Perspectives, Trends & News

From Jeers to Cheers - How employee incentives can overcome vaccine hesitancy

on Thu Aug 08 2021
  • News

Turn your mind back just 18 months. It's easy to forget that as recently as April 2020, the ABC was asking "Will we ever get a vaccine?" despite scores of potential vaccine front runners.


Just 12 months ago, on August 11, 2020, news broke that Russia had approved the world's first COVID-19 vaccine and at the same time the first ever coronavirus vaccine - a family of viruses that includes the common cold.

Remarkably, in the space of less than one year, the global scientific community had created not just the world's first coronavirus vaccine, indeed several. While Pfizer and Oxford/Astra Zeneca's vaccines were popularised in Australia, elsewhere Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Moderna, and Sputnik V made up global supply.

It's hard to remember now the global relief and excitement that was felt as we collectively took a breath and realised "this too shall pass". Now, in spite of or perhaps because of the unlimited access to information and opinion the global response to vaccination is more divisive than ever.


The public response has moved from cheers to jeers.

Slowed and confused messaging regarding social distancing, mask-wearing, and Astra Zeneca risks have created the perfect storm - one in which the comedian formerly known as Jimmy Giggle caught the public zeitgeist by lampooning the inconsistent messaging.

Flash forward to today and the government has articulated a 4-phase COVID plan from cascading lockdown to "covid normal." Offering many the first indication that vaccinations might lead to post-covid normality of open borders, and travel plans they can rely on. For business too, this offers a glimpse of forward-planning that might reduce staff stand-downs such as 2,500 from Qantas and Jetstar.

The challenge remains getting Australia's vaccinations to herd immunity levels - set at 70% to enter phase B, and the 80% for phase C of the government's plan. It's here that incentives are being discussed both by the government and by employers. We talked about this here but since then the idea has gained currency - with Labor throwing their weight behind a $300 incentive and discussion of a vaccine lottery.

Meanwhile, businesses have looked on in frustration awaiting clarity from governments of all levels to guide Australia out of the pandemic and increase vaccine rates. In this vacuum companies including iGo have joined the Great Aussie Vaccine Drive to simplify staff uptake of vaccinations. At True Rewards, we've seen many small to large businesses request incentives for their employees, their friends, and family to get the jab. In America, this is already commonplace with Aldi, Chobani, and many others offering incentives to get vaccinated. Along with these carrots, today we learned that SPC had introduced the stick - mandating that all staff require a vaccination by the end of November.

As discussed in our previous article,

"research indicates that direct cash incentives are the most effective way to encourage participants they argue, that the payment infrastructure exists, and that the model is familiar from the “no jab, no pay” and “no jab, no play” programs to encourage childhood vaccinations."

Incentives and mandates are being normalised across industries to ensure they can continue to operate their Business As Usual by ensuring the continuity of critical staff. Many workplaces are using incentives such as gift cards to encourage uptake. At SPC, and at mining sites, vaccinations are being strongly encouraged.

So what could you do to motivate your staff, business partners, and customer to help accelerate our path to Covid normal?

  1. Join the Great Aussie Vaccine Drive.
  2. Notify your network that you actively support them in getting vaccinated.
  3. Offer them incentives to get vaccinated - such as contactless digital gift cards.
  4. Build an ongoing corporate incentive program that helps motivate behaviours that positively contribute to your business goals.


Why not launch your own initiative with your own branding? We work with businesses to provide branded incentives and rewards to motivate staff to get vaccinated and in return provide them with a “choice” of where to spend their reward – get in contact today!

Want to get started? To customise your own #VaxOurNation rewards program or custom branded gift card contact True Rewards or call 1800 850 739 to learn more.