The new Delta variant is throwing a wrench into many companies’ best-laid plans, delaying return-to-work, driving vaccine mandates, and re-instating mask requirements.
According to a new poll from Gartner, “Nearly 70% of HR leaders report that their employees are worried about getting infected by an unvaccinated colleague; nearly 25% report having employees who refuse to come back to a workplace at all.”
If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to get creative and become more agile, recognizing that this virus will not disappear quickly, and everyone will have to adapt in order to keep employees and customers safe. While some companies had begun accelerating a return to the office, many are rethinking this approach. Employees are worried about returning to work with those who are unvaccinated.
In the Gartner poll of HR leaders, “68% said that their employees are worried about getting infected by an unvaccinated colleague.”
Employers have to consider legal ramifications, guidance from health professionals and the CDC, and all potential impacts resulting from mandates and requirements including vaccinations and masks. No matter what changes or new policies your company considers, communication will be key.
“Should employers choose to reinstate mask rules, they must follow up the change with clear policies and thorough communication”, shared one expert with HR Dive.
As schools re-open for the fall, employees will be concerned about flexibility to respond to outbreaks or changes in school policies. And for those caring for immune-compromised family members, the Delta variant poses an additional risk for returning to the office, even part-time.
Employers will need to consider policies and managers will have to be trained on how to enforce them equitably.
An internal communications strategy is critical to ensuring clear, ongoing communication, which can mitigate misunderstandings and false information, and improve trust.
The Truvelop app is a great tool for employers to survey and monitor employees’ concerns, as well as engage and encourage employees through every stage of this seemingly never-ending pandemic.
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