You want to create a safer environment for your workers and your communities while meaningfully helping to combat this unprecedented pandemic, but that can be easier said than done. Drumming up participation in this vaccine rollout might be more vital than ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier. However, through effective incentives, education, planning, and communication, your business can play a vital role in combating COVID-19, while also making your workplace and community safer, and showing your employees that their safety is your priority.
Communication and Adaptive Planning
Planning will be a crucial element of how businesses can help with vaccine rollout. That said, plans will typically need to be adaptive due to the phased allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, which can often depend on state and local discretion, and may change based on supply. Clear planning may also help your business lock-in partnerships for vaccine distribution, but it is an integral part of any successful rollout either way. Having a decisive plan and communicating it openly will prepare employees for the rollout and help ensure that it goes off without a hitch once it is your team’s turn to receive their vaccinations.
Decisive planning and clear communication will also demonstrate to your employees that safety is your first priority. Having a straightforward vaccination plan which is accessible to employees and easily understood will keep your employees in the know, preventing any confusion, and letting them rest assured that you have a plan of action that prioritizes their safety. Disseminating relevant and up to date information as needed can also keep employees in the loop, and maintain their confidence in the days, weeks, or months leading up to vaccination time.
Build Trust in the Vaccine while Incentivizing Uptake
Although both of the vaccines currently approved by the FDA are safe and effective, reservations about the COVID-19 vaccine are not uncommon, so it is important for businesses to help build trust in the vaccination process. Even including those who are skeptical, a majority of employees said that they would listen to their employer’s advice to receive a vaccine.
The skepticism itself can also be reduced when businesses normalize vaccines in the workplace. Even “I got vaccinated” stickers can help establish the practice as a social norm and can also help those who are uncertain about the safety of vaccines understand that their skepticism isn’t in line with the current research and understanding about both vaccines in general or the COVID-19 vaccines in particular.
The higher the proportion of vaccinated individuals within your business and within your community, the better, but even among those who aren’t skeptical of vaccinations in general, there are those who still aren’t inclined to go out of their way to get the vaccine. While there are situations in which employees can be required to receive the vaccination in order to return to work, a less drastic approach may be to simply incentivize vaccinations through creative involvement initiatives or through direct incentives. Our prepaid Visa® rewards cards are an excellent way to do just that. Learn more here.
Creative Involvement Initiatives
The vaccination process doesn’t have to be boring. If you can make involvement fun you can avoid the negative sentiments that can come along with making it mandatory, while also reframing the process as an activity that involves everyone, further normalizing the vaccine itself.
One way to accomplish this is by offering rewards for the departments in your company. In some situations, if signups and vaccinations end up being more open than they currently are, and if most people in your company are within the same eligibility group for phased allocation, you could even hold an interdepartmental contest with rewards for members of the first departments who achieve 100% inoculation among those who are medically able to receive the vaccine. However, even if the phased allocation does present a meaningful hurdle, rewards can still be given out to every department that achieves the goal of becoming fully vaccinated. Once all departments have met this goal, you can even provide an overall thank-you reward such as catered lunch, an extra vacation day, or a personal thank you email or video from the leaders within your company.
Of course, sometimes it makes more sense to incentivize on an individual level. Whether your business’s department structure doesn’t lend itself to group contests, or you just want to be sure to say thank-you to each and every individual who does their part in becoming vaccinated, direct incentives are an incredibly effective and motivating solution. That said, just because the incentives are rewarded directly to each individual, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room to be at least a little bit creative. Offering your employees paid time off to receive the vaccine can not only act as an effective incentive to those employees, but it will also demonstrate your priorities to them, letting them know that they don’t have to choose between their income and their health.
Individual thank-you bonuses are, unsurprisingly, expected to be one of the biggest motivators when it comes to meeting vaccination goals. Some businesses have announced their plans to give their workers bonuses if they receive the vaccine.
While some businesses may simply reward these stipends as an increase in compensation, savvy businesses are looking at prepaid rewards cards as a way to further increase the power of the incentive, while also providing their valued employees with a memorable reward. Whereas cash tends to be sorted away into the family budget and forgotten, taking away from the positive feelings of being incentivized, a thank-you prepaid gift card will be remembered while it is being used, not while it is being deposited. It also allows your employees to engage in guilt-free spending, whereas cash is typically used for less memorable purchases; of course prepaid cards can just as easily be spent on necessities as well. Click here to learn more about using our rewards cards for vaccination incentives.
Whether you are incentivizing your employees directly or planning an involvement initiative or contest, remember that the reward itself is also a key factor in how readily these initiatives are adopted, and how appreciative your employees will be thereafter.
The Big Picture
At the end of the day, the goal is to create a safer workplace and a safer community, and to do so by involving as many employees as possible while also letting them know that their efforts therein are appreciated. From open communication and decisive planning, to building trust in the vaccine and providing effective incentives, businesses have a crucial role to play in the rollout of these COVID-19 vaccines and in keeping their workers safe.