Case of media organisations missing from the Top 10 Great Places to Work

Economic Times and Great Place To Work® India partnered for a survey which hit the stands in the beginning of this week. The survey was conducted by Great Place To Work® Institute.

The Top 50 List saw two organisations from media industry, namely Radio City and MSM MD. Great feat indeed! After all, they are among the 50 companies handpicked from 700 which applied for a spot on Best Workplace List.

Having said, print players and media agencies completely went missing. What is more, Top 10 did not have a single name from the sector! A rider here: Adgully is not aware of the number of players from advertising and media sector that participated in the survey. If they chose not to, it is matter of a different discourse altogether.

The Survey Methodology:

Before trying to figure out if things have gone amiss, a look at what Great Place To Work® Institute has to say about its methodology.

Trust index and Culture Audit are two key parts of the survey conducted as Sandeep Malhotra, Project Manager explains, “We found that at great workplaces, employees trust (credibility, respect, and fairness) the people they work for, have pride in work they do and enjoy the company of people they work with. We put together a list of variables that come together to make an organisation a great place to work for its employees in a comprehensive model. It’s widely known as the Great Place To Work® Trust Index© Model©.” He adds, “In our research, we also found, that organisations that are successful at creating and sustaining a great workplace culture follow specific practices in 9 key areas. These key areas are outlined in the Great Place To Work® People Practice© Framework. Great practices in these areas can help an organization achieves its objectives with employees who give their personal best and work as a team. This is known as Great Place To Work® Culture Audit© Assessment.”

The Winning Media Entities:
Quite a few difficult parameters there!No wonder Radio City and MSM are elated to be a part of the select group!

Commenting on Radio City being awarded as the ‘Best Company’ (18th rank in all) in the Media & Entertainment space consequently for the second year,Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City 91.1 FM says, “One of the major factors that differentiate us from the rest of the companies is the work culture that empowers our employees.Here people are given the support and encouragement to perform to their full potential. We are delighted and humbled to receive this accolade.”

N. P. Singh, CEO, Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd and Chairman of the Board, MSM-MD too is excited, “MSM MD culture is built around exceptional people, and there’s nothing more rewarding than to see our colleagues feel deeply connected to the organisation on an emotional level,” he comments.

Mystery of the Missing Players:

We set out to solve the mystery of media players missing from the Top 10 list with the help of Jagdeep Kapoor, Chairman & Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants’ and Sarabjeet Sachchar, Founder,Aspiration-recruitment Plus.

Focusing on the reasons of media companies’ not coming tops in the survey, Sachchar states,“Media industry, to a great extent, is still very individual driven.There is a skew towards an editorial, creative or a programming person.In large media organisations, these individuals tend to have a following of their own, and when they quit the team too vanishes. Second, when it comes to setting processes and systems, where HR department is involved, there is a wall between them and the creative or the editorialperson. They resist implementing practices like having a timeline for the candidates, or do succession planning.Third, HR practices are not as mature as in the other industries. HR department, in many media organisations,just implements certain amount of administrative responsibilities. Such organisations do not attract good talent pool and even if they do, people don’t stick around.”

Jagdeep Kapoor, however, believes that it is a similarscenarioin every sector. He says, “There are very good media companies. They are good employers. They take care of their employees. Someday, they will also be there in the top 10 list.”

There was a time when engineers from IITs and other such professionals quit their professions to be a part of the media and advertising industry. Is it a favoured destination for the management graduates and others even today or has it lost its charm? Kapoor responds, “Media industry is very exciting and enticing. It has always charmed youngsters and will continue to attract good talent.”

Sachchar, however,believes that though youngsters might be excited to join the sector, they are soon disillusioned by the way the media organisations function. He says, “On the editorial and programming side, youngsters work for 4-5 years initially and then lose interest, more so men. As the pay scales are not very exciting, they lose enthusiasm and want to shift their industry or just move on. Marketing function in the media industry is also not as well defined as other sectors. Hence, it creates dissonance among raring-to-go youngsters.Coming to sales, organisations hardly make any investments in extensive training programmes for media sales, which is a very specialised field.”

Those of us observing the sector keenly are well aware of things like entire team deserting an organisation because the boss is quitting, or people leaving because of poor succession planning.

So what Now?

If the media players want to be considered among the best companies to work for, have high retention rate and attract new talent, what should they focus on? Sachchar believes that the change hasto come at the top first. He expresses, “People coming from outside the industry at the top level have been able to successfully bring in processes and system about how to run an organisation. At that level, domain efficiency is not required, what is required is vision and direction.Industry needs to getgood talent at the topto inculcate best practices. If the person himself is stuck for many years and not groomed by the organisation, how will he or she groom others?” He adds,“There needs to be nurturing of talent, career planning, appropriate direction!”
Jagdeep Kapoor shares mantras to get and retain good talent, “Selection, induction, training, promotion and termination.”

Advertising and media being a ‘people’ sector, great performance by an organisation is heavily dependent on good work culture and a happy work force. All said and done, there is no denying the excitement media sector has to offer and the sheer energy it executes. Adgully is optimistic that there would be many more names from the sector in ‘The Best Places to Work’ in the coming years.


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