Vaccination Verification Best Practices
Here are the top five best practices for any required vaccination verification process, whether executed in-house or with a vendor:
1. Clear (and Concise) Communication
Clear employee communication is key to successfully roll out the vaccination verification project. Important areas to highlight include how to submit a vaccination record, what boosters are required (note: for many this will be an ongoing verification process), the deadline to submit the proof of vaccine, details on how to provide a weekly negative test if applicable, what to do if there is a religious or health exemption, and clear warnings of the failure to comply (i.e. sent home without pay, possible termination, etc.).
2. Multiple Communication Methods
It is possible that some employees will have no prior knowledge of the mandate, necessitating a broad-spectrum approach to reaching employees. Best options include:
- USPS letters mailed to the home
- Posters in break rooms, elevators, and restrooms
- Paycheck stuffers
- Additional letters/emails/phone calls to non-compliant employees
3. Multiple Compliance Options
It is vital that employers provide multiple options for their employees to meet the document requirement associated with vaccine verification.
Options to submit documents should include:
- Web portal
- Mobile submission
The more diverse a workforce is by age and geography, the more options to comply that should be offered to employees. Employers, especially large employers, will need a good system to organize all the incoming paperwork, track who has complied vs. who has not and when re-compliance or re-testing results are due. Remember, if an employee slips through the cracks employers may be fined up to $14,000 per offense.
4. Positive Communication
For some employers, workforce morale may be adversely impacted with the new vaccination verification requirement. Mandates may exacerbate simmering philosophical disagreements between employees, or pit employee against employer through lack of understanding that it’s not an employer decision, it’s a federal requirement. The use of positive, educational language in communications matters, particularly the practice of making it clear that vaccination verification is all about compliance with the law. It's best to avoid these words:
- “President Biden”
Positivity can be further supported by offering incentives for completing the process early and a first-person endorsement of the practice by the CEO/President.
Finally, a dedicated, trained, empathetic support team for employees is the best approach and strongest driver behind outsourcing vaccination verification services to a proven professional firm.
5. Plan for “Grace & Chase"
There are procrastinators in every organization and depending on demographics up to 25% of employees may avoid submitting documents by the deadline. Minimize anxiety by building in a short silent grace period after the deadline to help with unique situations including leave, needing to be vaccinated, losing the vaccination card, or not receiving announcements because they have moved (see Tip #2 above). The non-published grace period is also the time to chase down procrastinators through email, additional letters, phone calls or manager follow-ups. Strong vendors will include these additional communication measures in their standard service.
Vaccination verification will soon be required for businesses with over 100 employees with steep fines for failure to comply. A truly comprehensive process will ensure legal compliance, minimize employee noise, and preserve a positive culture. To learn more about our vaccine and testing verification services, click here.
If you’d like a quote or just have some questions about setting up your own successful vaccination verification program, please contact DSI right away. It will be our pleasure to serve you.