Survey shows the business risk of not adopting a vaccine mandate

qz.com
4 min read
fairly difficult
A large survey shows the majority of workers support vaccine mandates and nearly 40% would even consider leaving their jobs if mandates were not put in place. Still, a larger share would quit if they faced an ultimatum.
Even as major companies like Disney, Google, and Walmart adopt vaccine mandates, there are a number of reasons why some US employers are staying away from them.

Some say they're afraid of lawsuits, despite the fact that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has clarified that workplace vaccine mandates are legal. Others are afraid to lose staff, not a trifling concern considering that frontline workers in the retail and service industries had been leaving jobs at record rates this spring—and lower-income Americans are also most likely to be vaccine-hesitant.

New research from Qualtrics suggests it's true that companies might alienate workers if they require vaccines. The portion of Americans who say they would consider leaving their jobs if their workplaces made vaccination necessary has ticked upward, from 39% in March to 44% in August. (Qualtrics surveyed a representative sample of more than 1,000 working adults.)

But employers may also want to consider another risk: The same Qualtrics survey shows that 38% of workers would consider leaving their current employer if the organization did not enact a vaccine mandate.

Ben Granger, an organizational psychologist at Qualtrics, says these findings describe a tug of war playing out inside many companies. Some people say they want their employers to mandate inoculation so they'll feel safer around their peers, while others believe that an employer shouldn't have that much influence over a person's vaccination decision. "The internal struggle is real," he says.

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