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Requiring Vaccines Hurt a Company’s Culture?

February 16th, 2021

Mask Workplace

A new study says 67% of companies are concerned about a mandate’s impact on employee morale

While many people, thankfully, have moved heaven and earth to discover, produce and distribute a vaccine for COVID-19,  when it comes to deciding whether companies should require vaccination as a term of employment, there isn’t a clear consensus.

While arguments can be made for both sides of the issue, what I find interesting, and I’ll admit heartening, is the result of a new study that says employers want to keep good relationships with their employees and so many are not requiring vaccination as a term of employment.

A study released by Littler Mendelson on Feb. 9 based on a survey of 1,800 employees, found that while 43% of employers are still talking about what to do, nearly half (48%) have already decided against a mandate. And the reason for this decision is that 67% are concerned about a mandate’s impact on employee morale and company culture.  The concern stems from the fact that 79% cited resistance from employees about requiring the vaccine.

“It’s a telling sign of the unprecedented environment we’re operating in that employers’ top two concerns with requiring vaccination are not legal or liability issues, but rather focus on the personal perspective of employees grappling with an ongoing global crisis and the potential impact on company culture,” said Barry Hartstein, leader of Littler’s COVID-19 Vaccination Working Group, in a statement.

I agree with Hartstein. I have been having conversations with companies and consultants about the collaboration between employees and employers that is happening to address the issues due to COVID-19. To solve both the safety and business issues, these two groups have been brought together in a way that might not have ever have happened before.

A great example would be GE Appliances, a Haier company.  In a strong demonstration of teamwork, 1100 salaried employees worked the lines to replace workers who had to take care of health and family issues.

You could say that boundaries were crossed and then transformed into heightened understanding and respect. As these groups of employees worked together the line between management ( or the “Company”) and employees were blurred if not erased. The outcome was a single united culture.

And how wonderful that the existence of strong cultures at many companies, as a result of dealing with COVID -19, is being held in such high esteem that companies are basing operations decisions on it, including whether or not to require vaccines.

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