At the 2021 Winter MACo Conference, county leaders discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed workplace culture and functions for good.
At the 2021 MACo Winter Conference session, “Navigating a New World: Counties and the Post-Pandemic Workplace,” attendees heard from an expert panel on the shifting — and likely lasting — changes in labor and the workplace following the pandemic.
As public employers, counties have met the challenges of a COVID-19 workforce head-on. With employees returning to a post-pandemic work environment — many with new hybrid/remote functionalities — counties are now faced with another set of unique challenges related to the “new normal.”
Garrett County Commissioner Jim Hinebaugh moderated the session. He was joined in conversation by Quinton Herbert, Interim Director & Chief Human Capital Officer for Baltimore City and Beverly Churchill, Director, Human Resources for Queen Anne’s County.
Panelists discussed best-practices for incorporating in-person and remote work, with an emphasis on the need to be flexible with technology and shifting personnel needs. Herbert showed the audience how Baltimore City incorporated an APP platform for its large work force to screen workers before entering City facilities, for example.
Churchill, navigating a much smaller workforce, described how Queen Anne’s County has turned to social media platforms to recruit qualified candidates as the county, like many others, struggles with the “great resignation” and shifting labor sentiments.
Also discussed were ongoing COVID-mitigation policies in county workplaces and how to navigate the HR challenges and opportunities presented by them. This conversation was especially timely given evolving vaccination policies and potential federal mandates requiring counties (as employers) to enforce vaccination or testing for workers.
The session was held on December 9, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Maryland.
More about MACo’s Winter Conference: