scorecardFrom adaptation to transformation – Lessons from Freecharge’s digital transformation
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From adaptation to transformation – Lessons from Freecharge’s digital transformation

From adaptation to transformation – Lessons from Freecharge’s digital transformation
Business5 min read
To call the transition of the last few years from in-office to remote work to hybrid a steep learning curve would be an understatement. However, the shift from simply surviving these changes to thriving as a result of them has created an unexpected but beneficial opportunity for businesses to overcome previous operational challenges and strengthen their company culture.

While many business leaders encountered tremendous hurdles in managing this shifting paradigm, Indian financial services company, Freecharge, rose to the occasion. With over 100 million users, Freecharge is well-known for its easy-to-use payment app and provides a variety of services, ranging from simple bill payment to full-service lending and investing options, along the way, becoming one of the leading financial services and investment apps in India.

Amid the disruption caused by the pandemic, Freecharge leaned into their investment in Slack to gain a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing market.

For Freecharge, Slack was the digital-first work platform the company relied on to place human-centric collaboration, knowledge sharing, and easy automation at the centre of their operations – allowing the team to stay aligned and to continue to drive business growth and transformation amid much uncertainty. One area where Slack had a significant impact was in human resources; supporting the company’s efforts to ensure employees across the company stayed aligned and engaged. Here’s how:


Improving HR operations
The HR department at Freecharge is utilising Slack to streamline and automate their onboarding processes, ensuring that their search for fresh talent is managed simply, while still safeguarding critical data. Ridhima Verma, Senior HR Manager at Freecharge, says, "From simplified job postings to tracking candidates throughout the process, you will receive automated updates in the channel at key milestones, such as when the candidate advances in the interview process, when an interviewer submits feedback, when an offer letter is sent and when an offer is accepted.”

Similarly, orienting new hires is a significant challenge that many firms encounter nowadays. Being a new person is difficult enough without having to overcome the obstacle of not having face-to-face meetings with your coworkers. Slack is essential for maintaining team communication and creating a lively atmosphere. Ridhima agrees saying, “Slack's user-friendly interface has expedited the onboarding process, allowing new employees to familiarise themselves in just 10 minutes.” On Slack, new hires are brought up to speed more quickly. “The probationary period for new joiners has been reduced from the conventional 90 days to a more agile and effective 30 days, ensuring a quicker assimilation into the company culture,” says Ridhima.

The other aspect being the handover process which was a tedious task earlier. Slack has simplified this process as well – reducing the time taken for this transition process by nearly 50%. “Earlier we were taking ten days, for example, to finish the handover process - now it takes only six days. All you have to do is post a checklist on the Slack channel and it's easy for everybody to get a hold of the team member who is leaving to understand where they are placed and how we can make the process more effective,” she elaborates.
Facilitating cross-team collaboration
One of the key advantages for Freecharge lies in leveraging Slack to facilitate seamless collaboration between internal and external teams, resulting in enhanced productivity and cost savings. Ridhima highlights the benefits of Slack channels in improving communication between different teams and departments at Freecharge. Unlike traditional communication methods like email or other tools, Slack offers a more intuitive and centralised platform. And its new asynchronous collaboration tools allow for the rapid and simple sharing of voice, video, and screen recordings within channels. These features have helped Freecharge streamline daily meetings and create tailored communication channels for teams to collaborate.

Another focus area for Freecharge is leveraging Slack to foster diversity and inclusion. Verma highlights, “The Women in Tech initiative is one of the many Slack channels that has broken barriers for employee engagement and collaboration with women at Freecharge.” The idea behind this was to promote women in tech workspaces and hire more women developers. Creating a Slack channel keeping this core function in mind, leading to a pool of female employees who shared references for new talent, organically boosted the hiring process. It also helped HR understand the challenges women were facing compared to their male counterparts, and take action to resolve those challenges quickly. The Women in Tech initiative has created a safe space for women at Freecharge to highlight and discuss matters important to them, while strengthening company culture.
Supporting employee engagement
Sentiment analysis has the potential to be a very effective tool for gaining insight into workplace dynamics and issues that affect employees in real-time. Companies can proactively solve issues and establish a supportive work environment by having a thorough understanding of employee general well-being.

Additionally, monitoring sentiment informs staff members that their ideas are valued, which promotes increased output, openness, and communication.

“Slack has evolved into a powerful tool for assessing employee sentiment, with features such as pulse checks allowing for regular check-ins and speedy responses to employee requests,” notes Ridhima. After all, engagement leads to productivity and gives businesses their competitive advantage.

Ridhima shared a success story about Freecharge hiring 23 campus recruits who required guidance during their first few months. The Freecharge HR team created a dedicated Slack channel to interact with them. At the end of each day, they posted simple poll questions about their experiences and what they learned. The recruits responded with emojis and comments, and this in turn fostered a sense of inclusivity and bonding among the new team members. This demonstrated that communication is essential - not just from a lens of efficiency, but also to build contentment within team members.

Freecharge, with the help of Slack, has transformed its communications landscape. Ridhima asserts, “Slack has become our fourth pillar of teamwork. With Slack, all cross-functional communication is possible. Also, because we've got Slack connectivity on our phones, responding to messages and reading important notifications is a lot easier.”

Further, Slack’s seamless integration with thousands of other applications like Google Calendar and Canva have increased productivity.

By leveraging Slack’s collaborative features, Freecharge has been able to streamline processes, foster stronger communication among and across teams, support diversity initiatives and enhance employee engagement. By leaning into their investment in Slack, the company has built a new vibrant culture that places collaboration at the front and centre. As Freecharge continues to innovate and invest in digital tools, its story reflects how technology is shaping modern work dynamics and empowering businesses to thrive in competitive environments.

Disclaimer: This article is generated and published by the Insider Studios team. You can get in touch with them on insiderstudios@businessinsider.in

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