“Company culture matters most to employees”

Sagorika Kantharia, Chief People Officer, Radio City talks about creating the right work culture and recognising talent

e4m by Surbhi Bhasin
Updated: Jul 27, 2012 6:57 PM
“Company culture matters most to employees”

The recent Great Places to Work - Economic Times study has recognised Radio City as one of the best places to work. Radio City ranks among the Top 10 Companies in Rewards and Recognition. It stands tall amongst few eminent organisations across verticals with Radio City being the only media company in this category. It is also at 12th position amongst the Top 50 Companies with up to 1000 Employees.

In conversation with exchange4media, Sagorika Kantharia, Chief People Officer, Radio City speaks about creating the right work culture, motivating employees and recognising talent, among other things…

For some time now, Radio City has been nominated high amongst the best places to work. What, according to you, are the attributes that have led to this recognition?
The freedom at work which Radio City provides its employees and the opportunity to excel in their work each day makes Radio City the best place to work. Recognising hard work and efforts of employees is a very important part of Radio City’s culture. The company takes keen interest in grooming its talent to the next level through various training programmes and developmental projects designed to sharpen their strategic and execution skill. Forty percent of the senior to middle level hiring every year is through internal resources talks about challenges and opportunities provided by Radio City to its employees. Radio City employees are provided with a vibrant and happy workplace with lots of opportunities to learn and grow.

Unlike other radio stations, you don’t have a media network in a manner of speaking. What is the significance of creating the right work culture?
In today’s scenario, the culture of the company matters the most to an employee. Every organisation, whether big or small, has to think about the employees. The culture at Radio City is fun, motivating and conducive to excel for the employees. A fun, open, energetic and creative environment can make a big difference in the productivity of an employee. A dull and lack-luster atmosphere will definitely pull down the productivity.

In times of pressure and things beyond the company’s control, what are certain measures you take to keep the mood optimistic at Radio City?
At times when the pressure really builds up, it is important that the leaders in the organisation maintain calm and focus on their business goals. During such times our organisation encourages employees to think out-of-the-box to achieve their goals. Dashboards and brainstorming sessions are weekly affairs at Radio City. It encourages clear communications, understanding gaps and discussions on way forward. Many creative solutions come up in these meeting when different functions sit together and brainstorm. Radio City steps up the development initiatives during such times and encourages employees to work on Greenfield projects. One such example is launch of Radio City School of Broadcasting. This was an initiative started by employees during 2008-09 in a slow down phase and today it is a great success.

Please explain, in brief, steps Radio City has taken to create this work culture?
Culture cannot be created overnight and it requires hard work and a firm belief. The process of creating a great workplace started for us when Radio City’s CEO articulated this vision six to seven years ago. As a first step we worked on getting the right talent on board who would fit in the ‘Radio City Attitude’. Today we have quite a few of our Programming Heads, Regional Sales Heads and Market Heads who joined us some years back as RJ and at KAM level. In fact all the Functional Heads have stepped into the shoes of their predecessors and have handled the role well.

Building transparency and trust into the system was the next step. At Radio City, we identify unique strengths of the employees and utilise the same in the best possible way. We make additional effort to understand the employee’s career aspiration and provide him/her an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. At the end of the day the employees should enjoy their work and be proud to be associated with Radio City.

To establish mutual respect between employees and management, among peers and between various functions, the value each one of them brings to the table, various recognition initiatives were designed. One of them is ‘Cheers to Peers’, where employees are encouraged to appreciate their peers’ effort. Other initiatives include ‘Star of the Month’, ‘Sher of the Month’, Special Programming Incentives, Special Bonus and Eureka – Driving Excellence Awards. Such initiatives ensure that the employees feel their efforts are recognised and respected by the organisation.

In short, the work culture at Radio City is transparent, supportive and performance-driven.

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