Vaccinations and employers – a united front

seesame-comments___043-min by: Zuzana Ozanová
Head of Employer Branding
2. February 2021

Medical science has yet to find an effective cure for COVID-19 – so vaccinations are the only way forward for life to return to more-or-less normal. Yet many Slovaks and people around the world are unsure about the vaccine…with less than a third accepting a jab if it was offered today. Much of this uncertainty results from hoaxes and unreliable sources. And that’s exactly where employers come in – as crucial information sources and appropriate responses. So will employers front up to this opportunity and responsibility?

4x yes!

Brand activism has been around a while. For several years sales and reputation results have confirmed that people expect brands to have an opinion and support good causes – even if that divides opinion. An expectation shared by both customers and employees.

We’ve identified four reasons why there’s never been a better time to support a sensitive and personal issue – like vaccinations.


Confidence in employers is at a record high

Society is undergoing a crisis of confidence The latest international Edelman Trust Barometer presents a startling finding: only about 40% of respondents believe the state is equipped to resolve the pandemic situation. Yet half as many trust their employer’s ability to do the right thing. A figure matched only by confidence in scientists.


Zdroj: 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer


Companies have a track record in health communications

Vaccinations may at first sight seem too personal an issue – but actually, health has long been addressed in internal communications. Employers routinely communicate health topics during annual Health Days, and highlight sensitive issues such as obesity and smoking. Even vaccinations are not taboo – many employers inform about the benefits of influenza vaccination, and even allow employees to be vaccinated at work. Not to mention the “new normal”, during which employees – and often family members too – attended the workplace for regular COVID-19 testing. Which clearly shows that this vaccination can be supported rather than stigmatized. It’s enough just to follow the informed debate in health circles.


Internal communication channels work

Credibility rankings are dominated by employers as well as their communications. Well-established internal communications and mass-reach channels give employers a cutting edge in supporting topics such as vaccinations. Such measures can even dovetail with the state’s own public awareness campaigns.


Employers’ motivation makes sense

And of course employers have their own reasons to support a successful vaccination programme. Firstly, employee health. Teams and solidarity among colleagues are compelling reasons for company loyalty. And that’s never been truer than during the pandemic. Many employees have shown tremendous support to their colleagues: covering their duties during sick leave and helping if colleagues or loved ones become infected.

Secondly, financial reasons. While many companies have effectively transitioned to homeoffices or changed production processes to minimize infection, the pandemic has still had a negative overall impact. Whether due to loss of customer purchasing power, increased costs for stricter safety and hygiene measures, or employee incapacity, it is in employers’ interests to return to pre-pandemic conditions.

Still to be won over? OK, let’s dig into the data.


People also think that employers should take a stand on the pandemic. Two-thirds of respondents expect managers to lead by example in social issues, rather than waiting for the government to act. Leaders needn’t be overtly assertive in their responses. Just lead by example and create a secure environment for discussion and listen to employees’ views.

And that’s exactly why we’re teamed up with other responsible companies to provide scope for useful fact-based public discussion. That’s how #Zaockujemsa came to light. showcases why celebrities and the general public choose vaccination. And includes a special section for companies, which includes free materials for employers with information to share with employees. Information about the vaccination was verified by medical and epidemiology experts from the Science Helps – Covid-19 initiative. Every company in Slovakia that wants to be a trusted partner for employees can use this vaccination information – whatever their budget or capacity.

This enables everyone to make an informed decision about the vaccination. So that life can return to the old normal asap – meeting colleagues for coffee, no more masks, and visiting clients.