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Irina Aksenova wrote an introductory note for the ‘Business Quarterly’

Irina Aksenova (Chairperson of the AEB Human Resources Committee, Deputy General Manager, Key Accounts, Coleman Services)

I am happy I got the opportunity to write an introductory note for the ‘Business Quarterly’ issued by the AEB Human Resources Committee. I am sure this issue is going to spark interest because there are HR departments or at least individual HR experts in each of the over 500 member companies of the AEB. Without people, without their enthusiasm, expertise, discipline, and initiative business would be impossible.

I believe this is why the HR Committee was among the first ones created by the Association. This year, the AEB celebrates 25 years of work in the Russian market, as long as our Committee has existed. Our Committee is one of the strongest, first of all, thanks to the right choice of principles that were laid down at its foundation. It was the founders of the Committee who created these rules, and for this, we would like to thank them: Tim Carty, Olga Bantsekina, David Gilmartin, Mirka Straathof, Ann Ramsay, Olga Gadetskaya, Yulia Borozdna, Evgeny Reizman, Michael Germershausen, Tatyana Khvatinina, and many others, who helped formulate the goal in clear and simple terms.

 The Committee is a center of knowledge and expertise, which provides valuable information to member companies and which cannot be used as a marketing and sales tool. Extremely valuable principles that, among other things, helped lay the basis for a civilized labor market in Russia. And the most precious thing about them is that they were not just words on paper. Companies shared their practices of designing and applying corporate policies in various areas, such as compensation and benefits, recruitment, assessment, training and development, relocation, and enforcement of the labor law. Basically, this is how the Subcommittees were formed. They continue working today, and we know them as: the Recruitment Subcommittee; the Compensation and Benefits Subcommittee; the Assessment, Training, and Development Subcommittee; the Labor Law Subcommittee. The Committees are always drawing in professionals in the industry. During a period of various crises, the importance of such structures grows manifold. Crises are the tests that demonstrate the true value and success of a Committee. And the year 2020 has been particularly challenging. Events demanded that many companies make decisions on changes and restructuring in just a matter of days and weeks. The timely, fast, and high-quality reaction of HR Steering Group guided many companies in this new situation and provided them with recommendations for reorganization while retaining as many employees as possible. Since April 2020, we have hosted 20 webinars on a variety of topics and wrote and proofread 12 letters, for which we say a special thanks to our Labor Law Subcommittee and its Chairman and Deputy Chairman Yulia Borozdna (Pepeliaev Group) and Evgeny Reizman (Baker McKenzie).

In conclusion, I’d like to express my gratitude to the members of the HR Steering Group – without their professionalism and well-coordinated work the HR Committee would not have succeeded: Irena Alekritskaya, Antal (Recruitment Subcommittee); Margarita Nosova, KPMG (Compensation and Benefits Subcommittee); Oksana Shadrina, KPMG (Assessment, Training, and Development Subcommittee); Yulia Borozdna, Pepeliaev Group, and Evgeny Reizman, Baker McKenzie (Labor Law Subcommittee). I also would like to say thank you to our coordinator, Svetlana Nechaeva – your care and enthusiasm made our work much easier. I hope you will join me in expressing gratitude. We have really done our best... I wish you all an interesting read and a happy and stressfree new year in 2021. Let us hope it will be a success for us all, because we deserve it!

AEB Business Quarterly (Annual issue of the Association of European Businesses), december 2020

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