or potato salad. Choose whole grain buns. Whole grain bread is filled with fiber and flavor. You can also always try a lettuce wrap. Grill fruits for dessert. Try throwing some apples, pears, or pineapples on the grill for a sweet treat. Know your portions. A healthy portion of any meat is about 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards. Try…


Incorporating Wellness into Your Employee Benefits Strategy

Posted On: March 4, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, Workplace Wellness

Incorporating Wellness into Your Employee Benefits Strategy Wellness is a strategy that continues to gain in popularity as employers are looking for ways to help their employees become healthier, more engaged, and happier at work. Wellness is typically broken into three categories. The first category is educational wellness. With an educational program, employers are providing educational guidance on how to be healthier through newsletters, seminars, and webinars, and maybe even a health fair onsite at the employer's office. The second type of wellness program is a participatory wellness program. Under this arrangement, the employer would provide a reward for participation by employees in an event such as a walking challenge, attending a health fair, or maybe a weight loss challenge. The third type of wellness is a results-based or outcomes-based plan design. Under this plan, the employer would provide a reward to employees that satisfy a standard set in the…


Innovative Launches COVID-19 Employee Monitoring and Advocacy Solution

Posted On: February 18, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Innovative Launches COVID-19 Employee Monitoring and Advocacy Solution Innovative Benefit Planning, LLC is here to help your organization bring your employees back to the workplace safely and securely. In order to so, we are proud to launch our COVID-19 Employee Health Tracker, which will provide employers a COVID-19 monitoring and advocacy solution. By using our Employee Health Tracker, employees will get alerted each morning to begin their screening. This process only takes a matter of minutes to complete, and then compliance reporting will be provided, as well as return to work guidance for the employee. This application focuses on evaluating symptoms and helping individuals identify if it is safe to go to work that day based on their responses. Following implementation, your organization will have an affordable solution that will help remain complaint, reduce HR burden, be HIPAA complaint, protect your team and workplace, and provide employees with a dedicated…


EEOC Releases Proposed Wellness Rules under ADA and GINA

Posted On: January 20, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Workplace Wellness

EEOC Releases Proposed Wellness Rules Under ADA and GINA The EEOC recently released proposed language revising the wellness incentive rules under the ADA and GINA. This proposed language is a revision to the rules released in 2016. Below is a summary of the proposed changes and how they may impact wellness programs. Removing the ADA Notice Requirement Currently, employers are required to provide a notice before collecting employee health information. This notice advises employees how their collected health information will be used and disclosed. According to the proposed rules, providing this notice will no longer be necessary. The EEOC states that employers should have these specific policies and procedures in place, however, there is not going to be a guideline that requires them to. Removing the Reasonably Designed Requirement Previously, the requirement stated that any health information collection activity completed by an employee wellness program must be reasonably designed to…


Spinach, Chicken, and Wild Rice Soup

Posted On: January 6, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Spinach, Chicken, and Wild Rice Soup Ingredients 3 cups water 14 oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth 10.75 oz can reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup 2/3 cup uncooked wild rice ½ tsp thyme ¼ tsp black pepper 3 cups cooked and chopped chicken or turkey 2 cups shredded fresh spinach Directions In a slow cooker, combine water, brother, cream of chicken soup, uncooked wild rice, thyme, and pepper Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 ½  to 4 hours To serve, stir in cooked chicken or turkey and spinach


Healthy for the Holidays

Posted On: December 15, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Healthy for the Holidays Tis' the Season for Temptations While the holidays are an exciting and eventful time of year, holiday festivities can often revolve around eating and drinking. Traditions involve baking cookies, high calorie drink making, and eating plentiful holiday meals.  We tend to get so busy around this time, we may put our healthy eating habits and exercise on the back burner.  It’s important to remember that indulging occasionally is normal, but to avoid doing so every day during the holiday season. Make the effort to create a balance and shift the focus off the food and to more of the conversations and interactions with family and friends. Try some of these helpful tips this holiday season: Stay active. Keep moving each day to balance out the extra calories which may be consumed. Remember balance and portion control. Try using a smaller plate so you don’t overfill. Wait…


End of Year Wellness Initiatives to Drive Employee Well-Being

Posted On: November 24, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

End of Year Wellness Initiatives to Drive Employee Well-Being As we near the end of the year, don’t let your wellness program slip through the cracks. With the holidays approaching, flu and germ season here, and 2021 planning in full effect, now is the perfect time to evaluate your organization’s end of year wellness initiatives in order to keep your team healthy and off on the right foot in 2021. Consider these 8 tips as you approach the end of year: Educate employees on how to reduce the spread of illness and encourage them to receive a flu shot (provide education and coverage information when possible) With the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country, we must try to prevent the spread of the flu.  Not only do you want your team to be healthy, but this also ensures that proper resources needed to treat critical COVID-19 patients will…


The CDC Redefines “Close Contact”

Posted On: November 23, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

The CDC Redefines “Close Contact” As the number of reported cases of COVID-19 continues to rise, employers are increasingly confronted with questions and obligations regarding their workforce.  With that being said, employers should be aware that as of October 21st, the CDC revised the definition of “close contact” to include the following: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over 24 hours* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to testing specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. * Individual exposures added together over 24 hours (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact…


Healthy Thanksgiving Side Swaps

Posted On: November 18, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Swaps Who doesn’t love the tasty sides that come with a traditional Thanksgiving meal? Why not try something a little healthier this year along with your staples! Tangy Glazed Brussel Sprouts Ingredients: 3 tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp ground cardamom ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper 1 lb trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts ¼ cup pomegranate juice 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar Optional: 1 oz crumbled feta cheese and 3 tbsp chopped toasted pecans Directions: Heat olive oil, ground cardamom, and crushed red pepper in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Add pomegranate juice and white balsamic vinegar. Cook until sauce is syrupy, another 5 to 6 mins. Top evenly with feta cheese and toasted pecans. Serves 4 (serving size is ¾ cup) Skillet Green Bean Casserole Ingredients: 1 lb green beans 2 slices whole-wheat bread ¼ cup chopped…


Better Sleep for Better Health

Posted On: November 12, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

woman sleeping peacefully on white bed

Better Sleep for Better Health As we approach the holiday season, it is important to remember to take some time to care for yourself. The holidays can be extremely busy, stressful, and even draining at times. Don’t forget to make yourself a priority. Self care is about taking time for yourself, and one way to ensure you are dedicating some time to yourself is to work on improving your sleep and sleep habits. Research shows that as many as 60% of Americans suffer from poor quality sleep. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night because sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health, longevity, and emotional well-being. Take some time to read these tips provided by Innovative Benefit Planning's Nurse Advocate in order to improve your sleep during these stressful times. Stick to a sleep schedule. Set aside a minimum of 7 hours of…


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