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Inside the Biggest Trend in Employee Rewards Programs

With so many companies beginning to launch new employee recognition and rewards programs, there have been a multitude of breakthrough trends that indicate where decision-makers are placing their chips.

With so many companies beginning to launch new employee recognition and rewards programs, there have been a multitude of breakthrough trends that indicate where decision-makers are placing their chips. One of the most significant types of rewards programs that has been especially popular since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed is related to wellness, as businesses have been given incentives to push staff members to take better care of their own health. 

Now, while it might appear as though these programs are relatively straightforward, with organizations setting up incentives and rewards for employees who reach certain physical performances and maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are plenty of concerning matters that create complexity. For example, the regulations in place to ensure that employers are not crossing any lines or discriminating against certain employees are significant, and companies that do not oblige these rules can find themselves in a significant pickle. 

Pushback begins
This is why many firms will benefit from leveraging the support of a proven, reliable employee incentive and reward program service provider, as experience counts so highly in these matters. By ensuring that investments are going in the right direction and not yielding risks when they should only be working to the benefit of employees and the business itself, financial and operational improvements will be far easier to achieve. 

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that many enterprise decision-makers, especially those running some of the biggest organizations in the world, are citing concerns about the gravity of requirements and rules placed on wellness programs by federal regulators. This should not be all that surprising, as many companies want to take their own unique approach to all types of recognition and rewards programs, rather than being forced into a cookie-cutter type of methodology. 

What's more, some have argued that these regulations do not allow their programs to reach their fullest potential, even working against the effort to be as inclusive as possible with these initiatives. According to the news provider, an association of leaders from major firms in the United States called The Business Roundtable has been working on a report that it intends to give to officials in Washington in hopes of swaying their opinions on the current set of rules and regulations in place. 

The source stated that the end goal is to get regulators to take some of the restraints off of companies trying to enact wellness-based rewards programs so as to have more flexibility and agility in practice, which is not all that crazy of an idea. Still, The Wall Street Journal noted that this will likely cause some pushback from regulators, as the whole point of many of the rules – in the eyes of officials – is to avoid discrimination and other negative impacts on employees who are working for firms with these programs in place. 

Initial considerations
How all of these conversations will play out is still highly up to debate, and one can only hope that the private and public sectors will work together to ensure that the regulations in place, as well as the programs being launched by companies, work to the benefit of the workforce. At the end of the day, compromise will likely be necessary, as well as extensive conversations between parties on each side of the debate, to reach a more preferable landscape for business owners. 

In the meantime, working with experienced providers of wellness-based rewards program implementation and management can go a long way in keeping the company aligned with federal regulations and recognized best practices.

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