Normally, we have high quality standards when it comes to our user journeys. But sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone to get new impulses and fresh ideas.
Behind the scenes with Avenga Personality: Insights from the HR Director at Avenga Germany
Avenga’s success relies on many factors but is reached through the combined efforts of its employees. Therefore, the HR function plays a vital role in this process by managing the company’s most valuable asset — its people. Recently, Ralf Nolden has joined our company as the new HR Director of Avenga Germany. To get to know him better, we had a chat with Ralf, who didn’t hesitate to take the time to share some insights about himself and his career path.
Meet Ralf: a seasoned HR pro dedicated to empowering people
The HR Director at Avenga Germany is a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience in HR. In his own words: “I was born in Bonn, and I’m 60 years young now. After studying psychology, I dedicated my career to helping people and organizations succeed.” Ralf resides in Olpe (Sauerland) with his partner and two daughters, finding joy in exploring nature alongside his Samoyed dog, Kaya.
The journey to Avenga
Starting a new job can be an exciting adventure filled with new faces and experiences. Ralf joined Avenga after realizing that he needed a change in his career. “I asked myself in 2021/2022 how I envisioned my life for the coming decades. After ten years in the same company, could I imagine working there for another ten years? Do I have passion and drive for my job? Do I look forward to my next day? The answer was — “No.”
After 15 years in the mechanical engineering sector, switching to the tech world was initially a culture shock. “But now I’m looking forward to learning opportunities, which I eagerly embrace every day.”
The very first meeting with Avenga convinced Ralf that it was the right company for him: “I have only just taken up the position, had a wonderful onboarding process, and got to know many motivated, pleasant, and interesting colleagues through an open exchange of experiences. Avenga is expanding internationally — it is a growing, changing organization with passionate people on board.”
Without profitability, we can’t make it; without humanity, we can’t stand it
Through the years of experience, Ralf noticed that it is not primarily the employees that are changing but rather the environment and the nature of work itself. “In the ever-changing HR landscape, one of the significant challenges we face is navigating the VUCA world — volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Rather than prioritizing challenges facing the HR field nowadays, my focus lies in empowering leaders and employees to thrive in this fast-paced environment by providing the necessary support and resources.”
When asked about his strategy for working with Generation Z and if they require any particular communication style, Ralf emphasized the importance of the tailored communication approach, just as it applies to other generations. While different peer groups may have distinct needs and behaviors, it is crucial to recognize and honor each individual’s uniqueness.
“Leadership is communication, and communication in leadership means first and foremost respectful and appreciative listening and understanding.”
When we talked with Ralf about challenges at Avenga DACH from an HR perspective, he quoted Alfred Herrhausen, the former CEO of Deutsche Bank: “Without profitability, we can’t make it; without humanity, we can’t stand it.” Also, Ralf emphasized: “I would be happy if we all worked on creating an Avenga culture where employees talk about Avenga with pride and see themselves as “ONE Company” across national borders.”
A day in the life of an HR Director and motivators for work
“The HR Director’s role is dynamic and varied. Every day brings in new tasks, questions, and challenges. Agility and flexibility are my constant companions.” — Ralf said. Also, he highly values a clear vision of purpose and goals set and always seeks interaction with his colleagues. When it comes to the team, Ralf is for openness and honesty, guided by the principle: Don’t talk about each other but with each other. “I value a team-oriented attitude and passion for one’s own area of responsibility.”
Ralf shared his favorite thing about his work: “I enjoy learning and can adapt well to new situations and people by being open, curious, and respectful. Above all, it is my curiosity and interest in listening to other people and sharing my knowledge and experience to help others succeed.”
Life motto and advice for junior HR specialists
To those embarking on a career in HR, Ralf recommends: “In addition to a solid HR knowledge base, I would also emphasize healthy self-esteem. Don’t take yourself too seriously, be honest with yourself and know your values. Furthermore, learn to listen to people and practice gratitude.”
On top of that, Ralf believes that taking risks and embracing new opportunities is vital for personal and professional growth. “Ships are safe in the port, but that’s not what they are made for.” — These words reflect his positive attitude toward change and exploration. With his passion for excellence and openness to the unknown, Ralf inspires us to step out of our comfort zones.
Stay tuned for more exciting articles featuring our remarkable team members. We look forward to sharing their unique stories and experiences with you.
I started as a “typical” UX/UI designer and have been developing my skills focusing on design systems. As a Design System Architect, I ensure that websites do not descend into chaos and follow a systemic structure in…