Reliance Industries’ radio to pep team up with ‘Mann Ki Baat’

Mumbai, Dec 10 (IANS) If Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chief executive of India has his “Mann Ki Baat” programme to connect directly with citizens over radio, Reliance Industries has launched it own “R-Radio” where employees can listen to and share management ideas with a sense of ownership.

The initiative comes close on the heels of a rather quiet, but telling transformation in group’s corporate culture recently, where top executives leading a 17,500-strong team at Reliance-Jio, led by chairman Mukesh Ambani, chose to work in an open office, sans rooms or cubicless.

The latest effort in human resource is part of the next stage of the same transformation through which the company intends to attract, engage and motivate critical talent, after the $33-billion capital expenditure it concluded across its businesses from refining to retail, sources said.

“Our Reliance-Human Resource(R-HR) transformation journey has picked up phenomenal pace in the last one year,” Hital R Meswani, executive director on the board and tasked with heading this initiative — “celebrate careers”, said in his latest note to employees.

An alumnus of Wharton Business School, Meswani, who is also overseeing the “J3” project to double the company’s Jamnagar complex output in three years, underscored in his note the import of the “R-Voice”, the radio engagement programme.

“The participation rate of 81 per cent confirmed your unwavering support in helping Reliance gain insights into what our colleagues are thinking and feeling — what is working well, and where we need to focus our attention on engaging you better,” he wrote.

Meswani said two additional tools will help team members develop their people management skills, one on employee engagement to suggest related material and the other on communications playbook to provide practical approaches towards this area.

Ty Brown, managing director for India with OC Tanner, a leading human resource consulting firm, said while transformation needs time, Reliance Industries was taking some steps that were in the right direction.

“Getting into specifics like how to make presentations while awarding someone or involving family or friends is something that is right, but now needs to be done with authenticity with leadership involvement and consistently,” Brown said.

Adding to that, Zubin Zack, director and chief recognition strategist, said such programmes are successful when processes to measure them are also in place. This, he said, was being integrated to know more about how appreciation can improve productivity and leadership.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said: “We have chosen the approach where we make this work and stick. We did not want a simple plug-and-play but work towards something that may start small and yet sustained as we go along.”

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