Incentives for Vaccines: Do they work?



It’s critically important for U.S. businesses to get their workforce vaccinated against COVID-19. Not only for the financial recovery of the company and health and well-being of their employees but also for the health and safety of their customers and clients. As of this writing, 63% of American adults have received at least one shot; 52% are fully vaccinated (received 2 shots plus the 2-week period following); 70% of adults have received at least one shot in 12 states. Many companies, as well as the government, are offering incentives for people to accept this free, potentially life-saving vaccine: do they work?

Widespread vaccination is recognized as essential for the United States to return to full economic activity. Companies with a fully vaccinated workforce have:

  • fewer employees with illness
  • lower absenteeism and avoid the associated lost productivity
  • lower healthcare costs

What employers can do:

Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available to all adults and children over 16 (and being expanded to those 12-15), the time is right for employers to strongly encourage all employees to become vaccinated. Ways in which this can be accomplished include:

  • Leading by example
  • Providing resources and education about vaccines
  • Paid time off to get vaccinated
  • On-site vaccination clinics
  • Help in finding/scheduling vaccination appointments
  • Providing an additional incentive for employees to get vaccinated

Incentives can include everything from extra vacation time for employees who are fully vaccinated or childcare credits to cash payments and tangible merchandise rewards. (Because we know that cash incentives are less successful in changing behaviors in the workplace, we would recommend using tangible incentives or experiences in lieu of cash).

Here at All Star Incentive Marketing, fully vaccinated employees receive an additional 100 points to redeem an item of their choice through our total rewards platform. Another example of a tangible incentive that encourage employees to get vaccinated could include a gift of a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses with the message: “Thanks for getting your vaccination – the future looks bright!” Many companies across the country are offering a variety of incentives to encourage their employees as well as their customers to get vaccinated.

Keeping Track

It’s important to know which of your employees are fully vaccinated. According to this Law Review article, “it is lawful to ask employees for this information. Simply requesting proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination is not a disability-related inquiry under the ADA. However, subsequent employer questions, such as asking why an individual did not receive a vaccination, may elicit information about a disability and would be subject to the pertinent ADA standard that such questions must be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

When you are considering whether to offer vaccine incentives to your workforce, it is important to partner with a professional firm that can help you to structure an effective campaign that will achieve your objectives. Contact us today to learn more!



In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.



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