Communicate With and Support the Workforce
Once an organization has assessed the landscape and built a plan, the focus should shift to bolstering worker health and well-being through communications and support. The appropriate team members from HR, benefits, or employee health and safety will have to develop a scalable and regionally tailored process of continuous communications around topics, including company policies, health and safety guidance, adherence to multi-dose vaccine recommendations, where and how to get the vaccine (if applicable), and even scheduling and reminders.
Given the complexity of the vaccine rollout and how vaccinations impact the ability to return to the workplace, a well-designed communications plan is imperative. It’s also important to ensure that workers aren’t overwhelmed with communications. Workers will be looking for individually relevant information that is clear, specific, and timely. HR teams should start with outreach to the workforce on COVID-19 policies, guidance for workers on how to securely report on their health status, essential worker or workplace updates, and any additional information.
Even with the best-laid communications plan, workers are sure to have questions that will require individualized answers. Part of the communications plan needs to define the HR service delivery process for providing support for workers when they have questions or need more personalized assistance. Beyond specific questions about the vaccine and requirements, consider likely COVID-19 or vaccine-related issues like new types of leave, reimbursements, systems access, or even telehealth options.
HR leaders should use the insights they have about the workforce, the workplace, and the external environment to create personalized journeys for employees. For example, there could be localized recommendations on where and how to get the vaccine, based on whether an employee has securely self-reported their personalized vaccination status. These journeys can also include broader health information on vaccines, well-being, mental health, and new benefits—allowing workers to get the resources, health, and well-being support they need during challenging times. A similar approach can be taken to recommend resources and next steps for workers who self-report that they’ve contracted COVID-19, in a secure and automated way.
Tracking and Reporting Vaccination Status
Many, if not all, organizations will need a way to securely track vaccination status. In industries that will require workers to have the vaccine to perform their jobs or be on-site, vaccine validation and reporting takes on additional importance.
Organizations need a way to support vaccine attestation and report on that information for internal use or to fulfill government validation and compliance requirements. Exacerbating the challenge, the data required for driving attestation or reporting on compliance may reside in various systems or spreadsheets, so it needs to be combined and connected to other data to meet reporting requirements.
Workers need a way to securely self-attest their health status—including whether they’ve been vaccinated, when the doses were administered, and which vaccine they’ve received—in a way that protects their privacy.
All of this data should also be fed back into the planning scenarios for each organization. This allows real-time decisions based on current conditions, and can help make determinations on allowing individual workers back into the workplace or modeling capacity for a given site, building, or floor.