What was decisive for your success?
The decisive factor was certainly the numerous experiences I had in competitive sports. I played country field hockey and can point to stints on the junior national team. There I learned very early on that we could only achieve a goal together as a team. This team experience has had a great impact on my life so far.
What criteria do you use to select employees?
In addition to professional competence, what counts is personality and the ability to work in a team. The ability to work in a team is a priority. In my experience, a team should consist of many different personalities, because it’s the different characters that make a team successful. During the job interview, in addition to the classic parameters that can be queried, there is also a bit of gut feeling. Despite the best possible decision in the application phase, it is only in the day-to-day interaction that you can see whether the applicant is the ideal candidate. Human components, such as empathy, must never be ignored. The technical aspects alone count for nothing if the applicant does not fit into the existing team. If the applicant can identify with this, you have won as a manager.
How do you motivate your employees?
I see myself as the captain of a team and am part of my team. Setting an example and communicating value attitudes is part of the motivation, because as a manager I can only demand from my employees what I myself am prepared to deliver. This motivation strategy works very well. I would like to emphasize that you must never lose touch with the grass roots. Problems of the individual worker on the construction site should be taken seriously, even if they are not a real problem in the overall context. One should take the time to listen to what is hindering him, or disturbing his well-being, otherwise he will not be able to perform at his best. The conclusion from this is that as a leader it is important to listen and take others seriously. You often get a lot back for simply listening. I would describe my management style as cooperative and an „open door“ for my employees is a matter of course for me.
What advice would you like to pass on to the next generation?
Anyone interested in a job in our company should know our „five principles,“ which I would like to present in detail: 1. Reliability – Commitments instead of announcements, responsibility starts with me, rules are not a request concert! 2. solidarity – looking beyond the horizon is not looking into the abyss. Lone wolves undesirable, information & knowledge may be shared! 3. recognition – I am not the navel of the world, fairness is a matter of honor for us! 4. passion – together for the best solution, uncompromising when it comes to building! 5. the best minds at PORR and pioneering spirit – always one step ahead. Entrepreneurs at heart and mistakes are a chance to learn! If these values are present, then the applicant is right for us – no matter in which function and on which hierarchy level. In general, I would advise junior staff to put their own strengths and also weaknesses on paper and to pursue their own interests. Financial income should not be a criterion here. If there is a pronounced interest in a profession, then it does not matter if so-called „extra miles“ have to be tackled. If a leading position is aspired, a university education should be taken into consideration. In very few cases does one draw on university knowledge in practice; what one does take away for practice, however, is self-organization. Studying at university means that you have to plan your daily schedule in such a way that there are lectures and also enough time to organize the necessary documents, etc. I would also recommend getting to know the practical side of things during your studies. As already mentioned, I learned the proper handling of bricks. This practical experience gives you a completely different picture and makes you realize the value of the work.