Getting to yes: A nursing home's mission to vaccinate reluctant staff

Over the next two months, rounding out the most bruising year of her long career in elder care, Ms. Sandri tried everything. She bombarded employees with text messages containing facts about the science behind the vaccines. She assigned a popular young worker to try to sway reluctant colleagues as an “influencer.” She set up a giant screen to show a television special that the Black actor and director Tyler Perry made to fight vaccine hesitancy — on a continuous loop, no less. Most of all, she worked to understand their concerns.

“You really have to listen to each person’s story and address it from that standpoint, so they feel, ‘This is a workplace that cares about me,’” she said…

Ms. Sandri’s goal was to persuade — not pressure — them. But she found there was not one unifying story behind their refusal, and no straightforward message that helped to convince them.

She ruled out some tactics deployed by other nursing homes, including offering gift cards, bonuses or extra vacation days to employees who agreed to get the vaccine; Ms. Sandri considered those incentives inappropriate and called them “bribes.”

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