Human Resources European School (HRES) – Kyiv, 1st – 8th April 2012
During one week, young people from AEGEE and other organisations gathered in Kyiv to improve their knowledge about human resources and to live through a wonderful experience together.
Are you more of an implementer or a shaper? Is everything alright regarding human resources in your local? If your answers are no, no idea, and it can never be, you might be interested in taking part in one of the next HRES.
When I applied to this event, I did it because I observed some problems in my local and I was wondering what we could do, as a team, to improve some issues such as motivation or division of tasks. I got accepted.
Next stop: Kyiv
First I thought I was going to simply land in Kyiv, then I discovered my journey was going further. My fellow comrades and I actually landed in HRlia, a new world for me where the inhabitants are called HRliens and the leaders called trainers. There were four trainers: Bernadette Polya (AEGEE-Budapest), Irina Buruina (EFPSA-Europe), Elmar Kristapsons (BEST LVG Riga) and Guillermo García Tabarés (Comité Directeur). Their aim was to accompany us in our journey to this new and wild territory.
Next to them, we could find some more familiar people : the AEGEEans from Kyiv. Their friendliness made us felt at home and they shared leisure time with us and gave us a nice insight into their food and culture, even if some of us missed a good dark coffee from time to time.
Thanks to our four guides, we made our ideas clear and improved our knowledge on human resources. One week is short when you enjoy what you are learning, but we could tackle the main topics : recruitment, motivation and keeping up performance, communication, team building, coping with different personalities, need for analysis, and solutions to resolve problems.
The approach was soft and through experiments. We did many games. The one that stuck to my mind is the one where we had to describe a tea bag, which proved to be a very clever approach. After dividing us in two groups according to our personality test results, we were given a simple task : describe a tea bag. While one group remained at describing the material, size, texture – objective features – the other added emotional elements – subjective features. When each team had to show the other group its work, eyebrows were risen from each side. Everyone was thinking : “They got it totally wrong!” or “They missed a part of it!” Then we received a big lesson in humility : both groups did shape up, according to their understanding of the task.
Important lesson learned
Eventually, we all understood that in order to make a team work efficiently and in harmony, tasks have to be clear and not ambiguous, communication is a key element in all human exchange, every kind of personality can be an asset to teamwork, but as HR responsible we have to be able to make each of us able to make his/her talents blossom for the common good.
Letter to myself
The last day of the training was the climax. We finished doing some yoga, relaxing, thinking of the knowledge we gathered, reflecting on ourselves and our development and aims. We also got the opportunity to let the people we shared the week with know what we thought of them and what they gave us. I think no one could deny that opening this envelope with all the comments from our colleagues was a special moment. I kept the envelope and I have a look at it from time to time. Also, I am really looking forward to receive in seven months the letter I wrote to myself and to see what my expectations were and whether I fulfilled them or not.
When I arrived and after the first days, I could realise all the mistakes and wrong paths we chose in the previous work of our newly formed local. I think this Human Resources European School is an important step for each local that wants to improve its functioning on the local and European level. All in all, I would advise anyone to do it, because you get to know new and amazing people, you accumulate new knowledge through experience sharing and you get to discover a new country and the numerous ways that a potato can be cooked. You get to know a new part of yourself.
Written by Ines-Kristel Jurado Alvarez, AEGEE-Strasbourg