Top employer awards and a high level of satisfaction among the employees confirm we are doing things right. Our success concept: we foster a positive and value-oriented employee culture in everyday working life and offer our employees a wide range of health and further training programmes.

Management approach

Being and staying attractive

As a service company, our success is closely linked to committed employees. Developments such as the demographic change and the associated shortage of skilled workers present ista with the challenge of setting itself apart as an attractive employer for present and future employees.

The vocational and further training of employees plays an important role: development opportunities open up new prospects for our employees and increase employee satisfaction. At the same time, their motivation, training and expertise are crucial for achieving the company objectives. ista offers its employees throughout the world development opportunities so that they can develop and improve their professional, methodological and personal skills.

ista guarantees that employees can pursue their occupation in a non-discriminatory environment, irrespective of their gender, age, religion, sexual identity, origin or disability and have equal opportunities. This also means that women receive the same remuneration as their male colleagues for doing the same work.

Internal employee surveys, feedback talks and external rankings help us to assess to what extent we have achieved our goal of being an attractive employer for present and future employees.

Promoting health

A fast pace of work and change govern the everyday working lives of many employees. For we have set out to safeguard our position as one of the world’s leading energy service providers by offering innovative products and services. In this mission, it is challenges such as digitisation and the associated potential which demand creativity of us and make us part of a fundamental change. That may be inspiring but may also have a negative impact on physical and mental health. Workplace health promotion is therefore high on ista’s agenda – for our joint success is closely linked to our employees’ ability to perform. In our health offerings, we focus on relaxation, balance and a general increase in well-being. We try to minimise accidents at the workplace through safety precautions and education.



Workforce is growing

In 2014, the ista Group employed 5,135 people, 82% of whom with permanent employment contracts. With 1,945 employees, the largest age group is the 36 to 50-year-olds. The number of employees has increased by some 8% compared with the previous year. ista Germany employs the most people with a headcount of 1,309, followed by ista Shared Services Poland.

Total number of employees by employment contract and type of employment


Age structure of the workforce (2014)*

Workforce by region and gender*

2014 2013
Female Male Total Female Male Total
Central Europe (excl. D) 78 101 179 72 92 164
ista Germany 688 621 1,309 651 601 1,252
ista France 224 445 669 223 436 659
North Europe 107 124 231 106 131 237
West/East/South Europe (excl. F) 384 721 1,105 375 683 1,058
Emerging Markets 64 129 193 57 112 169
ista International 120 249 369 104 223 327
ista Shared Services 704 211 915 549 173 722
Central Europe (excl. D)
Female: 78
Male: 101
Total: 179
ista Germany
Female: 688
Male: 621
Total: 1,309
ista France
Female: 224
Male: 445
Total: 669
North Europe
Female: 107
Male: 124
Total: 231
West/East/South Europe (excl. F)
Female: 384
Male: 721
Total: 1,105
Emerging Markets
Female: 64
Male: 129
Total: 193
ista International
Female: 120
Male: 249
Total: 369
ista Shared Services
Female: 704
Male: 211
Total: 915
Central Europe (excl. D)
Female: 72
Male: 92
Total: 164
ista Germany
Female: 651
Male: 601
Total: 1,252
ista France
Female: 223
Male: 436
Total: 659
North Europe
Female: 106
Male: 131
Total: 237
West/East/South Europe (excl. F)
Female: 375
Male: 683
Total: 1,058
Emerging Markets
Female: 57
Male: 112
Total: 169
ista International
Female: 104
Male: 223
Total: 327
ista Shared Services
Female: 549
Male: 173
Total: 722


Guaranteeing equal opportunities

For ista, it is quite natural for all our employees to be treated equally. In 2014, almost half of our employees (47%) were female. Female and male employees are paid according to the same performance criteria. No cases of discrimination were reported in 2014.

Reconciling work and family

ista supports its employees in achieving a good work-life balance. Our offerings are available equally to female and male employees, thus promoting gender equality.

We create greater freedom for our employees to develop by making their working hours more flexible and offering more part-time work. At some branches, they are allowed to work from home, if they need to, or make use of flexitime.

Furthermore, we have set up concrete measures under our family-friendly HR policy. For example, the ista « E-Mail Etiquette » sensitises employees to the responsible use of work-related e-mails in their spare time. A family room at head office offers parents a workplace with a play corner for exceptional circumstances where childcare cannot otherwise be ensured. ista Germany cooperates with a nationwide family service for questions relating to childcare or family care. An external employee counselling service is also available to ista employees who find themselves in difficult situations and offers support in the event of health, personal or work problems. There is also a wide range of offerings at international level. For example, in France, two social workers are permanent members of the HR team to assist employees on all questions.

Further training of employees

In 2014, every ista employee took part in further training for an average of 28 hours. Global offerings for our employees include induction programmes, staff appraisal interviews and target agreements as well as programmes for young managers, specialised training and individually tailored training courses.


Examples of our further training offerings

JUMP International Talent Development Program

The programme is tailored to the identification and qualification of high potentials for general management positions. The aspiring managers take part in special training courses to expand their professional and general skills. With international participants since 2014.

LEADership Training

Our internal LEADership Training programme is targeted at international managers below the Country Managers. The training programme permits the theoretical and practical analysis of the subject of leadership and offers an opportunity to exchange views with other ista colleagues.


The TETA seminar has been a permanent feature of HR development at ista for some years. TETA is an experience-based leadership training programme which is geared to self-awareness, personal responsibility as well as effective communication and conflict resolution.

Health-appropriate leadership

Sensitisation of managers to the connection between health and leadership as well as health promotion.

Stress management

Offer of seminars on stress management and interpersonal dynamics.

iSS Leadership Academy

The iSS Leadership Academy in Poland is a programme which is targeted at middle management. The main objective is to develop and increase general leadership skills.

iSS Leadership Development Training

The aim of the iSS Leadership Development Training programme is to identify aspiring managers and prepare them for future positions of leadership.

ista Campus France

France pools all its training needs, whether professional or personal training, in the ista Campus. The contents are taught both by internal and external coaches.


Valuing the exchange of views

At ista, we foster an open, direct and constructive exchange of views. Once a year, staff appraisal interviews and target agreement talks are held for employees to strengthen mutual respect and improve cooperation. The aim of the staff appraisal interview is to evaluate performance and provide effective feedback and also enable the joint development of ways to achieve targets and optimally perform work. In 2014, the percentage of employees invited to these interviews was again high.

We also foster this « open-door culture » at management level. At head office in Essen, the management invites employees to a dialogue in a « get-together » format. Employees in the national organisations can also stay in contact with the management in Essen through a multilingual blog. Furthermore, national dialogue formats permit employees to exchange views with their own management. In France and Spain, for example, a breakfast regularly takes place with employees and the management. Denmark organises so-called « canteen meetings » and many other countries – e.g. Germany and Belgium – regularly invite employees to « inside talks » where they discuss topical issues in their own country.

Measuring satisfaction

We have already been measuring the satisfaction of our employees since 1998 in our annual, anonymous and online-based survey « People Survey ista ». Employees and managers can assess ista as a company, leadership, cooperation and work organisation. Furthermore, they can give feedback to their direct and next higher superior. In 2014, the participation rate was 80%. Employees from 23 national organisations took part. The result was very positive: the Engagement Index (81/100) and the Commitment Index (73/100) prove that our employees are highly motivated and feel loyal to the company. One new feature in 2014 was the Shared Values Index, which measures the degree of implementation of the new company values. With a score of 81/100, the employees showed that the new company values have already been well received at ista. After an in-depth study of the results, specific improvement measures will be developed and implemented in each country.

The high level of employee satisfaction is also reflected in the stable staff turnover rate at ista. For example, in Germany, the average duration of service at the company is 12.5 years, roughly 2 years above the national average. The length of service at the Danish subsidiary is particularly high, i.e. almost 12 years, roughly 4 years above the national average. ista employees in Spain work for the company on average for 10 years, roughly 2 years longer than is usual in that country.


Turnover by reason for employment termination and recruitment rate

2014 2013
Termination by employee 257 193
Termination by ista 231 275
End of fixed-term contracts, retirement, seasonal termination or similar 314 395
Total turnover 802 863
New recruits 961 981
Rate (in %)* 16.7 % 19.3 %
Termination by employee 257
Termination by ista 231
End of fixed-term contracts, retirement, seasonal termination or similar 314
Total turnover 802
New recruits 961
Rate (in %)* 16.7 %
Termination by employee 193
Termination by ista 275
End of fixed-term contracts, retirement, seasonal termination or similar 395
Total turnover 863
New recruits 981
Rate (in %)* 19.3 %

Acclaimed as top employer

The high demands we place on our HR management are also reflected in external awards. In the reporting period, ista received the « Top Employers Certificate » for three branches – ista Germany, ista Poland and ista France. The certificate of the Top Employers Institute is awarded to companies with an outstanding HR policy where above-average employee offerings set them apart. ista also received the « Top-Job » award, which honours the best employers in German small and medium-sized enterprises, for the fourth time in succession in the reporting period.

Maintaining health

In 2014, our employees were absent for seven days on average; in 2010 the figure was still 8.4 days on average. Therefore, the sickness rate fell again to 3.2% as against 3.6% the previous year. This success is mainly attributable to our company-wide health management.


Sickness rate by region

REGION 2014 2013
ista group 3.2 % 3.6 %
ista International 2.7 % 3.8 %
Central Europe (excl. D) 3.9 % 5.3 %
West, East and South Europe (excl. F) 1.5 % 2.0 %
North Europe 2.1 % 2.0 %
Emerging Markets 0.9 % 0.6 %
ista Germany 4.1 % 5.6 %
ista France 5.1 % 4.5 %
ista Shared Services (Poland & Romania) 3.1 % 3.5 %
ista group 3.2 %
ista International 2.7 %
Central Europe (excl. D) 3.9 %
West, East and South Europe (excl. F) 1.5 %
North Europe 2.1 %
Emerging Markets 0.9 %
ista Germany 4.1 %
ista France 5.1 %
ista Shared Services (Poland & Romania) 3.1 %
ista group 3.6 %
ista International 3.8 %
Central Europe (excl. D) 5.3 %
West, East and South Europe (excl. F) 2.0 %
North Europe 2.0 %
Emerging Markets 0.6 %
ista Germany 5.6 %
ista France 4.5 %
ista Shared Services (Poland & Romania) 3.5 %


In Germany, all employees train at reduced rates in fitness studios, receive a subsidy for health-promoting massages and get special conditions for taking part in the Weight Watchers diet programme.

Our offerings also ensure the greater well-being of our employees in other countries. In Denmark, we provide meals in the staff canteen which contain 30-40% less fat and calories. In Spain and our Service Center in Poland, we promote fitness exercise programmes directly at the employees’ workplaces.

We educate employees about risks at the workplace in training courses, company publications and on the Intranet. In the reporting period, there were 19 accidents in Germany. No fatalities occurred.

Recognising workers’ rights

ista recognises the right of the workers to form trade unions, join them or conduct collective bargaining negotiations. The interests of our employees are represented by works councils in many countries. At present, we survey the percentage of employees covered by collective bargaining agreements (see table) in five of the 24 countries where we operate. No incidents of infringements of the freedom of association or the right to conduct collective bargaining negotiations were reported in 2014.

Coverage by collective bargaining agreements


Picture credits: grasundsterne, gettyimages