Palm Coast - The coronavirus prompted many changes for everyone in Palm Coast - residents, business owners and city employees alike.

Throughout 2020, the city's Human Resources Department worked hard to ensure city employees were safe and healthy so they could continue to carry out essential services. Staff created and implemented a number of safety policies pertaining to COVID-19, such as numerous protections and protocols for all city facilities.

As the virus rapidly spread, the team was able to implement remote work, rearrange work spaces, provide employees with personal protective equipment, implement social distancing controls, and develop a reopening strategy that would continue to keep employees and citizens safe. Temperature checks, employee and citizen face coverings, as well as hand hygiene and facility sanitizing were put in place to keep everyone healthy.

The team also developed an alternative work policy and schedule. This allows some employees to continue working remote, modifying their schedule in line with area schools and daycares, or other family related issues prompted by the pandemic. Staggered work schedules were developed to accommodate employees who were unable to work remotely.

Still, even with a world health emergency occurring, critical positions still needed to be filled within the City of Palm Coast. The team embraced virtual communication to manage interviewing and hiring of new employees, as City Hall was closed for much of the spring and summer.

Going forward, the Human Resources Department is focused on building the skills of employees and highlighting positive interactions in the community between employees and residents.

In 2021, the Human Resources team plans to develop and implement employee centric ideas to improve communication and transparency among staff. The goal is to enhance the performance, productivity, wellness, culture, innovation, and job satisfaction of city workers, which spreads into the community as they take care of yourself and your neighbors. Through departmental collaboration, our Human Resources professionals will identify skills of the current workforce that will ensure the best execution the city's Strategic Action Plan, which is an outline of goals set by the city council for all city departments to complete each year. Additionally, a number of recruitment practices will be used in 2021 to increase diversity as well as surveying and offering benefits that are appealing and competitive will help attract and retain a high quality, diverse workforce.

While this is not an exhaustive list of all the important work being done by Human Resources, it captures some of the highlights of supporting the more than 500 employees within the organization.

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