It can be quite a tightrope to walk if you’re in the position of announcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate to employees. Given the range of views people have on this topic, a vaccine mandate will undoubtedly spark some emotions in your workforce. Which is why a thoughtful—but direct—communications plan is necessary.
For some the COVID-19 vaccine is already required by federal or state mandate. In most instances, if you work in a hospital, nursing home, university/college, or for the government, you must have the vaccine to remain employed. President Biden also recently announced vaccines will be mandatory for all businesses with 100 or more employees.
Still, an empathetic communication plan to your workforce can be the difference between confusion or resistance and acceptance and execution. For a sample policy, check out Paycor’s Employee COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Template and be sure to review the tips below when developing your own company messaging.
Be Straight and Consistent
By now, most employers have established consistent sources of information, such as designated websites or a company leader. Continue to use these familiar channels to explain the company’s position. Provide employees with reliable information from trusted public health resources. Foster consistency and transparency about the vaccine, vaccination rates and the pandemic. At the same time, reinforce public health guidance to continue behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Describe the Vaccine Policy Clearly
To eliminate potential confusion or misinformation, communicate the specifics of your vaccine policy which should include:
- A deadline for being vaccinated
- The process for requesting an exemption
- Whether sick time will be available for getting the vaccine and recovery
- A requirement for any boosters
- Disciplinary action for failure to comply
Keep in mind, proof of vaccination must be kept confidential by employers and requests for exemptions must be reviewed. It’s unlikely everyone will readily agree to be vaccinated, so it’s important to have those “next steps” established on how to handle employees refusing the vaccine.
Make It Convenient
Detail all the ways you’re making the vaccine accessible. Whether that means an onsite clinic, paid time off to get the shot and any recovery time, access to a physician who can answer any questions, or the incentives you’re offering to help encourage participation, it’s important to communicate your efforts.
Use a Variety of Covid-19 Communication Tools
Don’t just rely on email to inform your workforce of a vaccine mandate. Make sure you use every COVID-19 communications toolkits available: text messaging, department meetings, video messages, flyers posted in the cafeteria, letters mailed directly home, company newsletters, etc. And be sure to give employees sufficient time to consider the new policy and their options. Springing a mandate on an unsuspecting workforce and demanding compliance in a week is simply unrealistic.
How Paycor Helps
Paycor is here to help HR and business leaders seamlessly manage vaccine tracking and test results. Our mobile-friendly immunization tracker helps record and report compliance with vaccine mandates while keeping that information confidential and only accessible to HR admins who have the proper authority. Analytics allows you to view immunization status across your organization, helping to minimize risk and keep your organization vaccine compliant.
To learn more about the Immunization Tracker and how Paycor can help you with vaccine compliance, be sure to request a consultation and visit Paycor.com.
Paycor is not a legal, tax, benefit, accounting or investment advisor. This document is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal information or advice. All communication from Paycor should be confirmed by your company’s legal, tax, benefit, accounting or investment advisor before making any decisions.