In January 2021, many myths about COVID-19 vaccination were circulating and information about the different types of vaccines was scarce, causing some resistance among healthcare workers at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The MUHC team developed a plan with NATIONAL's help to start a constructive and informed conversation about vaccination within the organization.
This communication and change management challenge required credible internal experts, who were informed and capable of interaction and popularization. The organization chose to feature its Infection and Prevention Control team, recognized for its efficient and appreciated support throughout the management of the pandemic.
The operation had two objectives:
- Promote benefits over risks;
- Build a listening network to understand hesitations and answer concerns.
This communication operation took the form of a blitz of information and exchanges, deployed within a week, targeted at middle managers to provide them with tools to have informed conversations with their employees.
In the weeks that followed, other internal champions were mobilized: colleagues from all sectors of the organization who received the vaccine were invited to tell their story to motivate their peers. These champions were featured in video capsules on an internal microsite, in social media and in live testimonials during webinars organized by higher management.
The storytelling machine was underway to fuel the movement.
The use of internal champions contributed to the success of the vaccination campaign aimed at the 14,000 healthcare workers of the MUHC, which took place from January to May 2021. In May, the MUHC was showing an 82% vaccination rate, one of the best among healthcare facilities in Quebec at that time.