Oklahoma Alliance For Healthy Families
Five ways employers can encourage their employees to get vaccinated
Oklahoma is an at-will state for employers, and it is legal for employers to set requirements regarding vaccines.
More importantly, encouraging vaccination can help keep your employees healthy and safe. As employers, we should educate, encourage and share positive stories of others who have been vaccinated. Afterall, a safe work environment is the first obligation employers have to their employees.
Medical experts and governing agencies agree: the vaccine is the best way to protect ourselves and one another from COVID-19. Make your stance on vaccination known and come up with a strategy to help implement illness-prevention standards for your employees by fostering a culture of wellness.
Here are five ways to encourage your employees to get vaccinated.
1. Write policies that provide adequate time off for vaccination and recovery.
Getting vaccinated takes employees’ time. Whether they must wait in line, find the nearest vaccine clinic, or drive to the clinic, employers are required under federal law to give full-time employees paid time off to receive the vaccine. Employers may also offer paid days off to recover from any short-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
2. Communicate the value of vaccines.
Provide information about vaccines and where to be vaccinated. Share your concerns about the virus and its potential impact at work and at home.
3. Listen to your employees.
Hear employees’ concerns about both the virus and the vaccine. Refer them to their family physicians to follow up on specific vaccine-related concerns. Consider collecting anonymous questions and having a qualified speaker lead a wellness seminar to give general information and offer employees the opportunity to discuss vaccines with a qualified medical professional. 4. Lead by example.
Employers have a responsibility to set a good example. Leaders can share photos and their personal stories about the decision to get immunized, as well as asking employees to tell their stories. Sharing your story can be encouraging to other corporate leaders as well.
5. Make it a celebration.
Consider giving out prizes, including “I got vaccinated” stickers, mugs and pens to help employees feel proud of their decision to get vaccinated.
Vaccination rates must improve for our business community to be able to move forward from the pandemic. Thank you for doing your part and positively contributing to public health.