HR transformation for Deutsche Bahn AG

The Customer

Deutsche Bahn AG is the largest railway company in Europe. Over 300,000 employees around the world are employed by the DB Group, which is also one of the largest employees in Germany with a workforce of over 195,000. In 2016, the company served 4.4 billion travelers and transported 277 million tons of goods by rail, generating a turnover of around EUR 40.5 billion.

The Project

The DB Group evolved historically into a decentralized structure of Group HR areas and over 20 business areas. This structure did not fit well with the centralized HR Service Center, which in turn had decentralized support units. Within the HR function, there was no clear division or management consistency across expert areas, the central executive support area and decentralized functions of HR management.We began the project with intensive interviews and workshops, setting an ambitious goal to create a new operating model for DB’s HR function. By working with DB to develop and implement an employee evaluation rationale for over 100 HR job roles, we were able to achieve a significant increase in the efficiency of the HR ratio. The new HR operating model was launched using modern approaches to communication and participation that sought to strengthen the commitment of the entire HR staff. The project represents a sustainable and successful implementation as part of a multi-year transformational process.
together with Kienbaum, we developed a sustainable, effective organizational and process structure for our HR function that was supported by management and the workforce and was successfully implemented.
Ulrich Weber,
former HR Chair

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