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Q&A: We have under 100 employees and are not required to mandate the COVID vaccine. We’re considering doing so anyway, but we’re also interested in other ways of encouraging our employees to get vaccinated. What incentives have been most effective?

Incentives are a good idea if you don’t want to mandate the COVID vaccine.

Bonuses have been shown to convince at least some hesitant employees. You could, for example, establish a policy that every vaccinated employee gets $100. If you go the monetary incentive route, you’ll want to offer alternatives (different safety measures like wearing an N-95 or keeping extra distance) that an employee who is unable to be vaccinated can follow in order to receive the incentive.

Another way to encourage the vaccine is to allow employees to get it during the workday and offer paid time off while they recover. This option may be best for employees who have avoided the vaccine mostly out of concern for potential side effects and being unable to work because of them.

Finally, you can remind your employees that the sooner more people get vaccinated, the sooner we’ll have this virus under control and be able to stop having to wear masks and practice social distancing. No one likes these practices or wants them to continue for long.

If these incentives don’t work to your liking, mandating the vaccine is another option, even if you’re not required to do so by the new rules.

Answer from Kyle, PHR:
Kyle is a professional author, editor, and researcher specializing in workplace culture, retention strategies, and employee engagement. He has previously worked with book publishers, educational institutions, magazines, news and opinion websites, nationally-known business leaders, and non-profit organizations. He has a BA in English, an MA in philosophy, and a PHR certification.

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