The home page of the BRGM Formation (training) website gives employees access to the company’s various fields of training. © BRGM
The work organisation and recruitment situation at brgm in the “post-covid” era
Although it was highly disruptive, the Covid period enabled BRGM to successfully experiment with a new form of work organisation, which the management decided to implement on a permanent basis. Negotiations concerning the implementation of teleworking outside the crisis period were initiated with the labour-relations partners in 2021.
These resulted in the signature of an agreement with all the trade unions in July 2022. “The agreement meets our employees’ expectations, by making teleworking more flexible and promoting a better work-life balance,” says Marie Belossat.
The agreement also increases the number of days during which people are entitled to work remotely per month, thus opening up the option of teleworking to everyone. “The managers are responsible for approving requests, which encourages dialogue and coordination within the teams,” explains the Human Resources Director. In addition, a fixed daily compensation sum for home-working expenses has been introduced. The next step is to formally establish “a right to disconnect” to protect employees’ work-life balance.
Seven other agreements were signed in 2022 with the labour-relations partners, in particular concerning profit-sharing and health-care costs. The renewal of the Social and Economic Committee (CSE) also contributed to the labour-relations dialogue. In fact, agreements were negotiated ahead of the November 2022 employee representative elections (64% participation), in order to jointly establish the conditions governing staff representation in the CSE and the committee’s operating mode. Twenty employees were elected for three years, with their mandates starting on 1 January 2023.
Reinforcing BRGM attractiveness as an employer
RGM was the first French “public industrial and commercial establishment” (EPIC) to be certified HRS4R (Human Resources Strategy for Researchers) in 2021. In relation to this, it has implemented a process of continuous improvement concerning the recruitment of researchers and their working conditions. Consequently, the job descriptions for scientific positions were reviewed in 2022 to reflect operational realities and align with European standards as closely as possible.
This project was managed by Anne Bourguignon, Human Resources Development Officer. In 2023, it resulted in the implementation of a simplified reference base, with a new “research-engineer” job profile based on just four levels of technical competency. “We have clarified the content and purpose of our scientific positions, particularly as regards the research engineer profiles,” says Marie Belossat, who also explained that the job-definitions of 600 or so employees concerned will be changed by the end of 2023. In this context, the Career Committees will be maintained up to Level 2, an internal Scientific Committee will be involved in the process for Level 3 and an external Scientific Committee will intervene for Level 4.
This overhaul of job descriptions and levels also aims to make BRGM more attractive as an employer, notably in view of the current difficulties regarding recruitment in the job market. Nonetheless, BRGM’s initiatives enabled it to recruit 84 new employees on permanent contracts in 2022. Six new project contracts were also signed. Finally, BRGM acquired an e-learning platform. This new addition already enables BRGM to provide its employees with innovative training solutions in occupational health and safety, and has created new opportunities for staff to develop their skills.