3 ways employers could help combat vaccine skepticism


Ethe pandemic depends on getting the herd immunity, estimated at 70% or even 80% to 90% of a population. With some 30% of Americans tell polls they have no interest in getting vaccinated, this is reducing it a bit. He the figures are even worse in many other countries.

In the fight against vaccine skepticism, employers can play a key role. This is not only because it is an important precaution for the health and safety of its employees, but also because a recent survey shows people from all over the world, including the United States, they tend to trust their employers more than governments or the media. In addition, Republicans, which they are more likely to say they will not receive the vaccine, also in general much more confident in business, suggesting that employers may have more influence over them than journalists or health experts.

How someone who studies how companies communicate with your employees, I have three research-based tips that can make your efforts more effective.

1. Build trust with transparency

Although many workers say they trust their employers more than other institutions, trust in erosion has been a major global problem. Only 61% of survey participants referred to earlier, conducted by public relations consultancy Edelman, said they are confident companies will do the right thing.

That’s why it’s essential for companies to communicate with employees in a way that builds more trust. And research has shown that transparency has been constantly tied relationship with the employee with his employer.

By that, I mean focus on giving employees the facts, dispelling some of the myths, and being clear about where everything comes from. There are many ways to spread information, such as via email, brochures, corporate newsletters, and social media, but inviting local health experts is another good way to expose facts in a transparent way, while helping skeptical employees. to answer your questions and concerns.

He Trust 2021 Barometer Survey showed that people trust scientists and people in their local community more than national leaders. Scientists scored even higher than employees ’own CEOs.

2. It is a two-way street

This brings me to another important point: Employers will be more effective if they treat employees as partners in the internal vaccination program. And that means listening as much as talking.

The investigation has found that companies pursuing a major change (such as a merger, layoff, or brand change) are more likely to achieve high employee acceptance if they engage in two-way communication that emphasizes listening, feedback, reciprocity, openness and trust. When employees feel that their voices are heard and taken seriously by their organization, they feel more empowered and involved, making them more likely to participate in the organization’s decisions.

In addition to inviting health experts for questions and answers, employers could also organize staff listening sessions, such as virtual town halls, to gather feedback and even address basic issues, such as when people are eligible to receive the vaccine, if it will cost anything and what that means for the return. in office. It can also help address unique issues and problems from different groups, especially those who surveys show feel free to take a vaccine.

3. Empathy works

They have companies that emphasize empathy, compassion, and genuine care for the well-being of employees won applause of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My own recent study, which is currently under review, examined the use of motivating languages ​​by leaders during the pandemic. I found that supervisors who gave clear directions, showed empathy for how the pandemic affected the personal lives of workers and the support provided was more effective in fostering employee confidence in leadership and organization. While it’s understandable that it can’t be built overnight, it’s never too late to do more.

I found similar results in previous research: CEOs perceived as truly attentive to their employees generate more support for company-wide initiatives.

Beyond the language used, companies can show that they care about other forms: actions speak louder than words, after all. For example, some companies, such as General dollar, Instacart i Publix, have offered paid leave time or cash incentive vouchers to encourage their employees to get vaccinated.

The United States and the world are facing one of the biggest health crises in history. Ultimately, I think, it is the collective responsibility of everyone (governments, individuals, companies) to help change the tide against the pandemic.

And if companies need one more reason, surveys i reporting program younger generations increasingly expect companies to be socially responsible. I recent research found that companies engaged in social promotion tend to have stronger brand loyalty.

In other words, it is good not only for society, but also for corporate performance lines.

Rita Men, Associate Professor of Public Relations, University of Florida

This article is republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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