Later this year, on August 9th the Latvian Personnel Management Association will celebrate its 25th anniversary. This is good reason to look back at what we’ve done during these 25 years as well as to plan our next steps. From a small group of a few professional enthusiasts, we have grown into a strong organisation that brings together most Latvian personnel management professionals and I am privileged being part of this transformation.

Our main task of educating and sharing knowledge in the field of personnel management is still unchanged. However, in recent years the focus of our organization has changed. We started to look more broadly – not only at the processes of personnel management, but also at personality of our employees. We also talk a lot about the working environment and how to create a comfortable and productive working environment for the people. The last year’s priority was improving health in the working environment. We discussed it a lot, looked for the best solutions and shared the experience through our organization.

This anniversary year, our strategic priority is modernization of HR process. We call it “digitalization.” Unfortunately, many businesses in our country still use an outdated approach. Paperwork and Excel spreadsheets are not unusual in many HR organizations in Latvia. All these should be replaced by modern HR technologies. This subject has entered our lives and future development of staff management is unthinkable without modern digitalization. We also call on our colleagues in Europe to share their knowledge and experience in this area.

We have survived a very challenging 2020 and gained valuable experience for ourselves. We also looked at ourselves in the context of the world if we face the same challenges. COVID-19 brought a new dimension to our profession, as well as challenging situation to the entire world. The human factor became more important than ever. We saw ourselves individually in a different, unrecognized milieu – both in working and in private environment. We all had to learn together – from each other and, sometimes, from others’ mistakes. We learned to work remotely, communicate remotely, manage and listen to people remotely. We were forced to learn a lot of new communication tools quickly.

This year situation with COVID-19 continues. We have already adapted to work remotely. We don’t see our colleagues, friends and even family members for months. But life is gradually introducing new challenges and adjustments to our daily work, which will now remain with us for a long time. This year we, probably, have a choice – to work remotely or to go to the office few days a week. Most likely, we will have restrictions on travel this year too, and we won’t feel as safe in our favourite cities and places. This year, yet again, we will have to decide what is better. Staying at home or going to some public events? Life with limitations or with new opportunities? Exclusive experience or a burden on traditional activities? New qualifications or restrictions on development? Each of us needs to decide how we look at this situation. Whether we feel trapped and constrained, or we see new opportunities and challenges for development. Everything depends only on our attitude toward things and events.

On the management side, we all need to start re-evaluate our abilities. What does it mean and how to do it? Each of us has own unique life and work experience, knowledge and skills, this is what we call competencies. And it’s not just a high school or a job experience. It is also experience acquired in public life, travel and various other activities. We need to look critically at everything we know and be able to do. We need to apply everything we have accumulated and try to learn in addition to that what is not yet known, but what our working environment is demanding today. Using professional language, I am talking about acquiring additional skills required at the moment in addition to the existing skills. To do this, we will evaluate critically each of our skills and knowledge. Let us carry out this kind of self-audit, analyse our strengths and weaknesses, and outline a plan to learn new things and how to do it.


Here are the main competences that labour markets assessing these days:

  1. Communication skills “Excellent communications skills” means ability to provide necessary information quickly and accurately. It also means ability to “deliver” to a different audience that will notice, remember and want to interact with you further. It is just as important as to be able to tell briefly, purposefully what you want to say about your project, product, or willingness to work together and cooperate with your partners. These skills include clear thinking, good, concise and accurate language without “overcooking.” Ability to listen to a negotiating partner and ask fine-tuning questions – both verbally and in writing.
  2. Critical thinking skills This skill is useful in any company on any position and it helps to make the right decisions in any situation – simple or Analyse the situation, look at it from the sidelines, ask “uncomfortable questions” to get to the best result.
  3. Ability to work in a team Coordinated work of a team depends on all people involved in it. The ability to work in a team includes high sense of responsibility, great communication skills and the ability to respect and count on the work of other team members. If one of the team members fails it may jeopardize the work of the entire All team members have to show respect and support for the team and be able to do the job right and on time.
  4. Understanding how technologies affect business No one denies today that business development is impossible without technology. It is important to understand what and how technology should be used in your work and then apply the best solutions to your business.
  5. Ability to prioritize and apply time management expertly It is important to set priorities when drawing up a specific plan and then to follow that plan. Time is a value that we will not be able to recover or earn.


Let’s have and share lots of interesting thoughts and insights working hand in hand with European association.


Eva Selga,

Chair of The Board

Latvian Personnel Management Association