Employers play a critical role in ending the pandemic

March 24, 2021

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Whether it’s the local community center, hospital or neighborhood pharmacy where people are receiving their vaccinations for COVID-19, there is a sense of renewal in the air.

Even our employees, who have been volunteering at a vaccination site have been deeply touched by people’s irrepressible joy at receiving their vaccinations.

We appreciate that not everyone is confident in the vaccines. But we also know that, throughout the pandemic, people have consistently trusted their employers to provide reliable COVID-19 information, as well as offer tools and resources to help them maintain their physical and mental health.

That’s why, here at Colonial Life, we are actively and strongly encouraging our employees to get vaccinated as soon as a vaccine is offered to them. For the health and safety of everyone across the country, we urge you to do the same.

Your voice in encouraging your employees to get vaccinated can be powerful. At Colonial Life, we have taken several steps to inform our employees, to help decrease vaccine hesitation and get our community well and back to business. It’s our hope that the ideas outlined below will help guide you through these conversations with your employees.

Communicate a pro-vaccine message and model pro-vaccine behavior

Our senior leadership announced to all our employees that, while we are not mandating vaccination as a condition for returning to the office, we strongly encourage them to get their vaccinations. We are delivering this message in a way that is sensitive to the cultures and attitudes of our diverse workforce, stressing the ability for us to safeguard each other and our customers.

Direct employees to credible, reputable sources of information

We have developed a centralized list of trusted, reliable information sources where our employees can educate themselves about the virus, the vaccines and what we need to do to end the pandemic. These sources can be used to combat misinformation when it is encountered. Here are a few sources that you might find especially helpful:

General vaccine information

Vaccine safety

Vaccine availability

We advise looking for local resources that may have the most up-to-date information about vaccines and virus trends in your area. Check and update information frequently. As we’ve found in the past year, guidance about the pandemic can change from day-to-day.

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Make it easy for people to get vaccinated

To the degree practical, it’s important to remove obstacles that may prevent employees from getting their first shots and/or getting second doses in a timely manner.

Think through the vaccination strategy

In deciding not to mandate vaccination, Colonial Life took a number of practical and legal considerations into account. You may want to consult your legal advisor before making your decision. HR experts can help you think through other implications, such as employee concerns about returning to work with people who choose not to be vaccinated. 
It’s our hope that, with widespread vaccinations, we can begin to safely return to more normal lives in our communities and businesses. We continue to be immensely grateful to our customers across the country, who have shown such dedication to their employees during this long, difficult year. 

Other helpful COVID-19 resources from Colonial Life

Lessons learned from the first enrollments of the COVID-19 era
Small Business Benefit Trends 2021
Small Business Benefit Trends 2021
Making Virtual Enrollment a Personal Experience