September is typically a month full of transitions. Closing one chapter and beginning anew. They impact us all, whether you are a parent with a child heading back to school or a summer operator that is transitioning to an off-peak season or a winter business owner who is planning for their busy season. It is a month that always seems to come way too quickly and serves as a reminder that those longer summer days, are now really behind us again.
This September marks another transition milestone in our COVID-19 response – proof of vaccination for discretionary activities in our Province and other jurisdiction across Canada and around the world.
As we adopt this new order, it’s important to reflect on what the proof of vaccination program is and what it isn’t. Simply put, the program is an important tool to keep businesses open, and expand our activities back to pre-COVID opportunities to enjoy things like sporting events and concerts. It is a tool to reduce the spread of the virus, particularly amongst the unvaccinated. More importantly, it is a critical tool that helps businesses, like you, maintain your workforce and employment opportunities in your communities, which contributes to mental wellness for all when we avoid the roller coaster of operations.
What the vaccination passport is not however, is a silver bullet and does not magically end all the chaos the pandemic brought into our lives. It is one tool that we are using. Yes, there will be an extra toll on businesses as they work to verify vaccination status of their patrons and learn how to do this efficiently and effectively. Yes, there is undoubtedly going to be some confusion and hiccups. And, unfortunately, yes there will be confrontation, maybe by those that try to challenge the system either with vocal protest or counterfeit documentation. But, remember, this is a very small minority of our population; most, in fact, are vaccinated and support this program. It is sometimes hard to remember this.
Remember that go2HR is here to support you as you undertake this transition. We’ve created new scripts and downloadable scenarios to help train your staff on how to handle challenging customer interactions around proof of vaccination We are also working to update BSAFE with a new module specific to the proof of vaccination that should be ready later this month. We are collaborating with industry on proof of vaccination toolkits to support our industry and we invite you to check these out: DBC and BCHA toolkits.
Also, as you transition into the Fall, remember that as you say farewell to summer staffers, be sure to maintain regular connection. We know that off season employee engagement is an important retention tool – one that cannot be overlooked in this time of critical staffing shortages.
And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our new federal statutory holiday Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30th. Our organization will be acknowledging this important day and I hope that this is just one more step forward on the path towards reconciliation.