What’s the best way to stoke up opposition and resentment? Answer tell employees they have no choice they either comply or lose their job. I have noted an increasingly autocratic approach to management in sectors not previously noted for it. In some cases this is linked to organisations where unions are not recognised or union membership has declined and is less than half the workforce. In other cases it is simply a reflection of a wider tend to move quickly from, “ consultation” to imposition.
Introducing a requirement for all care staff in nursing and residential homes for older people in have a COVID-19 vaccination is a case in point. Logically it won’t stop there the same reasoning of protecting vulnerable people will apply to NHS staff. The result will be small minority of doctors and nurses making a stand against compulsion with the risk that this publicity undermines the confidence of the wider community in the safety and need for the vaccination.
I am in favour of of requiring employees who work with vulnerable adults to demonstrate they have been vaccinated unless there is a medical exemption in the same way as I am in favour of requiring people to where seat belts and crash helmets. I am less clear on how I feel about requiring employees to be vaccinated before they return to the office. There is not the same risk of infecting vulnerable people. But I can see from an organisation’s point of view why stop at Covid-19 vaccines why not the flu jab after all how many days are lost in a normal year due to employees off sick.
In my experience organisations that move too quickly to imposition embark on a course of distrust, conflict and loss of good will which will undermine any future change initiatives. You win the battle but lose the campaign to transform the organisation. Since post pandemic we are all about agile and adaptive organisations able to change the way they do things quickly and smoothly lost of trust, confidence and good will is a high price to pay.
Put another way before the seat belt law was passed there was a high profile hard hitting television campaign showing the effect of going through a car windscreen at speed. It was hard to argue with.