‘Frequency’ is aimed to foster employee engagement, while sharing internal developments and new processes within the firm.
In the evolving digital cosmos, companies are trying to reinvent ways and means to keep employees engaged and motivated. The modern workplace can thrive and grow only if employees are given opportunities and platforms to flourish and explore talent, beyond the defined roles.
At Adfactors, nearly 80 per cent of its employees fall in the age group of 22–30 years. Most employees falling in this age bracket prefer to listen to the radio on their smartphones, while commuting to work.
Guided by the insights, the team at Adfactors decided to create an Internet-based streaming radio station that can broadcast announcements, news, interviews and discussions with leaders, encourage policy and strategy-related talks, motivational and management podcasts and much more.
The Company has around 800 employees who are geographically spread across 10 locations. The idea was to connect employees across regions and bind them through a common platform. The radio channel named ‘Frequency’, the voice of Adfactors PR, is exclusively used to inform and entertain employees.
In keeping with the tagline of Frequency—‘Where thought meets sound’—the platform aims to disseminate organisational thoughts.
“Information is consumed more when it is packaged in an entertaining way. The platform offers a chance to employees to display their talents, which otherwise remain hidden. Employees also get to hear about leaders and their interests as well. This helps to bridge the gap between the employees and leaders,” says Nijay Nair, director, commercial and M&A, Adfactors.
The radio broadcasts developments, such as winning a marquee client, launch of a practice, senior-level hires, award wins, and introduction of new processes, while leveraging the existing habit of listening to music.
Employees can easily download the platform through intranet and listen to over 1,500 music tracks on the radio station. The range covers diverse genres including classical, rock, progressive rock, jazz, hip-hop and dance. It also streams meditational and therapeutic music considering the stress in the field.
Some of the chat shows are hosted by employees who enjoy the liberty to come forward with ideas and produce their own shows. Recently, the employees raised funds for Kerala flood relief through the channel!
“The advantage of using an audio-based platform is that it builds an immediate connect with the audience. The efficiency of the communication increases manifold, as compared to e-mails or posters, which tend to be impersonal and are often not even read by most employees,” says Gautam Shiknis, head, Frequency.
During the first three months, along with live and pre-programmed music, it aired ‘change-related’ Q&As with the top management, across strategic areas. This featured the chairman, managing director, chief operating officer, directors and multiple senior vice-presidents.
For instance, one of the key processes being adopted in Adfactors is called ‘digital long-tailing’. The Company did a session with the COO (Roger Darashah), where he explained the idea behind the philosophy and the strategy, and how to adopt the same.
Unlike video, audio is non-intrusive and allows for multi-tasking, while listening. “As compared to traditional engagement initiatives, which require a lot of logistics and costs, a radio platform is highly scaleable and reaches out to everyone at no incremental expense. A single stream can be delivered to thousands of employees, without a proportional investment to amplify the activity,” said Shiknis.
In August last year, the Company organised a talent show, which included singing, reciting poetry, mimicry, stand-up comedy, and playing instrumental music. It was available only on Frequency and more than 85 per cent of the office tuned in to listen to the talent of their colleagues. Over 20 per cent of the employees—from back office to senior leaders— participated. The finale was held on a live stage, where more than 90 per cent of the Mumbai office attended.
As of now, the platform provides access to archives and can push notifications. However, the functionality of social interaction is being built and will be launched next year. This will enable employees to share, react, chat, comment and much more. Going further, it aims to offer exclusive password protection for the smartphone app to help executives tune into Frequency at all times through their smartphones.
With some fine-tuning and additional features, the radio aims to become the default choice of entertainment for its employees.