Each year, seasonal influenza has a marked impact on businesses and employers. Protecting employees from the flu can prevent absenteeism, decreased productivity and higher health care costs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends strategies for employers to help fight the flu.
Host a Flu Vaccination Clinic
One of the most important steps for preventing the flu is to get an annual flu vaccination. Hosting an onsite flu vaccination clinic can help educate employees about the importance of vaccination, and make it easier for them to get vaccinated.
- Consider getting employees vaccinated against flu as a business priority.
- Identify a flu vaccination coordinator and/or team with defined roles and responsibilities.
- Schedule the flu vaccination clinic to maximize employee participation.
- Provide accessible flu vaccination in as many business locations as possible.
- Provide a comfortable and convenient location for the flu vaccination clinic.
- Allow employees to get vaccinated during their normal work day.
- Set an example by having managers and business leaders get vaccinated first.
- Use incentives, such as offering the vaccine at no or low cost, providing refreshments at the clinic or holding a contest for participation percentage among departments.
- Set a participation goal to demonstrate to employees that participation is important.
- Consider offering flu vaccination to employees’ families.
Educate Your Employees
If you choose not to provide an onsite flu vaccination clinic, you can still emphasize the importance of vaccination to your employees, and educate them about local opportunities to get vaccinated. In addition, educate employees about flu prevention strategies, including:
- Covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Washing hands often with soap and water (or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
- Avoiding contact with sick people
- Staying home from work when sick, and limiting contact with others
Call The Flanders Group at 800-462-6435 for employee educational materials regarding flu prevention, vaccination promotion and good hygiene.
Also, consult the CDC seasonal flu toolkit for more information and resources: www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/business/Toolkit_Seasonal_Flu_For_Businesses_and_Employers.pdf.