“Be the chief, but never the lord.” Lao Tzu is believed to be the author, but 6th Century B.C. is a little before my time. Were you stunned to hear employers are considering mandating a COVID-19 shot that is new on the market? If not, maybe it is time for a little soul searching. Leadership and HR are intertwined. Good leaders define a problem, study solutions and maximize results. In HR we don’t just grab the first idea off the shelf and implement it because people aren’t machines. Some don’t readily accept orders; some accept orders but resent the manager. Others rely on leaders to make sound decisions.
If your organization is considering a shot mandate, have you consulted with immunologists and epidemiologists? Have you visited with physicians who have been treating COVID-19 patients? Or, are you just grabbing a solution off the shelf and implementing it as if you were your team’s physician?
Here are a few reasons why you should LEAD the charge AGAINST mandatory vaccines.
- Don’t Bust the Trust. Have you heard that a great team is built on trust? Heck, you’ve probably said it. What does it say to your employees that you don’t trust them to make personal healthcare decisions?
- Retain Employees. How many employees will leave the workplace if you make a C19 shot mandatory? How many of those employees are your stars or essential? How long is it going to take for you to replace them?
- Lost Productivity. How much time is going to be spent texting, emailing and talking about your latest employee demand? How many employees who resent your mandate will stay employed and continue to stir up trouble?
- Don’t be a Bully. Have you been discouraging bullying in the workplace? Maybe you actually have a section in your handbook about bullying. What do you think coercing or mandating an employee to get a shot that has been available for less than two years is? Don’t be the bully.
- Encouraging Union. This may be a stretch, but if your organization is close to facing a union shop, will this tip the scale. In any event, I recently was stunned to hear that two HR directors at a large hospital called an employee in and told the employee the discussions with other employees about a company mandate was disruptive and not allowed. Let’s go back and review the NLRA. Just because you don’t have a union today, doesn’t mean the NLRA doesn’t apply to you.
- You are Probably Not a Doctor. Even if you are a doctor, how much research have you done? How do you know the shot is one-size fits all? What do you really know about safety? Surely when it comes to meddling with people’s personal health, you first personally consult multiple medical experts on the risks, benefits and alternatives to this shot.
Stand up for your employees.
Let them make their own healthcare decisions with their doctors.
Stop the mandates!