From October-November 2014, Anahit Ordyan, Director of Administration, and Arina Bekchyan, Human Resource Manager, of the American University of Armenia (AUA), participated in a ‘Best Practice Exchange/Training’ seminar at the Instituto Superior Technico in Lisbon, Portugal and the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain within the framework of the Tempus PEOPLE project. The main goal of the project is to enhance educational institutions through improved Human Resource Management (HRM) systems and the development of HR staff by addressing the unique challenges of each partner institution.
AUA is an implementing partner of this three year project, which was made possible thanks to a 2013 grant agreement with the European Union’s Education, Audiovisual, and Cultural Agency (EACEA). The other institutions involved in this project include higher education institutions from Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Armenia, namely:
- Instituto Superior Technico from Portugal, Royal Institute of Technology from Sweden, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) from Spain
- Turar Ryskulov Kazakh Economic University; Karaganda State Medical University; Kazakh Academy of Transport and Communications and S. Toraighyrov Pavlodar State University from Kazakhstan
- Armenian State University of Economics and Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University from Armenia
- Ilia State University and Kutaisi University from Georgia
The seminars included presentations from partner institutions on topics such as strategic planning, recruitment, training, motivation, leadership, performance evaluation, and much more. Of particular interest was the topic of Intranet usage in HRM, which was presented on by representatives from the European higher education institutions. Anahit Ordyan remarked, “Their employees do not need to contact the HR department for a number of functions. This is definitely an important area for the future development of AUA HR management practices.”
Of the ideas discussed during the presentations, Arina Bekchyan commented that, “The integrated staff development system implemented at UPC has introduced an innovative and effective approach to specific job-related training programs. It represents a training cycle that starts from need assessment during the recruitment stage and goes through the employee’s whole career within the organization.”
Anahit Ordyan and Arina Bekchyan made their own presentation, focusing on AUA’s best practices in HRM, including equal opportunity and non-discrimination policies, health insurance, annual performance evaluations, staff appreciation days, regular staff meetings with the president of the university, and more.
In addition to hearing presentations, representatives were able to visit the HR offices of both hosting institutions.
Seminar participants at the Instituto Superior Technico in Lisbon, Portugal
Anahit Ordyan, Director of Administration, and Arina Bekchyan, Human Resource Manager, present on AUA’s best practices in Human Resources Management.