New survey reveals employee attitudes for workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies and approaches
MINNEAPOLIS (Mar. 4, 2021) – Three in five United States employees – working for companies without a COVID-19 vaccination policy – believe their companies should create one, and almost half say they won’t feel comfortable returning to work unless at least 50% of all employees are vaccinated. This is according to a new study commissioned by Padilla and conducted by its research division, SMS Research Advisors.
Employees want clarity, whether they believe in mandatory vaccinations or not, according to the survey. For surveyed employees working for companies with existing vaccination policies, 85% of employees supported the approach.
Almost half of employees working for companies with 1,000 or fewer coworkers, want 75% or more of their coworkers vaccinated before they return to the workplace. In general, organizations are not requiring their employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This is especially true for smaller organizations, where the idea of employees getting a vaccine has met more resistance.
“There’s an emotional underpinning that’s driving the quest for clarity around company COVID-19 vaccination policies,” said Matt Kucharski, Padilla president. “This pandemic has been accompanied by a deluge of conflicting information, uncertainty and ambiguity, so the desire for a clear policy – even if it’s not one that they agree with – is understandable.”
Employers should be prepared for disputes likely to arise between employees who want a high level of vaccination at their workplaces and those who want it to be a personal choice. The most common opposition to a mandatory workplace vaccination policy comes from employees who want to receive a vaccine, but do not think their employer should require it – and those who oppose the vaccine altogether and do not want their employer to require it.
“Some want vaccines to be mandatory, some want it to be a personal choice, and there are still some anti-vaxxers out there,” Kucharski said. “The challenge is that they’ll be sitting right next to each other in the workplace and companies will need to manage that.”
Incentives to vaccinate do not appear to be motivators for employees – only one in three employees indicate an interest in their companies offering an incentive to vaccinate while others appear to believe immunity itself is enough incentive.
When survey participants were asked – in general, what is their opinion of COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace – responses included differing opinions:
Pro-workplace vaccination policy:
Anti-workplace vaccination policy:
Workplace COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Research Results
SMS Research Advisors, a division of Padilla, surveyed 1,026 people employed in the workforce of varying ages, positions/levels and industries in January 2021, with 8.4% of survey respondents working in health care. For the complete Spotlight Survey research findings click here.
Padilla is an independently operated, globally resourced public relations and communication company with offices across the United States. The agency builds, grows, and protects brands and reputations worldwide by creating purposeful connections with the people who matter most through public relations, advertising, digital and social marketing, investor relations and brand strategy. Padilla includes the brand consultancy of Joe Smith, the food and nutrition experts at FoodMinds, and the research authorities at SMS Research Advisors. Clients include 3M, Avocados From Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Dole Food Company, Mayo Clinic, Prosciutto di Parma, Rockwell Automation, Sanofi Pasteur, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Winnebago Industries. Padilla is an AVENIR GLOBAL company and is a founding member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, a partnership of 132 independently owned partner offices in 115 cities on six continents. Connect with purpose at PadillaCo.com.
About SMS Research Advisors
As the independent market research firm of Padilla, SMS has helped clients make well-informed, strategic decisions about their organization and market for over 25 years. SMS offers full-suite research capabilities in quantitative and qualitative methodologies across a number of different industries, from manufacturing to health care to technology. SMS designs and conducts research that produces more than just data—it leads to real strategic solutions and drives tactical planning. SMS accomplishes this through a collaborative approach that leverages research expertise with clients’ industry and business experiences to create a highly actionable and effective research solution.