Evelyn Kirchmaier is General Manager of the service company Markas in Bolzano, South Tyrol

Evelyn Kirchmaier: Employee motivation as the key to a successful company

15.01.2020 - Italy

What challenges and experiences of success do you face when you have to lead a team in one of the biggest companies in South Tyrol? Evelyn Kirchmaier has been General Manager at Markas since 2012. A balancing act between everyday priorities and a successful employee management.

Every day begins with new tasks that have to be mastered. There is no formula, no recipe, no checklist that prevents you from getting through the daily routine without meeting these responsibilities. The magic word is: adaption. A word that describes Evelyn Kirchmaier’s daily routine only too well. After 5 years of professional experience as a journalist at the Südtiroler Wirtschaftszeitung and one year as Head of Communications of the bank Südtiroler Sparkasse, in 2011 she started to work at Markas as “Organisational Manager”. During those years, she gained important experience that helps her every day to master the challenges of leadership – no easy undertaking in a company with more than 9.500 employees. “Every person who coordinates a team must have certain qualities that are essential for this job. One of these is the ability to adapt to the needs of your team members”, says the 36-year-old general manager.
For Evelyn Kirchmaier, General Manager of Markas in Bolzano, motivation and involvement are essential for a successful employee management.

Team leadership: a constant learning process

Learning how to lead a team is a continuous process. You always have to be curious and open, learn and grow together with this function. This also includes being able to put yourself in the position of the employees and to look at their concerns with empathy. “I have noticed that, especially in a company as ours, empathy helps a lot. Not only towards our employees, but also with our customers, partners and suppliers. In this way, you understand who you are dealing with and what the needs of that person are”, says Evelyn. 

When it comes to dealing with her employees, she focuses on two key points which she sees as the major keys to a successful leadership: motivation and involvement. “It’s important that the team feels involved into the company’s actions to understand which goals, meanings and reasons result in certain decisions. If you exclude your employees from such things, at some point, you’ll risk being left alone. If they feel involved in the actions of the company instead, they stay motivated”, says Evelyn, who sets a good example every day. Her management style? A thought that she counts as one of the strengths of a good manager: not ask anything from your employees that you can’t meet yourself.
Evelyn Kirchmaier General Manager of Markas

Between challenges and success stories

Looking at the business sector in which Markas operates, there is one solid challenge on the agenda: the successful integration of employees coming from abroad as well as of migrants and asylum seekers that, especially in a service company like Markas, have very good chances to find a job and gain a foothold. Evelyn doesn’t see Markas as a “social buffer” but she emphasizes the feeling of responsibility towards the employees. “Supporting employees coming from abroad and with different backgrounds is very important to us. For instance, we offer language courses as a part of our integration programme.”

As one of the most successful experiences related to her everyday work, she describes the well-functioning team. A factor that not only gives her great pleasure, but also motivates her every day and strengthens her confidence in the future-oriented development of Markas
Evelyn Kirchmaier, General Manager of Markas, with husband and CEO of the Markas Group, Christoph Kasslatter

Management vs. being a wife and mother

Just like Evelyn, many women try to achieve the impossible in order to reconcile work and family life in the best possible way. An undertaking, that becomes even more difficult when you are working in a job that involves regular business trips and evening commitments. “My family is a great support to me and a fundamental part to reconcile everything. My husband not only supports me in professional matters, but also at home. Fortunately, we have two grandmothers and one grandfather that are helping us with the children whenever we have to perform our professional obligations. I spend the disposable time off with my husband and children. I love playing with them and watching them grow up.”

Curious for more? Read the interview that Anna Saccoccio, journalist of Rai Südtirol-Alto Adige, conducted with Evelyn Kirchmaier.