5 Ways Employers Can Address Mental Health in the Workplace

Category: Workplace Wellness

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…


Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

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

The holidays will be here before you know it!  Do you find yourself scrambling for recipes and last minute ideas?  Save this recipe now for a lighter Thanksgiving side dish. Ingredients: 3 large sweet potatoes ¼ cup of milk ¼ cup butter, melted 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp nutmeg 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper Topping: ¾ cups pecans, roughly chopped ¼ cup pepitas, roughly chopped 4 dates, pitted and diced ¼ cup almond flour 2 tbsp butter Instructions: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Peel the sweet potatoes. Dice the potatoes into chunks and pour them into the pot.  Cook the potatoes for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes over a colander and place the potatoes in a large bowl.  Mash them with a hand masher or electric beater. Pour the milk, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg,…


Gluten Free Twix Bar Recipe

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

Ingredients For the Shortbread Crust: 2cups old-fashioned rolled oats ½cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour ½cup melted coconut oil (measure it after it's melted) ½cup pure maple syrup 2teaspoons pure vanilla extract For the Caramel Layer: ½cup raw creamy unsalted almond butter ½cup pure maple syrup (I use Grade B) ⅓cup virgin coconut oil 2teaspoons pure vanilla extract ¼teaspoon fine-grain sea salt For the Chocolate Layer: ½cup plus 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder ½cup virgin coconut oil 4tablespoons pure maple syrup Instructions To Make the Shortbread Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the rolled oats to a food processor and process for 3-4 minutes or until a fine flour is formed. Add the oat flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Gently mix with a spatula until incorporated. Grease a 9x13 rectangular tart pan with coconut oil. Transfer the crust mixture to the pan. Using your hands, press the mixture evenly into the…


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…


Raspberry Mojito Cheesecake Bars

Posted On: July 2, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Raspberry Mojito Cheesecake Bars Are you looking for a healthy treat to bring to this weekend’s 4th of July celebration? Raspberries provide potassium, which is essential to heart function, and proven to lower blood pressure. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent stroke and heart disease, and the mineral manganese is necessary for healthy bones, skin and helps regulate blood sugar. Try these Skinny Raspberry Mojito Cheesecake Bars that are only 130 calories per bar! Ingredients Raspberry Sauce: 6 oz. of Driscoll raspberries 2 tablespoon of water 1 teaspoon of honey 1 tablespoon of arrowroot 1/2 teaspoon of lime zest Graham Cracker Crust: 3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted 1 1/2 teaspoons of diced fresh mint Lime Cheesecake Filling: 8 oz. of cream cheese, softened 6 oz. of plain Greek yogurt 1/4 cup of sugar 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 3 tablespoons…


Grilled Cherry Pepper Popper Recipe

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

June is not only Men’s Health Month but also a month where we celebrate all of the fathers in our lives. Try this healthy "Grilled Cherry Pepper Popper" recipe for your Father’s Day celebration this year. Grilled Cherry Pepper Popper Recipe Ingredients: 14 fresh cherry peppers 4 ounces plain cream cheese, softened 2 tbsp chopped cilantro ¼ tsp salt Fresh cracked pepper 6 ounces cooked crab meat 3 ½ ounces Manchego cheese, cubed Lime wedges and tortilla chips for serving Directions: Flatten the bottom of each pepper by cutting a thing slice off the bottom being careful not to cut all the way through. Remove top, scoop out and discard seeds. In a small bowl combine cream cheese, cilantro, and crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper and mix gently with a fork to combine. Stuff each pepper with a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture and top each with a…


Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajita Recipe

Posted On: May 20, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

shrimp fajitas on wooden board

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajita Recipe May is Arthritis Awareness Month.  Celebrate Arthritis Awareness Month by trying out this anti-inflammatory recipe.  Anti-inflammatory meals are typically high in vegetables, fruits, certain spices, nuts, omega-3 fats, and low in sugar and trans-fat.  These sheet pan shrimp fajitas are so quick and easy and contain anti-inflammatory spices and a ton of veggies.  Opting for a whole wheat tortilla in this recipe increases your intake of fiber and decreases your intake of sugar when compared to a white or corn tortilla. Ingredients 1 ½ lbs shrimp peeled and deveined 1 yellow bell pepper thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced 1 orange bell pepper thinly sliced 1 small red onion thinly sliced 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp salt Freshly ground pepper 2 tsp chili powder ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp onion powder ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp smoked…


Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe

Posted On: May 2, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe Try this super simple and quick smoothie recipe when you are in a hurry or need a Vitamin C boost!  Vitamin C is proven to improve your immunity, boost mood, and decrease your risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease. Ingredients: 1 cup Frozen Banana Slices 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 1 cup 100% Orange Juice ½ cup of ice Directions: Place frozen bananas, vanilla extract, and orange juice into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a handful of ice and any additional add-ins desired (protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc). Blend one more time and then serve immediately.


Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Posted On: April 21, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Looking for a healthier version of the classic “Lasagna”?  Try these "Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms" by Skinnytaste! This can be prepared for lunch or dinner and served with a garden or Caesar salad.  With only 13 grams carbohydrates and 20 grams of protein per mushroom cap, this is a great low-carb meal recommended by Nurse Advocate, Erica Polaneczky! Ingredients: 1teaspoon olive oil 2loose cups baby spinach, chopped 3cloves chopped garlic 1/3cup chopped onion 1/3cup chopped red bell pepper kosher salt 3/4cup part skim ricotta 1/2cup grated parmesan cheese 1large egg 4large basil leaves, chopped 4large portobella mushroom caps 1/2cup marinara sauce 1/2cup part skim shredded mozzarella Directions: Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with oil. Gently remove the stems, scoop out the gills and spray the tops of the mushrooms with oil, season with 1/8 tsp salt and fresh pepper. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat, add oil,…


Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe

Posted On: April 14, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe Ingredients ½ tsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 1 cup baby spinach leaves 1 cup baby arugula leaves 2 slices of turkey bacon 2 Italian bread slices ¼ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded  ¼ cup fontina cheese Directions Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add spinach and arugula; stir until wilted. Remove spinach mixture from pan. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook until crisp. Remove bacon. Top bread slice evenly with cheeses, bacon pieces, spinach mixture, and the remaining bread slice. Add sandwich to drippings in pan; weigh down with a plate. Cook 2 minutes on each side


Grilled Sesame Chicken

Posted On: March 24, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Grilled Sesame Chicken Did you know that certain foods high in tryptophan and healthy carbohydrates can help induce sleep? For a good night’s sleep, try to eat an early evening meal and a bedtime snack that contains at least 300 mg of tryptophan.  Two cutlets from this recipe provide 700 mg tryptophan! Ingredients 6 thin boneless skinless chicken cutlets, 3 oz each 2tbsp lemon juice 2tbsp toasted sesame seeds 2cloves garlic, minced 2tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced 2green onions, minced 1/4cup low sodium soy sauce, for gluten free, use tamari 1/4cup teriyaki sauce 1tsp honey 2tsp sesame oil Directions Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the chicken, turn the pieces to coat evenly, cover and place in refrigerator a minimum of three hours, but preferably overnight. Preheat grill to high. Grill chicken top side down first until well browned charred, about 5 minutes, turn and cook on the second side about 3 more minutes. Transfer…


Seared Salmon with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli

Posted On: March 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Seared Salmon with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli Ingredients 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, chopped 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice ¼ cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped 1 cup mayonnaise Kosher salt & fresh black pepper 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless, center-cut salmon steaks Olive oil 1 lime, quartered for serving Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees Aioli: Combine garlic and chipotle peppers to make a course paste. Place paste in food processor along with lime juice, roasted red peppers, and puree. Add the mayo, ¼ teaspoon salt & pepper, process until smooth. Salmon: Heat dry cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Place salmon fillets on a board, pat dry with paper towels, and rub all over with olive oil. With the fillets rounded side up, sprinkle them with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon black pepper.   Place salmon in skillet…


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…


Avocado Pesto Dip Recipe

Posted On: February 23, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Avocado Pesto Dip Recipe Did you know that avocado is a heart-healthy fat?  Healthy fats can help lower your LDL or “bad cholesterol”.  Avocados also contain a lot of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are beneficial to your heart health.  Try this quick and easy dip for a heart-healthy appetizer during National Heart Month. Ingredients 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into pieces 1 cup fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup unsalted pine nuts 3 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin preferred) 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 3 medium garlic cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper Directions In a food processor or blender, process all the ingredients for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and creamy. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips.


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…


Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar Recipe

Posted On: January 21, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars *176 caloriess each Ingredients ¼ cup butter ¼ cup honey 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 cups quick-cooking oats 1 cup crispy rice cereal ½ tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips Directions In a bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves (should take 1-2 minutes). Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inches in thickness.  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in…


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


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