COVID vaccinations have been on everyone’s mind. Some of the thoughts may range from:
“Should I get vaccinated?”
“Should I mandate my employees to be vaccinated?”
“Is the vaccine safe?”
“What are the long term side effects?”
And the list goes on.
Even if you decide to receive the vaccine or mandate it for your employees, it won’t stop there. By the time you read this, vaccine boosters may be readily available. Things are moving and changing so fast. But of course that is not new news to anyone reading this.
As professionals either running a business or consulting with business owners, decision making is a process, right? First you have to identify the goal. Then gather the relevant information and be able to identify and compare viable alternatives. Once you have gathered all of the necessary information, then you make your decision, execute, and stand by it.
It seems these days the decision making process has to happen pretty quickly. However, making an important decision such as mandating a vaccine should not be taken lightly; have the best interest in mind for the people it is supposed to protect. One goal of a business owner is to provide a safe work environment for employees. Since the beginning of the pandemic we didn’t have to go far to find reputable information to assist us in deciding how to provide a safe environment. Vaccine availability has the potential to provide an extra layer.
My advice is to take your time and consult with local medical leaders, legal experts, and the HR community. Weigh the pros and cons and consider all of the variables. If you’ve made the decision to make it mandatory, the fun part is the execution.
I, personally, have viewed several vaccine policies for various companies. They range from one page to five. There doesn’t seem to be a “template” because the policy should be unique to the company. Also, I want to point out that vaccine policies are nothing new. Many hospital systems have vaccine policies in place for viruses such as the flu. However, the COVID-19 vaccine in particular is providing a higher level of emotions.
People are very passionate about this vaccine. They can either be strongly for it or against it. And I don’t want to leave out those that are in the middle. Sounds similar to politics doesn’t it!? As a personal experiment I reached out to various individuals seeking their opinions. Some of them are medical professionals and others are just “normal” people like you and me. In most of the conversations I would find myself rallying their particular cause. After a while, though, I became really confused.
If I could be transparent here: I went through about a one month period where I REALLY wrestled with the personal decision. It was a bit dismal. I felt depressed and extremely anxious. I considered what taking the vaccine would mean for me personally. Are the vaccines safe long term? I also highly considered what it would mean for my family. Would it put them at risk? If I’m vaccinated and they aren’t, could I still transmit it? I considered what it would mean for my workplace and co-workers. Should I be setting an example? One last thing I considered was are there alternative options to the vaccine?
The reason I say all this is because when you are searching for answers to your questions regarding your company’s stance on the vaccine, you may find yourself confused and overwhelmed. The important thing to know about it is you are not alone. I can confidently say EVERYONE is confused about this whole situation. A way to remedy that is to reach out to your “people.”
There’s nothing that a pandemic can do better than to make you realize who your “people” are. You know those “people”; They are the ones that have your back no matter what. They will answer your frantic call or text at any time. They will allow you to be vulnerable when you need to be. They will be honest with you even when it’s in opposition to you. Hopefully, you have these “people” both – personally and professionally.
These people may not be able to tell you what you should do but they can be there for you during the decision making process. They may be a voice of reason. They may help you organize the pros, cons and ramifications. They may bring you cake just because it’s Wednesday!
Regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, decision makers can have a daunting task ahead of them. The company and employees in their charge are best served by someone who has a steady support system, level and clear head, foundation in the decision making process, reputable resources, and most importantly, strong coffee.
So back to the original question – To vaccinate or not. The truth is, the decision is YOURS. Talk to your “people”, breathe, and decide what is best for you!
Rebecca Stinson, SHRM-CP, is a certified Human Resources influencer, passionate about team building, leadership, consulting, strategic planning, recruiting, relationship building, and training. She currently holds the position of Director of Human Resources, though, she is endearingly referred to as the resource to the humans in her organization! With over 13 years of experience in the “people” field, it is evident Rebecca has enthusiasm to serve others through her positive energy, natural influence, and occasional (work appropriate) antics.