Why Should I Encourage Staff to Get Vaccinated?

The AHLA encourages hotels to talk to their staff about getting vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible. This will:

  • Protect your employees and their families
  • Protect their colleagues and guests, and
  • Reduce the spread of COVID-19, making it possible for people to gather and travel sooner.

How Can I Encourage Staff to Get Vaccinated?

All the information on this web page is also available in a printable format.

  • Remind employees they can have up to 3 hours of paid, job-protected leave per vaccine. See legislation about required paid vaccine leave.
  • Provide additional incentives such as paying an extra hour, giveaways like gift cards, paid days off, hot lunches, etc. You can be as creative as you want!
  • Organize staff transportation to a vaccination site.
  • If a vaccination site or pharmacy is not available nearby, contact your MLA to ask for a mobile vaccination clinic to be set up in your area or at your hotel.
  • Consider asking your property’s General Manager or a senior staff member to share a personal perspective and eagerness to get the vaccine. Not sure how to start the conversation? See “Having a Conversation with Your Team About the COVID-19 Vaccine” on page 2.
  • Remind employees that getting vaccinated has direct benefits to them and the hotel by allowing people to meet and travel, meaning more work hours for your staff.
  • Share this poster from Alberta Health Services and this FAQ document by posting it in your staff area, emailing it to staff, or placing it in staff mailboxes.
  • Share information about the vaccine in multiple languages to reach different demographics within your hotel.
  • Use social media to generate positive interest in getting vaccinated. Be sure to use the following hashtags:
    • #ShotOfHope
    • #ABhotels
    • #ABtourism
    • #ABhospitality
  • Use staff bulletin boards and other internal channels to generate support for vaccinations. Consider having vaccinated staff volunteer to share their experiences with others in the form of photos or quotes. Be sure to refer to your hotel’s internal policies around media and imaging, if you have one.
  • Continue to follow all provincial and municipal restrictions and guidelines.

What You Cannot Do

  • You cannot mandate that all employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • You cannot terminate an employee if they choose not to get vaccinated.
  • You cannot require employees to tell you if/when they have been vaccinated.
  • Remember to always respect the privacy of your employees:
  • Never share an individual’s health information
  • Employers cannot require employees to submit to medical tests or procedures, as this is an infringement of individual privacy rights.

Having a Conversation With Your Team About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Where to Begin

  • Meet with your staff (one-on-one or in a group, depending on the comfort level of your staff) to ask if they have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Open the conversation by reminding them that vaccination is voluntary.
  • concerns and offering
  • Let them know that you want to support them if they want to get vaccinated. You could start by saying: “Because we are concerned for your safety, as well as for the safety of your co-workers and our guests, we would like for you to consider being vaccinated. How can I best support you when making your decision?”
  • Address concerns and offer educational resources.

Possible Responses to Common Questions & Concerns:

What you might hear: I’m so busy, I can’t find the time to get vaccinated.

What you might say: I don’t want your work schedule to prevent you from receiving the vaccine and put you at risk of getting infected. Let’s work together to find coverage for you so you can schedule and keep your appointment. In Alberta, employees are eligible to receive 3 hours of paid leave for each COVID-19 vaccination.

 

What you might hear: I’m worried I’ll get sick or have a reaction to the vaccine.

What you might say: The COVID-19 vaccine does not include any of the live virus that causes COVID-19. Clinical trial data has shown that most of the reported side effects are mild or moderate, resolving within a few days. Reactions like soreness at the injection site, fatigue, and fever are common. They are a sign that the body’s immune response to protect against COVID-19 has begun. To lessen the side effects, you can talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.

 

What you might hear: I am young and healthy. I wear a mask, and if I get COVID, I will be fine.

What you might say: There is no guarantee that an illness due to a COVID-19 exposure will be mild. Even young and healthy people can become seriously ill and some have died.

What you might hear: I’m afraid of needles.

What you might say: I understand your fears, but the vaccine is currently the most effective weapon we have to fight and beat the COVID-19 virus. There are some things you can do to help manage your fear:

  • Look away during the injection.
  • Use relaxation, deep breathing techniques, or visualization; or talk to your doctor about anti-anxiety medication.
  • If possible, schedule the vaccination at the same time as a friend or family member who doesn’t fear needles.
  • Numb the site — ice or over-the-counter numbing products may be used to dull the pain and ease your mind.
  • Talk to your family doctor about other tactics for combatting your fear of needles.

 

What you might hear: I want to wait and get more information about the vaccine before I make a decision.

What you might say: You are welcome to wait; however, I can provide you with additional information about the vaccine if that would be helpful (and then provide some of the resources listed above). Whatever you decide, I respect your decision. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to support you.

 Additional Resources

Please contact us at WeHelpHotels@ahla.ca or 780.436.6112 (toll-free 1.888.436.6112) if you have other questions or need additional support.