Growth at Keolis / eurobahn

Almost everyone who uses regional trains in East Westphalia knows the name eurobahn. But who knows Keolis? The company is the largest private provider of public regional rail passenger transport in North Rhine-Westphalia, but as the brand name eurobahn appears on its trains, the company behind them is completely unknown to many.

Something we are currently working on

This needs to change. A strong brand is important, especially when looking for new employees. "Rectifying this focus on eurobahn, which can be seen everywhere, and making Keolis visible as an employer is something we are currently working on", says Managing Director Thomas Görtzen.

There are currently 450 people employed by Keolis. This will increase by a third by the end of the year. Further growth is planned. A stable company culture that is supported by everyone is the key to integrating new colleagues. "Our company culture is shaped by openness, team spirit and commitment", says Görtzen. That helps.

What that really means, explains the Managing Director using the examples of the company's global guiding principles, is that we imagine, we care and we commit. When the parent company in Paris and another 15 locations around the globe announced the binding guiding principles for all 60,000 employees, those in Germany were not simply notified and pigeon-holed into said principles.

Our employees form the basis for our guiding principles

"We asked our employees to let us know what they associate with these three points. We evaluated the submissions and created the guiding principles for Keolis Deutschland on the basis of these. Our employees therefore created the basis for our guiding principles, adapted for people who work in regional rail passenger transport. And in their own language. We must now share this culture with our future employees", says Görtzen.

Being actively involved, rather than waiting for direction 'from above' is an important part of the Keolis culture. This also means thinking across different departments. Customer representatives and train drivers who have daily contact with customers are in the best position to know what works well and where there is room for improvement. Employees can pass this on to their colleagues on the board accordingly. When it comes to looking for new employees, Keolis does not just limit itself to advice from specialists in HR. "Every employee is an expert when it comes to judging who will be a good fit for us", says Görtzen.

No textbook hollow statements

This is why the HR department has now started the "Employees recruit employees" project. Employees receive €1,000 if a candidate they have recommended is taken on after their probationary period. "We show that our employees are extremely important to us. Those aren't hollow statements from the employer brand textbook", says Görtzen. "We state very clearly that we welcome increasing competition on routes, but that this is never at the expense of our employees."