Is It True? Will Employees Resign Rather Than Get Vaccinated?

Many anti-vax employees threaten to quit when their employers announce they’re considering a vaccination mandate. This shakes the confidence of employers considering vaccination mandates.

What’s the truth?

Certainly many employees, particularly in my home state of Alaska and among those I care for, remain vaccine skeptics. Across the country, more than a third of U.S. adults remain unvaccinated.1

But quit?

Here’s what I’ve learned: It depends on the industry and it’s fewer than you think.

If you’re a construction employer and many of your employees work outside, you’ll find employees who refuse vaccines for a variety of heart-felt reasons. Some don’t want to have anyone mandate a personal health decision. Others have heard stories about individuals who’ve experienced vaccine complications, overlooking that many have died, become gravely ill, or continue experiencing long-term complications from COVID-19 because the disease caught them before they became vaccinated. Many hospital workers can tell real-life stories of individuals close to death who say, “I wish I’d gotten the vaccine.”

If you’re a medical clinic, or an employer of another organization that works with vulnerable or immune-compromised customers, patients, or clients, you mandated that your employees get vaccinated months ago. Few employees resigned; most reluctantly got vaccinated. Those who left discovered they find employers who welcomed unvaccinated employees.

According to Chiefexecutive.net’s October 19th post, “The experience of mandates implemented so far is that very few employees resigned, were suspended, or were terminated. The Medical University of South Carolina reported five terminations (0.03% of their employees).”1

“United Airlines attained 99.5% compliance with its strict vaccine mandate and reported an increase in new job applicants.”2 What likely led to the applicant increase? Vaccinated individuals look for employers whose enforced vaccine mandate promises a higher proportion of vaccinated coworkers.

The employees that resign or threaten it get a lot of press. We heard via the media that “dozens of Massachusetts State Police resigned due to the vaccine mandate, but later reports found only a single resignation.”3

Will employees resign rather than get vaccinated? Some might, however, a recent poll reported in Harvard Business Review’s September issue noted “a majority of employees favor vaccination mandates to improve workplace safety.”4

If you’re an employer and want to find out what your employees think, survey them. What you learn may reassure you.

1 https://chiefexecutive.net/ceos-should-carefully-evaluate-risks-as-they-weigh-vaccine-mandates/

2 https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-united-airlines-vaccine-mandate-fewer-workers-losing-jobs-20210930-dyfotfmdgrea3h4hqcgzmsbxia-story.html

3 https://www.wcvb.com/article/massachusetts-state-police-vaccine-resignations/37763636#

4 https://hbr.org/2021/09/should-your-company-implement-a-vaccine-mandate

If you liked this post, you may find valuable these earlier posts on vaccination https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/10/can-employers-ask-job-applicants-if-theyre-vaccinated/ and https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/08/employers-requiring-employee-vaccinations/ or tomorrow’s post, “The Reality of Vaccine Mandates in the Workplace,” https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/11/the-reality-of-vaccine-mandates-in-the-workplace/.

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2 thoughts on “Is It True? Will Employees Resign Rather Than Get Vaccinated?

  1. Yes, there’s hype, speculation, and fear-mongering, then there’s the truth. They’re different. Not nearly as many people are quitting rather than getting vaccinated as was feared and predicted at the outset. It’s refreshing to hear, too, that people are beginning to think about coworkers, customers, and others in their families and deciding if not for the individual, then for the folks around them, it’s a good idea to get vaccinated.

  2. Thanks, Susan, and I agree, the hype and speculation are quite different from the truth. That motivates me to keep writing:) And you, as a blog reader, motivate me as well!
    Thank you!

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