Tips For Talking To Your Team About The Vaccine
Have you discussed the COVID-19 vaccine with your team members? They may have many questions, including whether your company mandates a vaccine and whether they will get paid time off if they have adverse side effects. As the vaccine rollout continues, now may be a good time to talk to your sales team about expectations in your workplace.
Hinda Mitchell, founder of Inspire PR Group, has outlined some ways leaders can start a conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine that will help address employees’ concerns. Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Mitchell’s guidance.
Stay consistent. The best way to communicate about the COVID-19 vaccine is to stay aligned with your company’s messaging on other health and safety topics, says Mitchell. If your company regularly communicates on employee well-being, align your vaccine messaging with that strategy.
Outline expectations. If your company requires the vaccine, be upfront with this information. Be sure to provide details about timing and required documentation, adds Mitchell.
Create a cadenced communications plan. Work with other leaders in your organization to develop employee communications about your company’s approach. The goal is to be as transparent as possible so that all employees are aware of their options or requirements.
Be mindful about personal choices. Some of your sales reps may want to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available to them while others may be hesitant to get it or choose to opt out altogether. Using a “vaccinate or else” message is sure to fail, says Mitchell, so aim for a well-crafted message that speaks to different attitudes about the vaccine.
Provide clarity. If your company is providing onsite vaccinations, communicate that to your employees. It’s also important to provide vaccine resources from recognized public health experts, says Mitchell. Vaccine distribution is controlled by each state, so be sure to stay current with local information. This can help clear up any confusion your team members may have about vaccine availability.
Lean into your company values. When talking to your team about the vaccine, remind them that you care about their overall well-being. Rather than making the discussion strictly about the vaccine, leverage your company values, which may include protecting the health of staff members.
Invite open communication. Mitchell says it’s important to be intentional about providing two-way communication for employees to ask questions, raise concerns or share their opinions in a way that is safe and without risk of retaliation. Leaders should strive to be engaged and empathetic when having conversations about the vaccine.
With vaccines becoming more readily available, leaders can navigate the way for employees who may be unsure about their options. A December 2020 Gartner poll shows that most leaders will encourage but not mandate the vaccine. Whether your business requires employees to get the vaccine or you want to incentivize getting it by giving a gift card or an extra day off, you can help clear up any confusion with clear and timely communication.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Hinda Mitchell is the founder of Inspire PR Group, a full-service public relations and digital firm. She has more than 25 years of experience guiding C-suite leaders in diverse business sectors.