The Supreme Court yesterday largely blocked the Biden administration’s plan for requiring business owners with 100 or more employees to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.
While the ruling allowed for the vaccine mandate to stand for healthcare workers, it left other businesses wondering what they should do now. Or as The New York Times stated in a headline: Businesses are whipsawed again as the Supreme Court blocks OSHA’s vaccine mandate.
The National Retail Federation championed the ruling, but suggested that the Biden administration “instead work with employers, employees and public health experts on practical ways to increase vaccination rates and mitigate the spread of the virus in 2022.”
As we’ve highlighted in previous blog posts (here and here), communication between your company’s leadership and your employees is critical, whether you are considering keeping some sort of mandate or dropping the thought altogether. Either way, it’s important to clearly explain next steps to your employees and customers, keeping in mind that your thoughts, words and actions matter to your various audiences.
It also would be smart to encourage feedback – this is an issue where one-way communication may do more harm than good. If you haven’t already, consider setting up an email where your employees easily can send questions about your decisions on vaccines. Platforms like ours enable businesses to take advantage of texting employees to relay vital company information or solicit feedback via simple surveys they can take on their mobile devices. Be transparent, but also be accessible.
When issues like these arise, leadership is necessary. Just as important, though, is a communications strategy to ensure your message hits all the right notes and reaches all the right audiences.