On 31 December 2018, STIB had 9,037 employees (i.e. 8,798.7 full-time equivalents). This represents a 3% increase in the workforce compared with 2017. The Brussels public transport company recruited 862 new employees in the course of the year. With the addition of the 349 internal transfers, the number of contracts signed in 2018 amounted to 1,211. The majority of these new recruits were drivers (38.5%) and technical personnel (22.2%). These appointments were intended to replace colleagues taking retirement. They will also enable STIB to expand and improve the public transport service in Brussels and implement network development projects.
Recruiting women and technicians
A few years ago, STIB set itself the two-fold challenge of finding qualified technical personnel and attracting more women. To achieve this, the company introduced an active policy to attract more of these profiles. As well as taking part in Job Fairs and targeted recruitment campaigns, in 2018 it launched a co-option programme to promote the recruitment of harder-to-find profiles through members of staff who could receive a bonus. The various actions bore fruit. Of the 862 new employees recruited in 2018, 151 were women (17.5%) and 191 were technical personnel (22.2%). 16 of these 191 technicians were women (8.4% of the technical personnel recruited). The 9,037 STIB employees include 968 women, i.e. 10.71% of the personnel. The number of women working at STIB increased by 30.8% between 2015 and 2018.
Attracting new talent
STIB plans plenty of network development projects. This means also a need for personnel. With 862 employees recruited in 2018 and 840 new posts planned for 2019, STIB is increasingly positioning itself as a key employer in the Brussels region. STIB continues to increase the number of channels it uses to recruit these new employees: trade press, social media, participation in employment fairs, organisation of its own Job Events, LinkedIn presence, etc. In 2018, STIB took part in some 20 employment fairs. The company organised one Job Brunch (for technical employee and management profiles) and a Job Day for technicians. STIB also took part in a number of events in schools and hosted 126 interns. The Young Starters programme allowed young graduates and junior profiles (with a Masters in industrial or civil engineering or a technical Bachelor's degree), with a maximum of one year's professional experience, to carry out 3 eight-month missions in different STIB services, with the possibility of landing a permanent contract.
A fun, original stand
In 2018, to attract drivers, STIB created a rather original stand that allowed candidates interested in working for STIB to sit behind the wheel of a bus. There were two advantages to this approach. This means that candidates are "in situ" in a fun way and can imagine themselves at the wheel of a bus. They can also have a photograph taken of themselves with their smartphone and published on social media, using the hashtags #STIB or #MIVB and #jobs. This is a nice way of promoting STIB on the internet and recruiting the profiles it needs to keep Brussels moving!
In January 2018, STIB concluded a partnership with the Institut Cardinal Mercier in social advancement, with a view to providing training in electromechanics that meets the needs for maintenance personnel, looking forward to the arrival of the hybrid and electric buses. Its objective was to train electromechanical maintenance agents, in a year. It did this by creating a class of ten adult social advancement students. There was also the possibility that graduates would be hired by STIB. In 2018, STIB also continued its collaboration with Actiris, the Brussels Regional Public Employment Organisation. Around 100 low-qualified young people were able to enjoy their first professional experience with some of STIB's multimodal agents. This year-long support allowed STIB to attract and train new employees and allowed young collaborators to experience the reality of the world of work. In total, 107 first-job contracts (CPE) were signed for the duties of a multimodal agent, as well as 17 transitional internships (STE). The recruitment and training of the 107 station security agents continued in 2018. Actiris recruited the agents, while Bruxelles Formation, VDAB Brussel, Bruxelles Prévention et Sécurité and STIB were responsible for training them.
Top Employer for the 4th year
In 2018, STIB was awarded Top Employer certification for the 4th year in a row. This certification identifies organisations that offer a quality work environment, foster the development of talent at all levels of the business and work to continually improve their human resource management. To obtain this certification, STIB underwent a thorough independent study and had to meet strict criteria. The evaluation covered the HR strategy and processes, as well as elements such as internal communication, the values and the way they are conveyed and experienced throughout the business, together with the mechanisms in place for promoting exchanges between employees. Top Employer status is a significant asset for STIB as it looks for new talented employees to develop its activities.
In addition to recruiting additional personnel, STIB is also investing in training its employees. Employees take over 300,000 hours of training every year: training in driving and technical training, as well as stress management, communication, languages and managerial attitudes. In 2018, 360,944 hours of training were provided at all levels of the company. A total of 7,591 employees benefited. The commissioning of the hybrid and electric buses represented a real challenge for the STIB Training Centre, as specific training is required to drive this type of vehicle. In 2018 and 2019, almost 2,000 drivers will be trained in flexible driving, in order to optimise the environmental performances of this type of vehicle. At the same time, STIB continued its specific actions on banning the use of GSMs and other smartphones while driving, particularly through the reporting line of metro, tram and bus drivers. More than 4,000 STIB employees have taken this training and become certified Smart Drivers.
STIB launches its Language Plan
Other training initiatives were created in 2018, in addition to training in psycho-social risks, which all employees continue to take. They include the Language Plan, which was launched in November. This plan allows STIB employees to receive training in the other national language, through a digital platform, classroom-based lessons or external training. The Language Plan allows STIB to improve the quality of its customer service by mastering the second national language. Mastering the other language is also an undeniable asset for career development.
Babbel lunch: tongues are loosening
The Babbel lunch is an initiative launched by a small group of colleagues and presented with the Eurêka award, which rewards innovative initiatives launched by the employees themselves. The principle is for French-speaking colleagues to enjoy midday lunch while speaking Dutch, in the company of a Dutch-speaking colleague. This Dutch-speaking colleague leads the discussion, teaches new expressions and shares their culture. All discussion topics are welcome: current events, sport, hobbies, etc. The Babbel Lunch originated within the Atrium (headquarters) but colleagues from other STIB sites have followed the example. For some, the Babbel Lunch has even become a source of motivation to take additional language classes.
Ensuring well-being at work
STIB is concerned for the well-being of its employees. For this reason, a range of different psychosocial support measures have been introduced within the business: a team of 7 social counsellors on the ground, assistance for victims of assault or accidents and a psychosocial assistance service that can be contacted 24/7. Addiction prevention has not been forgotten. STIB has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol in the workplace. A new e-learning course was developed in 2018 and will be available in 2019; it will allow all managers to be trained in the role STIB expects them to play in this area. After focusing on psychosocial risks, more specifically the prevention of stress and burn-out, STIB is encouraging its employees to adopt lifestyle habits that promote well-being, through a range of different campaigns.
At STIB, diversity is the result of a long tradition that the public transport company wants to preserve and strengthen at any cost, as it is a gauge of success, harmony and well-being. Its 2017-2021 Diversity Strategy aims to uphold and support diversity in all its forms, including cultural, linguistic, gender, generational and physical. It sets very ambitious targets for 2021 and describes the current and future actions for achieving them: promotion of employment for women and for Dutch-speakers, improved distribution of people of foreign descent within the business, keeping senior citizens employed, reduction of the gap between workers and employees, etc. In 2018, as well as recruitment campaigns targeting women, STIB organised an after-work meeting on International Women's Day. More than 200 female employees attended and there was also a stand by the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men.
In 2018, STIB and the NGO Plan International Belgium decided to join forces to combat sexual harassment on Brussels public transport. Over several months, young NGO activists worked with STIB to improve the fight against harassment on the network, particularly through the co-creation of an awareness campaign for passengers and the inclusion of the harassment issue in modules aimed at secondary school students. This collaboration symbolically began on 11 October, International Day of the Girl Child, with the "Girls Take Over" action. On this day, the STIB CEO gave up his place at the head of the Board of Directors to Romane, a 15-year old girl from Brussels. This was an opportunity for the young girl to discuss the measures to be taken to combat harassment and recruit women to STIB.