A spokesman for Deutsche Bahn confirmed the figure which was collated by the company’s marketing head Ulrich Klenke, but would not comment on details.
He said only that the firm had already set up measures to try to counter the situation, including a nationwide staff conference. “We have kicked off a broad learning and change process,” he said.
But a Bahn manager, which the FTD did not name, said the results from a random sample of the 190,000 Bahn staff, were shocking. The paper said that satisfied staff was existentially important for the Bahn as a service provider with direct contact with millions of customers every day.
The firm also needs a good image in order to attract the additional staff, particularly engineers that it needs to hire in the near future. It is already plagued with problems such as the unreliable ICE fleet, train delays and the massive difficulties with Berlin’s city S-Bahn train service.
Bahn employees are obviously very unhappy, even in comparison to former state-owned behemoths Deutsche Post and Deutsche Telekom, where previous surveys showed a greater level of worker satisfaction.
Bahn workers complained of a lack of freedom in their work, torturous decision-making processes, opaque structures, over-ambitious targets and an ageing information technology system.
Rail workers’ union the EVG also said that the uncertain future of Deutsche Bahn was making staff unhappy, with the government refusing to say whether the state-owned firm would be launched on the stock market or remain under state contract.
The poor situation within the Bahn was not helping it win over customers, the FTD said, citing a study conducted by advertising agency Serviceplan which was also presented by Klenke to Bahn managers.
This showed that 2,000 Bahn customers questioned rated it last-but-one place out of 67 companies when ranking them on social and environmental factors.
The Bahn came behind drugstore chain Schlecker, and head of only energy giant BP.
“We would seem to have a need to improve,” a Bahn manager was quoted as saying.