Our recent poll found that, among those who would be more likely to accept a job offer if there was an employer vaccine mandate, increased comfort interacting with coworkers (59%) and a sense of personal safety (58%) are primary motivators. Read more: https://bit.ly/3pn3JLg
ICYMI: Our CEO @johngerzema announced the results of our research study "The Listening Project" during the open plenary for @MilkenInstitute's #MIGlobal 2021. Watch it here: https://bit.ly/3BT2Duj
According to our recent survey with @FastCompany, 47% of U.S. adults currently in the workforce would be more than willing to accept a job offer from a company with a vaccine mandate. More findings: https://bit.ly/3DQEwgm
Americans are more likely to see employer vaccine mandates as a plus than a minus, according to a new Fast Company/Harris Poll.
The survey of U.S. adults currently in the workforce found that 47% would be more willing to accept a job offer from a company with such a mandate, compared to only 29% who said they would be less likely. More than 3,500 organizations have already implemented vaccine mandates for COVID-19, according to White House Covid coordinator Jeffrey Zients, and the Biden administration’s requirement that companies over 100 people mandate vaccines or regularly test employees could be finalized as soon as next week. The survey suggests more people think this is a good thing than a bad thing.
Here are the poll’s key findings:
- Higher education level correlated with more positive attitudes toward employer vaccine mandates (high school diploma or less: 33%, some college: 44%, college grad: 58%).
- Regions with higher vaccination rates in general are more likely to favor employers that mandate vaccines (Northeast: 56%, South: 47%, West: 42%, and Midwest: 41%).
- People of color are more likely to be incentivized by employer vaccine mandates compared with white adults (52% vs 43%).
- Men are significantly more likely than women to accept a job offer with an employer vaccine mandate (52% vs 41%).
Among respondents who said they would be more willing to accept a job if there was an employer vaccine mandate, 59% cited “increased comfort interacting with coworkers” as the primary factor, while 58% cited “a sense of personal safety.” With a minority of responses reflecting opposition to vaccine mandates, the poll suggests required jabs aren’t as controversial as they might seem.
If it seems the pharmaceutical industry is in the press more these days amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the drug pricing battle in Washington, D.C., that's because it is. But while the industry has faced decades of negative sentiment among Americans, more people are coming around to see pharma's point of view, new Harris Poll data show.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a "baseline" 32% of the U.S. public had a positive opinion of the pharmaceutical industry, Rob Jekielek, managing director of Harris Poll, said in a recent interview.
Now, though, a "new normal" has set in. In recent months, pharma's rating has hovered in the 50% to 60% approval range, he said. The group tracks sentiment on a seven-point scale, and scores five and above are considered "positive."
During the pandemic, people began seeing drug companies in a “totally different light than they ever have,” Jekielek said, which led to a "massive spike" in the industry's reputation since the start of 2020. Pharma's positive rep peaked in February at 62%.
Since then, Harris has tracked a "softening" down to 56% in its September data, collected between September 24 and September 26.
A few factors played into that softening, Jekielek said. Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s approval dominated headlines for months, and now the drug pricing debate once again is in full force in Washington. But Jekielek stressed the comedown from the February peak hasn’t been driven by “explicit negativity,” but rather “increased ambivalence.”
The industry has a "big opportunity" to capitalize on its recent gains and ensure it doesn't slip back to pre-pandemic lows, Jekielek said. Knowing what's worked to bolster pharma's image in recent months, he suggested the industry should work to “reinforce the science and the people behind the organizations.”
It’s important for the industry to “engage proactively, and not on the same arguments” that it’s been making for the last decade, he added. It can't be a “single company” or a “silver bullet” type approach, Jekielek said, but rather "everybody" chipping in to raise awareness efforts.
Meanwhile, another new factor helping the industry's rep is that, with the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, the public sees pharma companies working to prevent diseases rather than simply treat them.
Since the start of last year, pharma has seen the biggest gains of any sector in Harris' routine polls.
The industry's reputation jumped 24 percentage points to 56%, followed by a 22-percentage-point gain for health insurance companies, a 14-percentage-point gain for government and a 13-point gain for financial services. The tech sector is the only industry to have lost ground over that time, slipping two points to 73%.
The surprising finding comes as COVID rates continue to decline and economic growth has resumed in many parts of the world, highlighting both the wide reach of devastation from the pandemic and the disparity in resources among ordinary people to feel confident about their future. As a result, rapid deterioration of public trust in leaders and institutions threaten to undermine global confidence in the recovery.
Economic hardships amplified and lingering
In survey responses, citizens tell of economic hardships that were worsened by the pandemic and persist despite record economic relief measures. In the global survey of nearly seventeen thousand people in twenty-seven countries (comprising 81% of global GDP on a nominal basis*), seven in ten citizens (70%) say their economy is weak, while less than one quarter (23%) say their personal financial situation is improving. More than three quarters (80%) fear a global recession is looming, while (64%) of all employed citizens fear losing their job.
“The ‘Pandemic’ is a catch-all for people’s persistent feelings of economic and social dislocation, which if left unchecked threaten to not only undermine the recovery, but further widen the gaps in equity and opportunity”, said John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll
Public anxiety and lack of access
Despite easing of COVID restrictions, two-thirds (67%) of people around the world are still worried to resume normal public activities because of the delta variant and lack of access to vaccines, where (70%) trust vaccines but say they cannot access them. Strong majorities of citizens say the pandemic amplified the lack of access to healthcare and social services (78%), while amplifying food and water insecurity (58%), access to education and job opportunities (56%), equality and fairness (48%) and hastened the threats from climate change (48%).
Leadership and Institutions seen as indifferent, apathetic
Criticisms of their government’s ability to contain the pandemic has contributed to further loss of faith in government leaders. Public support for governments’ handling of the pandemic declined thirteen percentage points from (74%) in 2020 to (61%) today, while over a third (35%) say the distribution of vaccines in their country made them trust their government even less.
Adding to global pessimism is the belief among more people that their leaders are indifferent to their suffering. In 2020, (60%) of people globally said, “Government leaders in my country care more about their citizens than they used to,” but today, that number dropped to just under half (49%). Across ten most important social challenges identified by citizens in this research, “indifference and apathy” was the number one obstacle to solutions.
As a result, nearly half (44%) of all citizens say they do not trust their Presidency/Head of State. And more than half (51%) say they distrust their criminal justice system, (60%) social media, (50%) lawmakers, and (43%) television news.
Divided we stand and on the wrong track
Adding to anxieties are political and cultural divisiveness. Six in ten (59%) of citizens say their country is less united than before COVID-19. And more than half (54%) of people globally say their country is on the wrong track (an increase of 13-pts from the height of COVID in July of 2020). Higher correlations of ‘wrong track’ perceptions were linked to higher levels of national division including for example the U.S. where (46%) describe the U.S. as on the ‘wrong track’ and (69%) say it is “less united”.
Business is asked to help
For the second year, The Listening Project found high levels of respect for business across industries with three-quarters (76%) of global citizens saying that business has the same or better impression than 2020 (the average level of trust and esteem in 2020 was 77%). Also, over half (54%) say they trust companies more than government to find solutions on COVID-19 while (60%) believe companies have been more reliable than the government in keeping my country running during COVID-19.
“Businesses are often ahead of governments—there’s a nimbleness to business that the bureaucracy of government often precludes. Whether it’s leading on DEI policies or addressing climate change, employees and customers alike seek an alignment of value systems with the organizations with which they interact, and the pandemic has only strengthened these affinities,” said Rich Ditizio, president of the Milken Institute.
Solving social issues, a boon for business
Amid an era when speaking out has been politically toxic, citizens both support social involvement of business and expect their leaders to do so: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people globally say there is more reward in a CEO speaking out on social issues and (67%) say CEOs being more active in expressing their own political views or those of their company is good for the company.
The Milken Institute and The Harris Poll will announce results from “The Listening Project” during the opening plenary for the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, October 18. Additionally, John Gerzema of The Harris Poll will break down findings further during a session on Tuesday, October 19. To watch Monday’s session, please click here. For Tuesday’s session, click here. Follow along on social media with #MIGlobal.
MORE ABOUT THE MILKEN INSTITUTE-HARRIS POLL LISTENING PROJECT:
Following up from last year’s findings, this joint study examined priority issues for global citizens while identifying the characteristics and competencies deemed essential in an effective post-pandemic leader in order to both drive growth and foster a more just world.
The global survey, which was conducted in two phases from July 30 to September 9, 2021, among nearly 17,000 people across 27 countries, reveals how social issues have been re-prioritized to identify the top ten most urgent global challenges. This year’s report identifies not only the issues that matter most to ordinary citizens, but the skills and competencies they deem essential in an effective post-pandemic leader. For more information, including access to the full executive report, visit https://theharrispoll.com/the-listening-project/.
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that helps people build meaningful lives in which they can experience health and well-being, pursue effective education and gainful employment, and access the resources required to create ever-expanding opportunities for themselves and their broader communities. For more information, visit https://milkeninstitute.org/
The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion and social sentiment since 1963. Harris is a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times, working with clients in building corporate reputation, brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. Learn more by visiting www.harrispoll.com and follow Harris Poll on Twitter and LinkedIn.
*World Economic Outlook. (2019, April). International Monetary Fund. https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2019/01/weodata/download.aspx
Stock markets are surging. More job openings are being posted. The global economy is generally on the up. But people around the world aren’t feeling that way themselves.
A survey found that 77% of people in 27 countries say their own finances are the same or getting worse, even as 70% of them say their country’s economy is weak but better now than in 2020.
In the U.S., 32% of respondents said their situations were improving and 68% said they were the same or getting worse, according to the survey of nearly 17,000 people by the Milken Institute and the Harris Poll.
“Broader economic metrics have recovered since the depths of the pandemic, as corporate earnings, stock prices, and the unemployment rate have bounced back,” said John Gerzema, chief executive officer of the Harris Poll. “At the same time, pressures like inflation seem to be contributing to a perception that while the overall economy is improving, regular people are being left behind.”
This negative outlook isn’t limited to finances. More than half of respondents said they feared the worst of the pandemic was yet to come: 83% fear new Covid-19 variants, 80% fear recessions and 64% fear lost jobs.
“Ultimately, recovery is in the eye of the beholder with far greater numbers of people feeling left out and falling behind,” according to the report, called “The Listening Project.” “Until leaders and institutions can reach and support people where they are, negative perceptions of an equitable recovery will endure.”
Citizens have been losing confidence in their governments’ handling of the pandemic, the report said. In 2020, 74% supported their governments’ handling of the pandemic. That figure has dropped to 61%.
More than half of respondents said they trust companies more than their governments to find solutions to Covid. Nearly two thirds said that companies have been more reliable than governments in keeping their countries running during the pandemic.
Leaders trying to regain trust in the post-pandemic world might want to think about one word: honesty. That was the most common trait respondents selected as the most important characteristic of a post-pandemic leader.
Pollsters surveyed respondents from July 30 to Aug. 11 and from Aug. 25 to Sept. 9.
Read the full story at Bloomberg.
Approximately half of US adults participating in the workforce* would be more willing to accept a job offer if the employer instituted a vaccine mandate. (*Note: For the purposes of this research, participation in the workforce is defined as currently employed, unemployed but looking for work, and/or students.)
Currently, 47% of all US adults who are participating in the workforce (i.e., those who are employed, unemployed and searching for work, and/or are students) would be more likely to accept a job offer if an employer required all employees (assuming they are medically able) to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Only 29% would be less likely to accept a job offer if an employer instituted a vaccine mandate.
In general, positive attitude toward employer vaccine mandates increases with level of education, mirroring overall trends in vaccine acceptance as reported by the Census Bureau’s Household pulse survey.
- High school diploma or less (including job-specific training programs): 33%
- Some college (including Associate’s degree): 44%
- College grad (i.e., completed a bachelor’s degree or more): 58%
There are differences in attitudes toward employer vaccine mandates across genders, as well. Compared to women, men are significantly more likely to accept a job offer if an employer with a vaccine mandate (52% of men vs 41% of women).
Regions with high overall vaccination rates are more likely to favor employers that mandate vaccines – potentially a function of education level, ideology, and household income. Residents of the Northeast are significantly more likely than residents of other regions in the US to accept a job offer if an employer mandated employee vaccination.
- Northeast: 56%
- South: 47%
- West: 42%
- Midwest: 41%
People of Color, compared to White adults, are more likely to be incentivized by employee vaccine mandates. Approximately half (51%) of POC (vs 43% of White adults) would be more likely to accept a job offer if an employer required all medically-able employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Personal comfort drives prospective employees’ interest in employer-mandated vaccinations
Among those who would be more likely to accept a job offer if an employer required all medically-able employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, increased comfort interacting with coworkers (59%) and a sense of personal safety (58%) are primary motivators. Similarly, 57% believe that requiring vaccinations – be it mandated by an employer or another party – is necessary to end the pandemic.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of POC (vs 55% of White adults) would be more likely to accept a job from an employer with a vaccine mandate because it would make them feel more comfortable interacting with their coworkers. Conversely, 51% of POC (vs 65% of White adults) would be more likely because the mandate makes them feel safe.
While women are less likely than men to be incentivized by employer vaccine mandates, those who would be more inclined to accept a job if an employer required employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 tend to look outside of their personal lives. 60% of women (vs 54% of men) would be more likely to accept a job from an employer with a vaccine mandate would do so because they believe that mandates are necessary to end the pandemic. Similarly, 53% of women (vs 42% of men) would do so because they believe that vaccination should be a universal requirement.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Fast Company between October 8-12, 2021, among 1,039 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For more information on methodology, please contact Dami Rosanwo or Madelyn Franz.
Download the full data tables here.