November 19, 2021 3:49pm
Investor Perspective: OvareGroup Chairman & CEO Shares Benefits of Corporate Vaccine Mandates
Jordan F. Reber, Chairman and CEO of OvareGroup, which has a large workforce spread across three floors of the Mercer Building in Downtown Louisville, shares how the strategic implementation of a corporate vaccine mandate has not only ensured operational efficiency and safety, but has helped their talent retention and boosted morale:
When OvareGroup enacted a corporate vaccine mandate in November, we knew this was the best decision for not just our company but also our employees.
A major part of our talent strategy is to provide a flexible workplace that allows our employees to be people first. Whether they were parents or caregivers, we knew that there were employees who felt uncomfortable being in the office, for fear of what they might bring home to children too young to be vaccinated, or loved ones who are immune compromised. We felt it was essential to create an environment where we could not only fulfill our commitments to serving our clients but also where each one of us could return safely to our families at the end of the day. Relying on testing options didn’t feel like a strong enough standard to fulfill that obligation employee well-being, which is core value for our organization.
We approached the mandate as a two-step process. In August, we surveyed our workforce and found that 80% of our employees were already fully vaccinated. Through conversations and incentives, we were able to increase that number to 87%, at which point we implemented the mandate. We did have to make the decision to part ways with a few employees, which was difficult but necessary. We approached those conversations with empathy, working with people through their decision, but sticking firm to our ultimate goal. Though the process was hard, we have found our employees appreciate that we were willing to make a tough decision to protect their health. Morale has improved, and we believe it will support our employee retention efforts in the long run.
I strongly encourage my fellow Louisville business leaders to act in the best interests of your employees and implement a vaccine mandate within your own company. No matter your industry or the hiring challenges you are currently facing, this is the right decision for the safety of your employees and our community’s ability to move on from this pandemic. If myself or the OvareGroup Leadership Team can provide advice or guidance to you on how to enact and communicate a mandate, please don’t hesitate to reach out.