An Exchange of Ideas

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Asolvi Exchange Gives Employees the Chance to Live and Work Abroad for up to Six Weeks

With offices in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, Asolvi is a truly European business — one with ambitions to be Europe’s leading service management software solutions provider and a firm commitment to promote cross-border collaboration amongst all its employees.

The idea of establishing a company exchange programme came about during the pandemic. It was based on an employee's suggestion to help reconnect with international colleagues. Asolvi’s CEO, Pål Rødseth, heard about the suggestion and immediately gave it his full backing. Today, the Asolvi Exchange programme allows employees to work for up to six weeks at one of the company’s offices in a different country.

“We’ve got around 150 people in different countries across Europe,” Pål explains. “We’re still small enough that everyone can get to know each other if given the opportunity. So why not use that to our advantage and bring everyone a bit closer together? Encouraging employees to meet across borders helps create and establish trust — and it’s that trust that enables them to innovate and explore the boundaries of what’s possible. It helps at every level and is absolutely central to Asolvi’s culture.”

 

Safa Ben Harzallah, Operational Team Member at Asolvi in France, agrees: “It’s fantastic that we can travel and work in another location and have this incredible interaction with other colleagues and teams. Before the pandemic, I had the opportunity to travel to Norway with Asolvi, where I met some wonderful people, and I’ve applied to go back again this year on the exchange programme.”

She explains: “I’m still working from home all the time, so I value the experience of meeting my colleagues in person. Last time they were just so welcoming, and we had all sorts of social events while I was there — and we really bonded. It’s more than just working together; you get to know the people behind the job titles too, which is so important.”

Monica Ihle, Asolvi’s Chief People & Culture Officer, notes that Asolvi Exchange also encourages personal growth and development, which is an integral part of the company’s culture. She passionately believes it fosters closer collaboration and understanding of the company’s aims at an international level.

“We’ve always encouraged employees to travel to another country where Asolvi operates if the opportunity arises,” she tells us. “Working abroad genuinely broadens cultural understanding and puts us in an even better position to collaborate, understand relationships and better serve customer needs — which it’s all about in the end.”

Monica continues: “We’re a truly international organisation where our people and products help customers across borders. It also shows our employees the possibilities within the company and some of the real benefits of working for an international company of Asolvi’s size. ”

In May this year, Alex Kushnir, a Software Engineering Manager and Product Manager at Asolvi, travelled to the UK from Nuremberg on the exchange programme for a two-week stay.

He worked at the High Wycombe office and took part in an exhibition in London that was run by the UK team: “I lived in an apartment close to the office, did all the things that the British team at Asolvi would do — supermarket shopping, the daily commute, socialising together when we had time. All the day-to-day stuff that lets you experience life as it’s lived in the UK. I also took some time out at the weekends to explore London, see the sights, and visit some museums and galleries, which was a lot of fun.”

“It’s different from a business trip where you’d be staying in a hotel. It’s a proper exchange programme, just like you might have done at school. I learned about products like Asolvi Protect that aren’t currently sold in Germany. Thanks to my visit to the UK, I understand a lot more about it — as well as knowing more about the people who are selling it and the problems it solves for customers.”

“But you also start conversations that aren’t just about work. It becomes more social, and you can really get to know your colleagues,” he remembers. “Whether it’s a quick chat by the coffee machine or a few drinks or dinner in the evening — it brings people together and creates stronger connections.”

Monica continues: “We’re a truly international organisation where our people and products help customers across borders. It also shows our employees the possibilities within the company and some of the real benefits of working for an international company of Asolvi’s size. ”

 

Looking at the positive way Asolvi Exchange has been received across the company, Pål is in no doubt the programme will be a success. “I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in the UK and the USA, and it really broadened my perspective, Pal says. “That’s why I’m delighted we can offer a similar — shorter-term — experience without the huge commitment of permanently moving to a different country.”

He concludes: “We always want to be challenged with new ways of doing things. In this case, the Exchange Programme is helping us build an international company culture where people can grow and learn. This will also strengthen our footprint as an international tech company with the ability to scale and grow across different markets. We hope that Asolvi Exchange is more than exchanging Ideas. It can change the company for the future.”