Is your company considering instituting a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy? Across Arizona, business leaders are looking at how to create effective vaccination policies.
Let’s explore how vaccination policies may affect your business.
What’s The Vaccination Story?
Right now, the COVID vaccine is available but it is not mandatory for everyone.
Many business leaders believe mandatory vaccinations ensure compliance. However, there are legal and ethical considerations. According to legal experts, it seems that employers can legally mandate that employees get vaccinated.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently confirmed that US Employers could require employees to be vaccinated against the flu. However, there are exceptions. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees may choose to not get immunized due to disabilities as well as sincerely held religious beliefs.
Advantages of Mandatory Vaccinations
Advocates cite 3 distinct advantages to mandated vaccinations:
Peace of Mind
With complete vaccination, employees may have a greater sense of ease. Both employers, staff, and the public may experience peace of mind. This can build a sense of increased trust among personnel.
In the last year, virtual work has become much more accepted.
Yet, many professionals find advantages to meeting colleagues in person. Workplace efficiency in certain businesses is stronger when people are working side-by-side. This may especially affect factories, laboratories, retail stores, and service centers.
Many professionals find that face-to-face communication is more natural and flowing. Do you feel this is true? If so, you may feel it is easier to create, collaborate, and work efficiently when you and your team are in the same room.
Despite these 3 advantages, people have strong opinions about compulsory vaccination.
Vaccination Policies Elicit Strong Opinions
In The Harris Poll conducted in March 2021, workers expressed opposing views on vaccination policies.
7 in 10 U.S. employees believe vaccines should be required before workers return to the office.
9 in 10 employees said they’d prefer to continue working from home, even after offices reopen.
Opinions are split regarding immunized:
1 in 4 employees doesn’t plan on getting vaccinated.
1 in 4 employees would consider quitting if required to return to work without everyone being vaccinated.
With this environment, employers strive to balance individual preferences while following CDC policies for health and safety.
Incentives Encourage Participation
Arizonians are well-known for loving freedom and valuing independence.
A recent March poll by The Harris Poll confirms that 69% of employees believe that employers should offer employees an incentive to get vaccinated.
What kind of incentives work best? Incentives vary from cash bonuses, paid time off, and stipends for travel to vaccination appointments.
Many companies are using incentives to encourage employees to get immunized.
Trader Joe’s offers 2 hours of pay per dose for vaccination appointments. Kroger offers a $100 bonus to employees who provide proof of a COVID vaccination. Target offers up to 2 hours’ worth of pay per dose received, plus a $15 Lyft credit for travel to and from vaccination sites.
While these incentives may appear modest to some, many people have been strapped for cash, and appreciate these incentives.
What Can You Do Differently?
Here in Arizona, we have the chance to create a positive future. We can act with integrity and discretion.
Ask your employees to help design the best policies:
- Hold a virtual town hall meeting to understand your employees’ top priorities
- State guidelines for background checks to inform prospective employees.
- Provide Arizona-made FDA-approved face masks to employees, families, and clients. Whether you offer these for free or at a discount, you’ll support Arizona-based innovation and encourage healthy habits at the same time.
- Offer free onsite health services and confidential mental health counseling.
- Encourage healthy habits beyond vaccination. Offer incentives for achieving health goals to encourage employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- Develop supportive policies to reward employees for getting vaccinated.
- Create a program to reward healthy habits and encourage participation in ongoing wellness programs.
Consider how you can use COVID vaccination as an opportunity to build a strong culture in your organization. Use this time to encourage employee engagement and participation.
As you evaluate your options, weigh out the potential benefits and drawbacks of your vaccination policies. By communicating with dignity, respect, and transparency, you can transform this critical decision to build respect and trust in your organization.