Businesses all over the country are debating whether or not they should mandate the vaccine to their employees. For those in the healthcare, manufacturing, and service industries this has hit especially close to home. For months, the debate was mostly centered around whether or not employers could mandate the vaccine at all. That debate has come to a close as both state and federal cases have proven that employers, in most circumstances (religious beliefs, and disability status aside) have every right to mandate their employees get the shot. Federal and state mandates are coming across several industries and big businesses are also jumping on board with the mandate.
Now, the question is, just because you CAN mandate, SHOULD you mandate? The bottom line is that you need your employees to get vaccinated, for their personal health and safety and for the viability of your business. So the question may not be about forcing your people, but about working with your people to reach your ultimate goal. We’ve all heard the answer is educate and incentivize, but that doesn’t seem to be working.
Here are some tips that you may have not thought about:
- Lead by example- Is your ownership/leadership team on board? Have they all received the vaccine and are they vocal about the importance of it? Can you really expect your employees to do something that you will not do yourself?
- Involve your employees in the decision-making process- create a committee that involves both leadership and staff so you can openly talk about concerns and empower staff at all levels. You may also learn from this the specific hesitancies your employees have and ways you can overcome these obstacles.
- From the above type of collaboration, you may also find that there is a different way to incentive. Are you thinking a $50 bonus is an incentive? Because it’s really not (doesn’t even pay for a nice dinner, or grocery store run). Think outside of the box when it comes to incentives. Maybe you need to individualize-Does Joe want a monetary bonus, while Mary wants an extra day of PTO?
Most businesses are also not in the position to lose employees right now, especially if you are in healthcare or manufacturing. We all know how difficult it is to recruit and retain workers. This is the time to work with your employees to best understand their needs and concerns, and then take action to get your team vaccinated.
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