Ask the HR Department: Handling misinformation in the workplace

By HR and health & safety consultancy Peninsula Canada

Rumours and conspiracies surrounding vaccination and the pandemic can cause tension in the workplace. With so much misinformation online, it’s easy for people to lose track of the facts. It is in the interest of employers to address and manage misinformation in their workplace to protect their staff, their customers, and their business as a whole.

Providing ongoing updates and education to staff can help them make the right decision when it comes to vaccination, clear up any confusion, and resolve vaccine hesitancy. Employers can train staff in person with presentations or with online resources. What matters most is that the information is taken from credible sources.

Communication on vaccines should be clear and issued as often as there are news updates or changes to legislation. Staff should feel that their employer is being transparent about how vaccinations will be managed in the workplace and they should feel comfortable asking questions or raising concerns.

To curb the spread of misinformation, rumours, and judgement among coworkers, employers can set expectations for staff behaviour relating to vaccination at work. Workers should be discouraged from discussing their vaccination status or inquiring about others’ vaccination status, as this can be a sensitive subject.

Instead, workers should be instructed to raise any concerns with their employers directly. This can help prevent the spread of misinformation and keep the workplace a professional and inclusive space for all.

Peninsula is an HR and Health & Safety consulting firm serving over 80,000 small businesses worldwide, including dealers in home improvement. Clients are supported with ongoing updates to their workplace documentation and policies as legislation changes. Additionally, clients benefit from 24/7 employer HR advice and are protected by legal insurance.