4 Ways to Incentivize Employees To Get Vaccinated

April 7, 2021 | 530 views

4 Ways to Incentivize Employees To Get Vaccinated
4 Ways to Incentivize Employees To Get Vaccinated

We are finally seeing rapid ramp-ups of vaccination centers in the US. After months of modifying our businesses, we see rapid changes, again, as we move toward more normalcy in our operations. The path toward widespread inoculation has been a circuitous and sometimes murky path, to be sure, but as the second spring season of pandemic rolls around, things are moving along.

For retail businesses that provide essential services, vaccines for employees were available earlier. Medical clinics, food suppliers, and some retail had first access. Many employees were required to be vaccinated in certain industries. However, the bulk of retail businesses will not require that employees get the vaccine (even though it is legal to do so in most cases), and nearly one-fourth of Americans have no intention of getting the vaccine. This creates a dilemma for business owners.

You might be comfortable with unvaccinated employees , and you may not roll up your sleeve yourself. Employers must maintain a safe and healthy workforce, including infection mitigation procedures, but mandating vaccines may feel too heavy-handed. No matter your mindset, not vaccinating does come with some business risk. Sick employees limit a business’s flexibility, and some customers will choose only to work with people who are vaccinated. 

If you would like all your work associates vaccinated to protect your business customers and revenue, how can you encourage their participation without causing strife by requiring it? If there is some hesitancy or resistance from employees, consider offering these bonuses and incentives.

  1. Pay for the Time. Consider paying for the time employees use going to and from a vaccination center. Knowing that they won’t lose working hours could be enough to get employees to participate in COVID-19 vaccinations. Many retail workers struggled this past year, and a bit more in the coffers might be enough to nudge any fence-sitters into a pharmacy or vaccination center.
  2. Provide Transportation. Vaccine appointments are getting easier to reserve, but the locations are not always nearby. Employees limited by transportation may only need a ride from a service or other employee to agree to be inoculated. Ride services offer gift credits you could provide to employees.
  3. Bonus Money. A flat bonus might work, too. Like stimulus checks, a hundred dollars or two can make a difference to many employees while stabilizing your workforce’s health. The cost to your business is lower than the cost of operating with a skeleton crew or losing customers who insist on vaccinations.
  4. Help Set Up Appointments. Managing the tangle of online vaccine reservation systems is not easy. Some retail workers simply don’t have the means (computer, smartphone, wifi, language skills) to negotiate the maze of online systems and providers. By assisting, you will also help control when employees are absent from your operation. You can efficiently schedule in staggered times for a vaccine and still manage your business needs.

Small business owners face choices about balancing their business safety, worker safety, and customer preferences. If you prefer that your employees are vaccinated, ask them what will encourage or help them meet your needs and theirs. With some incentive ideas, you will encourage their contribution to your business’s healthy continuity.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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