Despite legal challenges, employers across the United States have been preparing to adhere to OSHA’s vaccine mandate, which calls for business owners with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. According to OSHA, companies must have a policy in place by Dec. 6 and begin implementing those plans by Jan. 4.
When it comes to creating a company-wide vaccine policy, we shared legal considerations to keep in mind, including compensation for time, state regulations vs. the OSHA mandate and how to approach collecting information from employees under the age of 18 years old.
In addition to these legal considerations and how your company policy might be structured, a key factor is communication.
Here are three tips for effectively communicating your company vaccine policy to frontline hourly employees.
Relay the facts
COVID-19 vaccinations are a controversial subject. Be sure to communicate statewide and OSHA mandates as well as why your company’s policy is important. Clearly explain your company’s plans, steps for how staff can submit vaccination cards or action items those who opt out of getting the vaccine must take along with deadlines.
Be transparent about the consequences for noncompliance, and be sure to offer resources for information and support for those with concerns.
Open a line of two-way communication
While your company policy regarding vaccine mandates is not optional, religious and medical exemptions aside, be open to receiving feedback from employees. During the pandemic, we’ve learned that making employees feel valued, heard and engaged is critical for retention and creating a safe and inclusive company culture.
More importantly, be sure to equip your frontline leaders and others in your organization on the receiving end with messaging, talking points, resources and the training needed to be able to effectively respond to employees.
Collecting medical information
There are several ways to communicate information from the C-suite down to frontline workers. For our customers, the most effective and engaging avenue is via text. With open rates of 98%, texting frontline employees instantly puts your messages in their hands. And that applies directly to collecting and communicating information surrounding your vaccine policy updates. Whether it's understanding the number of employees who are vaccinated, gathering proof of vaccination, or COVID-19 test results, goHappy has HIPAA & ADA compliant solutions to help you easily solve those challenges.
As you gear up to finalize and implement policy regarding vaccine mandates, remember to be transparent, properly training your leadership team and use a form of communication your employees will engage with.
For more information about how to effectively communicate with your frontline employees, download our Employee Communications Best Practices White Paper below.