Here is another interview in employee portrait series called “This is what I do” from Transdev Netherlands. The series highlights the work of our colleagues in different parts of Transdev Netherlands and reinforces our Group’s purpose in serving the common good. This time we are featuring Harina Reuvers, Assistant Process Manager at the Valleilijn rail operation in Amersfoort in the Netherlands.
In what part of our company do you work and what is your role?
“I work for Rail in Amersfoort at the Valleilijn, as an Assistant-Manager. I manage 35 train drivers daily. This includes all kinds of tasks, such as managing absences, conducting annual evaluation interviews and liaising with external parties such as ProRail, among others. »
What does your average work week look like?
“Currently, the station Ede-Wageningen is down because of maintenance, for which I have hired buses. And now I have to ‘put out fires’ for that, for example if one of the buses turns out not to be there after all. I often have to solve problems quickly. Last week, for example, I was in contact with a Marketing colleague to correct travel information in 9292, the Dutch Public Transportation information app. It said that we had replacement transportation somewhere, but that information was no longer correct. »
“My job also includes HR tasks. For example, recently there was a colleague who works as a day contract worker and it turned out that he had not received his salary for a month and a half due to an administrative error. On my day off, I made a lot of phone calls to HR and my supervisor to get his salary paid as soon as possible. It’s examples like this that show that this isn’t a 9 to 5 job, but colleagues certainly appreciate that commitment. »
It seems like you enjoy making colleagues happy?
“Certainly! Our slogan is ‘On the right track with a smile’. We want everyone, from train drivers, to suppliers, and to passengers, to be traveling by train with a smile. To achieve this, we provide an open organization in which everyone is welcome. »
« In the annual evaluation interview form, we also ask for feedback about ourselves. What do you think of the management? Do you feel supported, are you able to approach us? Colleagues can say anything. We sometimes rap someone on the knuckles, but they can do the same with us. That’s good for the bond of trust. »
What do you like most about your job?
« Working with people makes me energetic because I see a lot of enthusiasm in the workplace. Of course, there are sometimes somber colleagues. But if someone then walks out the door with a smile after a personal chat, my day is good too. »
What skills do you need in order to do this job?
« Our management team is small, so you can’t easily fill your schedule for a particular task. In fact, something always happens that moves up your schedule, so you have to be flexible. »
« Being able to listen is also important. Train drivers are different people than bus drivers, often a bit introverted. So it’s important to listen between the lines. Having a joke among yourselves is also possible. »
What are your personal goals?
« Keeping the team together that we have now, and making sure newcomers have just as much fun. I also want to keep the open communication with each other, where we have respect for every colleague. »
« Respect, meaning being very open to everyone, especially to all newcomers. For the newsletter we then take a picture with a small introduction. That way we create a united atmosphere, together we create a kind of family-feeling. »
« Furthermore, winning the concession again is of course incredibly important. We put a lot of effort into that. We make sure the trains are clean and we want to keep everything running so that the client is satisfied. Passengers rate us with a 7.8 at the moment, but we’re going for an 8. »
If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
« In my own position, I don’t really want to change anything. At most, I want to optimize some things, such as the new form for even better annual evaluation interviews. »
« However, there are many things I still want to learn. I am fairly new to this position, so I am happy to be working with experienced colleagues like Coen Van Silfhout [Assistant Manager at the Valleilijn and René Drost [Assistant Manager at Breng]. I know a lot about our own organization, but I still want to take steps in contacting external parties, such as ProRail. »
What makes you proud?
« That I’ve come this far. Since 1989, I have held many positions. Namely, I have worked as a Public Safety Officer, bus driver, streetcar driver, support staff, on-call staff, driver, administrative assistant and planner. And now as an Assistant Process Manager. I’m certainly proud that I managed to do that – and that you can have such a career in our company. »