Liability Insurance Contributing Columnist

 


Sharing Your Message:
Communicating to Employees About the COVID-19 Vaccine

March 12, 2021

Jeff Christensen
Director of Communication
M3 Insurance
jeff.christensen@m3ins.com


Every day we all see the exciting stories of vaccines being administered throughout the world. These stories show us that there is light at the end of the very long COVID-19 tunnel. And while that news shows us the potential for a new normal, it also brings a new challenge for dairy processors: how to communicate about COVID-19 vaccines.

Currently food processors of all types are wrestling with this situation. They are looking at an evolving situation which they do not control, and yet likely has major ramifications upon their ability to continue to process and produce food products and meet customer demands.

That can seem like quite the challenge.

And that challenge is made especially difficult when communicating your organization’s COVID-19 vaccine approach to your team.

Here are a few things to consider when talking about COVID-19 vaccinations:
Not a normal initiative: Most of the time dairy processors focus their employee communications on initiatives that they build and deploy. The bad news is the deployment of the vaccine is outside of your control. The good news is that external organizations are raising awareness of the vaccine for you.

Your message: We’ve heard from many dairy processors that the COVID-19 is the most difficult crisis situation that they have ever encountered. With that in mind, leveraging the fundamentals of crisis communications and smart corporate communications will serve you well. That means being empathic, transparent, proactive and leaning on your organization’s values should be your guiding lights as you discuss COVID-19 and vaccines with your staff.

Approach: Ultimately your staff wants to know your organization’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccine. You need to answer the big question: will you mandate the vaccine? You should share your stance with your team members and be clear about it. With that being said, you can still strongly recommend that staff get the vaccine when it is available to them without mandating it.

Leadership: Like any big initiative, a best practice for announcing your stance on the vaccine is best with sponsorship from a key leader in your organization. This makes your stance an organizational decision, rather than a human resources decision. Your human resources team is likely to be busy with logistics.
When the key leader within your operation directs the message, the burden is taken off the shoulders of the human resources team allowing them to focus their time on sharing information about implementation.

For many this is an exciting time, as credible vaccines can mean a return to, or even creating a new normal.
But the transition to normal will be important to make sure we can all safely return to activities we all once took for granted.

For leadership in the dairy processing industry, sharing a credible and empathic message will help your team understand your expectations for how they approach the vaccine..

 

 

 
   

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