Thought Leadership

A Guide To Vaccinate Your Workforce

Israel’s success with inoculating its population has given hope to the entire world to follow suit. On May 22nd, 2021, the country reported just 12 new virus cases, down from a daily peak of more than 10,000 in January. Recent statistics show that 20.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 2.4 billion doses have been administered globally, and 33.1 million are now distributed each day.


With the world slowly advancing towards normalcy, how can companies keep their sights focused on profits and public health and safety of their employees? What steps can be taken to ensure the safety of the employees returning to the office?


      1. Address Concerns About Taking The Vaccine

A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine outright if offered. Concerns about receiving the vaccine remain one of the most significant barriers to return to offices around the globe. 


While most companies globally have the legal right to lay off an employee if they choose not to take the vaccine, most employers choose not to take a path with such far-fetching implications. 


Kroger, the supermarket chain, came out with a brilliant initiative to tackle this problem. They have announced that they will offer employees a $100 bonus once they can show proof of vaccination. Employees who cannot get the COVID-19 vaccination for medical or religious reasons are encouraged to stay up to date with educational courses on protecting against the vaccine and will be entitled to the $100 bonus.


      2. Hybrid Models Are The Way Forward

New research conducted by global tech giant Accenture, ‘The Future of Work: Productive Anywhere’ found that 83% of employees said that a hybrid work model in which they can work remotely between 25% and 75% of the time is optimal.


Many companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple have adopted hybrid models. Yet, they don’t always have the right impact.


For instance, in a letter sent to all Apple employees by CEO Tim Cook, the company indicated its plans to have team members back in the office on set days. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays will become the in-office workdays, and so long as employees receive manager approval, they can work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some teams will also require in-person days four to five days a week, dependent on the role.


In response to this, Apple employees wrote a letter highlighting a growing concern that the company’s remote/location-flexible work policy and its communication have already forced some of their colleagues to quit. The letter also stated, “Over the last year, we often felt not just unheard but at times actively ignored. It feels like there is a disconnect between how the executive team thinks about remote / location-flexible work and the lived experiences of many of Apple’s employees.”


Therefore, it is crucial to listen to your employees and consider everyone’s opinions to draft a hybrid model that works well for your company.


     3. Lead The Way For Your Employees

Top Management getting vaccinated and talking about their experience can be a powerful tool that can positively impact employees. Recently, AT&T hosted an internal webcast with Dr Sanjay Gupta and AT&T’s CEO to talk about the vaccine. In it, they emphasised that they would give the vaccine to their families, and AT&T’s CEO said he was going to get vaccinated, as well.


“I know it’s not always easy to get your CEO, another C-suite leader, or a key player in a business unit to go tell the story,” Jackson, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources at AT&T, said. “But we’ve done that, and it’s been a huge leap forward in just making people feel comfortable entertaining the idea of getting the vaccine.”  


In conclusion, while the world continues to fight for normalcy, as Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” The world can never go back to what it was before, but the hope lies in discovering new opportunities and building a better world ahead.